Gulgong musician Allan Walsh has been awarded the Dubbo Dusty Boot- Johnny Norton Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to country music.
Speaking from his shop "The Fiddler's Hame" in Mayne Street Gulgong he said "I am honoured to receive this special award considering it is for doing something that I love."
Allan starting learning the violin as a small child from the nuns at St Matthews Catholic School in Mudgee. Not liking the commitment required to learn the violin he soon gave up the lessons.
Although he had no more formal lessons he still kept playing so you might say he is "self-taught." It was not until 1971 a guy named Orley Benson asked Allan to join the Gold Diggers Band.
This band was made up of local musician such as the Kurtz family, Ruby Byfield, Harold Martin, George and Eleanor Harper, Bernie Dickie, Vince Holland, Dick Beasley, Keith Murray and Sally Tomkinson and of course Alan Walsh.
The band played all around the region for the purpose of raising funds for the Gulgong Music and Dramatic Society (MADS) to purchase the Gulgong Prince of Wales Opera House.
The band became so popular they even played on the stairs of the Sydney Opera House which achieved the front page of the Sydney papers.
Allan said "When we came back home we were asked to play at the Wollar hall, the crowd that came that night was unbelievable all because of the attention we had attracted in Sydney."
The MADS purchased the Opera House and still own it today.
All who know Allan will agree the Lifetime Achievement Award is well deserved. If you pass by his shop you might be lucky enough to hear him playing his beloved fiddle.