Brave acts recognised

Gilmore neighbours James Bodsworth and Colin O’Hare, formerly of Delegate, will be awarded 
bravery medals for intervening in a fight. (Photo courtesy ABC News)
Gilmore neighbours James Bodsworth and Colin O’Hare, formerly of Delegate, will be awarded bravery medals for intervening in a fight. (Photo courtesy ABC News)

A FORMER long-term resident of Delegate is among three Canberra men to receive national recognition for courageous rescues of people in distress.

Colin O’Hare – who now resides in the Canberra suburb of Gilmore – will receive an Australian Bravery Decoration.

Mr O’Hare first lived at Corrawong and after being burnt out moved into Delegate with his wife and three daughters.

Mr O’Hare, together with his neighbour James Bodsworth, and Calwell resident Shane Allen, will be awarded bravery medals after intervening in dangerous circumstances last year.

Mr O’Hare and Mr Bodsworth teamed up to put a stop to a violent assault involving a knife.

Mr Allen pulled a 13-year-old boy out of fast-moving flood waters in a stormwater drain at Isabella Plains in Canberra’s south.

The three men are among 78 newly-announced recipients of Australian Bravery Decorations.

Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove has approved the awards.

“I offer my warmest congratulations and express my sincere admiration for your brave actions,” he said.

“You now join the company of men and women whose actions have enriched our community and whose values we hold dear.”

In March last year, Mr O’Hare and Mr Bodsworth heard a woman screaming for help and found two men fighting in front of a house.

One of the men had knocked the other one to the ground, kicked him and stabbed him with a pocket knife.

The pair disarmed and restrained the attacker until police arrived.

Mr O’Hare suffered a deep cut to his hand during the incident and needed hospital treatment.

He said he would do it all again if faced with similar circumstances.

“I think it’s just human instinct, just a thing you do,” he said.

Mr O’Hare said the bravery medal had come as a surprise.

“When we got the first letter to say we might be nominated I thought, ‘oh that won’t happen’,” he said.

Mr Bodsworth said he also did not expect to be recognised for his actions.

“To us it’s a lot of fuss and I think most reasonably minded people confronted with that situation would have actually done the same thing,” he said.

“We’re a little overwhelmed and a little embarrassed to be quite honest.”

In September last year, Mr Allen was cycling home after an early finish to a Year 12 class when he heard something unexpected.

“I noticed that someone was screaming for their life,” he said.

“I just saw them and I had to help.”

Mr Allen said it was a struggle to catch the teenager who was being swept away in the fast-moving water.

“At first I tried to grab him using my bag as a lifeline and then I had to run ahead of him,” he said.

Mr Allen stood waist-deep in the fast-flowing water before pulling the boy to safety, and waited with him until paramedics arrived.

He said the events of the day had stayed with him.

“You never sort of stop remembering it I guess,” he said.

“I would’ve done it regardless of whether it had been appreciated or not.

“At the time I didn’t think much at all. It was just action and focus.”

- With Kathleen Dyett, ABC


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