Rylstone's Ron Lodewijks has been recognised by the National Trust [NSW] for his ongoing efforts to preserve the foundations of Bathurst's Cathedral of St Michael and St John.
For the the last five years, the stonemason and builder has been leading the restoration of the 158-year-old building.
Mr Lodewijks was announced as the winner of the prestigious Heritage Skills award at a recent function in Sydney to celebrate the 2019 National Trust Heritage Awards.
However, he said a restored heritage building is the reward he cherishes the most.
"It's rewarding in the sense that the work you put in will last centuries," he said.
"I don't know if I'm really worthy of any award because I enjoy what I do and I don't require any accolades to drive my work.
"We've got such a limited amount of heritage architecture left, so it's important to protect and conserve what we have."
He added that the process behind the restoration of a heritage building requires immaculate attention to detail and can often be physically demanding.
"Sandstone is an extremely expensive medium to work with and because our work will last for generations, we have to take plenty of care," he said.
"The stones are heavy to lift and the dust can injure your eyes and lungs if you don't look after yourself properly but at the end of the day, the risk is worth the reward."
Mr Lodewijks was nominated by the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst and Bishop Michael McKenna was delighted that he's been acknowledged by The National Trust [NSW].
"Ron embodies all the key attributes of an outstanding heritage stonemason and builder," he said.
"He is not only passionate about the restoration of heritage buildings, but also about the continuation of the craft of stone-masonry through the training and development of the next generation, who will continue this work into the future.
"Over the last six years, his work has been outstanding in quality, affordability and, most importantly, it has been continually executed in a way that demonstrates commitment to extending the life of the building, restoring its original fabric and ensuring that future works can be avoided or reduced in complexity and cost."
This year marked the 25th anniversary of the awards, which acknowledge the greatest innovation, conservation, education and advocacy with a view to preserving or protecting natural, built and cultural heritage in NSW.
Assessed by an independent panel of judges across 11 categories, award entries are received from the building design and architecture sector, community groups, the culture and arts sector including galleries and libraries, leading researchers and publishers, and more.