HELPING others has always been in Merv Hampson's blood.
The Mortlake resident joined the Navy when he was 18 and served for nine years.
He served overseas in Borneo, Vietnam and Malaya and found the experience to be very rewarding.
"If I didn't have a young family, I would have stayed in the Navy forever," Mr Hampson said.
Instead, he returned home to Mortlake and became a fencing contractor.
He also put his hand up to become president of the Mortlake RSL sub-branch, a role he still holds today.
Mr Hampson said he took pride in helping returned soldiers access the help they need.
"There's a lot of people out there in need in the ex-service community," he said.
"Our work is nowhere near finished."
The 78-year-old has also been a volunteer member of the Mortlake CFA and he was a former volunteer for the Mortlake Recreation Reserve ground management committee and patient transport driver service.
Mr Hampson still keeps active and was busy mowing the lawn at the Mortlake Golf Club in a voluntary capacity late last week.
"I guess volunteering gives me plenty to do," he said.
"I get a lot of satisfaction out of it."
Over the years Mr Hampson has won a number of awards including the RSL's Meritorious Service Medal in 2014, a 35 year service award from the CFA, an Australia Day award from Moyne Shire Council in 2009 and the CFA National Medal in 2008.
Mr Hampson is also a life member of the Mortlake CFA and the Mortlake Football Netball Club.
"I've been lucky to receive a number of awards and this one is the icing on the cake," he said.
"It's a great honour but it was quite a surprise."
Mr Hampson said he loved living in Mortlake and giving back to the community.
"I love Mortlake, it's a beaut little village - it's quiet and peaceful and there's a lot of good people here."
Mr Hampson said he had no plans to retire from the volunteering roles he loves.
"I love it - I can't just sit at home," he said.
Hamilton's Reverend Marjorie Keeble has also received an OAM for service to her community.
She is a Deacon of Christ Church in Hamilton, secretary and a founding member of Hamilton's Rural Australians for Refugees, a member of the Hamilton Combined Probus Club, a former member of the Mothers Union Group and a former member of Hamilton and District Legacy.
Reverend Keeble also takes part in the Red Cross Door Knock Appeal every year.
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