Meanwhile, Willow Tree’s Charles Hanna, who transformed the tiny town and cemented its status as a foodie destination, has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
The Colly Creek farmer and Sydney-based businessman has been awarded an Order of Australian Medal (OAM) for his service to business and the community.
Mr Hanna is the executive chairman of the Hanna Group, a founding member of the Australasian Promotional Products Association and the co-founder of both the Chamber of Commerce in North Richmond and Hanna Park.
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Locally, he is the owner of the Willow Tree Inn, Graze Restaurant, Colly Creek Pastoral Company and The Plains Pantry – all based in the Willow Tree area.
The Hanna Pastoral Group purchased the historic Willow Tree Inn in 2009 and opened a revamped hotel the following year.
In recent years, Willow Tree has undergone quite a facelift, with the injection of Mr Hanna’s enthusiasm, style, vision and considerable monetary investment.
He has taken out Best Country Restaurant in the Australian Hotels Association NSW Awards for Excellence in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Mr Hanna is also a sponsor of local sporting teams and events in the Willow Tree-Quirindi area as well as a benefactor of the Quirindi Royal Theatre.