A NEWSPAPER man with the community deep in is heart - Keith Uptin OAM was a champion for all.
Mr Uptin passed away, aged 83, on June 7 at Wauchope Palliative Care.
He spent his life in Port Macquarie and is regarded among many as a man who was always the first to extend a helping hand.
The former managing director of the Port Macquarie News, Keith began work at the paper after he left high school in 1952, earning his stripes covering court and council rounds.
His father, Charlie Uptin, first took over the business in 1945. The family had ink in their veins.
Keith later played an integral role in nurturing the newspaper's position in the community as the trusted local news source and in the 1980s, alongside his brother Alan, grew the publication's circulation and readership in what he described as the "boom times" for Port Macquarie.
Celebrating the paper's 100th anniversary in 1982 was a highlight of his media career and an opportunity to celebrate the publication's importance and enduring relevance in the local community.
The newspaper business was sold and Keith and Alan continued in the commercial printing business with Uptin Print which operated from Milton Circuit.
Keith enjoyed more than seven years as a local government councillor, holding the position of Hastings deputy mayor.
He also held the position of director of the Port Macquarie RSL Club, was involved in the Port Macquarie Surf Life Saving Club, Port Macquarie Race Club, Port Macquarie Golf Club, Port Macquarie Legacy and Port Macquarie and District Family History Group to name a few of the organisations he dedicated his time to supporting.
In 2000, Keith was selected among community leaders to run a leg with the Olympic torch. It was his second stint making history having carried the torch in the 1956 Olympic torch relay.
In 2015 he was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for his community contributions and humbly accepted the honour saying all of his achievements were the result of working collaboratively alongside others.
"Community involvement is a wonderful thing as far as I'm concerned, but what I'm noticing now as the generations change, there are less people getting involved in a voluntary capacity which is the changing of the way life goes these days," he told the Port News after receiving the honour.
He credited many influences in receiving his OAM, but much of his success was a result of his family's support.
Keith Uptin was a loving husband to Shirley; brother to Alan and Toni; father and father-in-law of Tracey, Michael and Sandra; grandparent to Matthew, Andrew, Amy, Jordan and David, and great-grandfather to Ivy.
His life will be celebrated at a service on Saturday, June 12 at St Thomas' Anglican Church in Hay Street, Port Macquarie at 10am.
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