George Town man Peter Cox was awarded one of the most prestigious Australian prizes for history last week.
The Federation of Australian Historical Societies deemed Mr Cox worthy of an Award of Merit for his work on George Town planner, and former NSW Governor, Lachlan Macquarie.
The award, given for efforts in community historiography, was only attained by two people nationwide in 2017.
FAHS president, and associate professor at the University of Melbourne, Don Garden bestowed the honour on Mr Cox at a George Town ceremony.
“Because we’re a national body, the awards are restricted to people who’s work has a significance that goes beyond their local society and indeed beyond their own state,” Mr Garden said.
“Peter Cox’s work, particularly relating to governor Macquarie, is important...the work he does is of national significance – in particular for the settlements of Tasmania and NSW.
“We were delighted to give him the award.”
Mr Cox’s book Macquarie's George Town, published in 2011, was a detailed look at the colonial history of the area.
In December 2011, he helped coordinate a series of events by the George Town and Districts Historical Society to commemorate the 200th anniversary of George Town’s settlement by Europeans.
Members from the society went to different landmark spots and read Governor Macquarie’s diary entries from the corresponding day 200 years earlier.
“I was very much honoured to receive an award like this,” Mr Cox said.
“I was so thankful for the contribution by the George Town and Districts Historical Society, because a lot of the work wasn’t just mine – it was in collaboration with a lot of other people.
Mr Cox moved to George Town 40 years ago and was immediately fascinated by the seaside town’s historical legacy.
“[George Town’s] history is really important and it’s important the heritage of the town is known,” he said.
“A lot of people run George Town down and they shouldn't, because it is a really nice place to live in ...it’s had periods when it’s been an extremely important town.”