ARARAT - For decades Peter Carthew has had an influential role in shaping the manufacturing landscape of Ararat and has been an important source of employment of hundreds of members of the community at his family business AME Systems.
This weekend Peter will add another important role to his resume - The role of Golden Gateway Festival King at the 53rd annual event.
"It is an honour to be offered the prestigious role for the festival and to represent the community," he said.
"I see it as an obligation to keep the Ararat name fresh and alive for our own people, and I encourage all people of the municipality to attend a number of events that are held."
Peter said unfortunately he would not be able to attend the Ararat Advertiser Golden Gateway Festival Reception, which kicks off at 6.30pm tonight.
"When the organisers approached me about the role I informed them that I would be unavailable from the Thursday afternoon to the Sunday morning due to an important family arrangement which is a shame, but I will be back for the golf on Sunday afternoon and look forward to taking up my duties then," he said.
The Golden Gateway Festival committee has arranged a 'fill in' King to carry out Peter's responsibilities while he is away.
Festival president Gwenda Allgood said the committee was happy to have such a highly respected member of the community as the face of this year's celebrations.
"We are very pleased Peter has agreed to take part in the festival," she said.
"He is one of those people who should be recognised for the contribution he has given to the community in terms of employment opportunities.
"We will have someone step in for those few days, but I still think Peter was the right choice and we try not to put too much pressure on them because it is a big commitment and we understand that they have other things such as work and family that they need to attend to."
Peter was born in Fitzroy and educated in Preston before making a business move to Ararat with his family in the late 1970s.
For over four decades he has been an active member of the community including serving as a councillor and as a commissioner during periods of time in the 1980s and 90s, holding chairmen positions with the University of Ballarat and Friends of Aradale demolition process and as a member of the Ararat Technical and Ararat West Primary School Councils.
Peter has also been a part of the local Legacy organisation, a member of the Chalambar Golf Club and was involved in the Basketball Association - All this while he gradually expanded his business into the strong manufacturer it is today, which employs more than 300 people including many Ararat residents.
"I am a family man and I love to see success and youngsters achieve and get satisfaction from life," Peter said.
"I really believe in what the festival does for our community. I'm looking forward to meeting people and attending as many functions as I can. After those first few days I am available to go wherever the organisers decide I need to be with the Queen."
Later tonight the Queen Quest entrants and their partners will be introduced to the judges, officials and major sponsors, before the Queen will be announced later in the evening at the Festival Coronation Ball.
Mrs Allgood wished the eight Queen entrants luck ahead of their presentations.
"I'd love to wish the Queens all the very best," she said.
"I think it is just fantastic that we have all these beautiful girls taking part this year, because without them we wouldn't have a festival."