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Good neighbours become good friends

BASIL and Helen Murray become Clarence’s Neighbours of the Year after receiving multiple nominations from their neighbourhood in Cambridge.

At 81 years of age Basil – who has been dubbed the ‘unofficial Lord Mayor of his street’ – is known in his neighbourhood for always lending a hand, mowing the whole street’s nature strips, looking after neighbour’s properties when they are away, and always stopping for a chat or cup of tea.

Basil and Helen even organise and host the street’s annual Christmas party, complete with Santa and presents for the street’s 15 children.

“We love doing something at Easter, Halloween and Christmas for our neighbours, in particular for the younger ones,” Helen said.

“We felt quite proud to win the award, we weren’t expecting it.”

Nicole Howard, who nominated the couple for the award, said she simply couldn’t ask for better neighbours.

“Basil and Helen are just always around, always up for a chat and they know everyone in our street,” she said.

“They are just really good people and fantastic neighbours.”

The return of Clarence City Council’s Neighbourly Awards this year saw an influx of nominations from community members wanting to recognise their stand-out neighbours across Clarence.

Clarence Mayor Doug Chipman said it was fantastic to hear so many stories of kind and generous neighbours across the municipality.

“There are a number of ways we can reach out to our neighbours and build better connections in the community,” he said.

“These include simple acts such as organising a gathering of neighbours for a barbecue, sharing a game of sport, or simply taking the time to introduce yourself to a new neighbour in your street.”

“This all helps in increasing the connections that we have within our community, and I have to say I am more than happy to note Basil’s title as unofficial mayor of his street!”

“The Neighbour Day awards are a great way to recognise the people in our communities that go that extra mile for the people around them, and it is always wonderful to see communities coming together and raising each other up – just like Basil and Helen.”