From an inspirational sportswoman to a prolific playwright, five new local legends have been welcomed into Maitland City Hall of Fame.
On Thursday, the five new inductees were announced during a special ceremony at Maitland Regional Art Gallery.
Mayor Loretta Baker said the hall of fame was established to recognise people from all spheres of the community, from visionary artists to brilliant academics to inspiring sportspeople.
“We acknowledge and celebrate their place in the rich fabric of our community,” she said.
“You [the inductees] are an inspiration to others and a source of great city pride.”
The inductees include Peter Bogan, Nicholas Enright, Gary Harley, Col Johnston and Melinda Thompson.
Gary Harley, who has proudly promoted his hometown of Maitland for more than 40 years through broadcasting and journalism on rugby league, greyhound racing and horse racing.
Mr Harley said he was very proud to be inducted into the city’s Hall of Fame – even if he initially thought it was a “gee up”.
“To be recognised is very special … I’m engulfed in the racing industry and I’ll be there until they carry me out on a stretcher,” he said.
“It was a bit of a surprise but it’s very special. In my 35 years of racing calling, Maitland Showground was one of the first places I called.
“I think Maitland is the biggest and best city in the Hunter Valley.”
He also played first grade cricket in Maitland and rugby league for the Maitland Pickers.
Mr Harley’s knowledge of racing is highly regarded and he is a member of the Newcastle and Hunter Racing Hall of Fame.