Queen's Honours: John Trlin

Honoured: John Trlin and Silvana Martens at The Mean Fiddler's 180th birthday bash in 2006. Picture: Janie Barrett

Honoured: John Trlin and Silvana Martens at The Mean Fiddler's 180th birthday bash in 2006. Picture: Janie Barrett

This week the Courier celebrates the work of our two Queen’s Birthday honour recipients.  

John "The Kellyville Kid" Trlin can lay claim to having swim in the 1952 Olympics and selling 400 cars in one weekend, in 1982.

"I had 274 people employed by me at the time," Mr Trlin recalls.

But it is for his service to the community through the driver awareness education program Rotary U Turn the Wheel, which he started in The Hills in 1990, that he was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).

"I invite refugees in Auburn and The Hills districts, particularly Yugoslavs, to take part in U Turn," said Mr Trlin who migrated to Australia from Yugoslavia in 1936, aged two.

"I have a fondness for people who come from other countries where they find it hard, particularly Bosnia.

"I have a feeling for those people who are called 'refos' and 'dagos'.

"I was a refo and a dago at one stage."

He said the program, which he stopped presenting 12 years ago, has helped thousands of refugees already.

A honorary member of the Rotary Club of Rouse Hill, in his younger years Mr Trlin worked on Guthega power station in the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme.

He went on to own various car dealerships since 1952.

He played rugby and soccer for Sydney SC Yugal and he lobbied for traffic lights at Windsor Road, Kellyville.

"I got a big buzz out of Windsor Road being completed," Mr Trlin said.

■ Click here to read about OAM recipient, Alan Pendleton who has to turn back 50 years to recall life without Blacktown Council.

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