LEETON shire has lost two men who were the "heart and soul" of the community.
Those are the words of mayor Paul Maytom, who said he was shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of two great men within the space of a week.
Neil Boardman and Buster Ryan both tragically died in separate accidents, leaving their family, friends and the wider community in a state of shock.
Councillor Maytom said there were no words that provided comfort in these extremely difficult times for the loved ones of the men and said the whole community would need to rally to support them over the coming months and years.
"I don't think you'll find two men who loved this community more," Cr Maytom said.
"I was privileged to know both of them and I, like so many others, am deeply saddened by their deaths."
Mr Boardman was a well-known grower, who was at the forefront of a campaign in recent years to save Leeton hospital's Carramar aged care facility from privatisation.
"He cared deeply about this town in many ways. He was also very knowledgeable about water," Cr Maytom said.
"There's no doubt in mind that without Neil and his hard work we might not have Carramar like we do today."
Mr Ryan and Mr Boardman have both been described as men of integrity, who loved their family and friends and were always willing to pitch in to help the shire they loved.
Mr Ryan was a former Citizen of the Year, known for his long-running involvement with the Yanco Lions Club, he was heavily involved with hay runs and a supporter and member of many other community groups and charities.
"I don't think I have ever met anyone like Buster and I doubt I ever will again," Cr Maytom said.
"He was a true blue larrikin who loved this community and would do anything for anyone.
"He was a much-loved character by so many people.
"I felt this thing about me when I was with him that he just cared so much for our community."
I don't think you'll find two men who loved this community more.Leeton Shire Council mayor Paul Maytom
Cr Maytom said the pair would never be forgotten.
"They will truly always be remembered for what they have done for our community," he said.
"We offer our deepest condolences to both families.
"It's a terrible, terribly sad time that they are going through.
"The best we can do is try and give them as much support as we can."