Newspaper Article 2003 – Volunteers’ efforts rewarded

Volunteers’ efforts rewarded

Volunteers get out what they put in. But last night 19 individuals, organisations and youths received an unexpected honour.


The voluntary efforts of 19 individuals and organisations were officially recognised with the presentation of Hastings District Council civic awards last night.

The civic awards were handed out to 14 individuals, two groups or organisations along with three Rotary Youth awards during a presentation at the council chambers.

There were 23 nominations for the civic awards, four for the group or organisation award and 11 youth nominations.

Cr Judith Baxter, who chaired the selection panel, said the awards honoured people for their commitment of volunteer service.

“Volunteers don’t seek recognition, but I think it is important that as a community we acknowledge how much we value their hard work,” Cr Baxter said.

Beth Carding’s 35-year commitment to supporting people in the community was rewarded with the award for services to culture, recreation and welfare.

Since 1968, Betty has played an active role with St Matthew’s Church.

She was a well-known visitor at Hawke’s Bay Hospital, Hastings, and Cranford Hospice and one of the most experienced tutors’ with SeniorNet Hawke’s Bay.

Cheryl Lattey has shared her love and knowledge of nature, gardens and flowers in her long-standing involvement with the Hastings Rose Society.

A qualified national judge, Cheryl has demonstrated rose pruning for many years and helped organise the National Camellia Show and Convention in Napier last year.

Cheryl has also been actively involved with Guides Hawke’s Bay for many years.

She received the award for services to art and culture.

Gerda Pronk’s constant support for people on the margins of society earned her an award for services to welfare.

She regularly visited prison inmates during her role as a volunteer with the HB Prisoners Aid Rehabilitation Service.

Gerda and her husband opened their home for prisoners’ families living out of town.

Working for the benefit of the elderly community saw Irene Chrisstoffels pick up the award for services to health and welfare.

Irene, involved with Age Concern for 14 years, has visited many elderly isolated or lonely people. She offered support in many ways such as driving and helping with shopping.

Jeanne Hall’s love of all things theatre has resulted, in a tireless contribution to local entertainment for 45 years.

The recipient of the award for services to the arts has been involved in every production with the former Hastings Musical Comedy Company since 1958, 37 years as the property mistress.

Jennifer Fulford is highly respected for her ability to work with people experiencing extreme and enduring trauma.

Jenni has been a member of the Hastings Victim Support Group for nearly 10 years and supervises 10 volunteers offering support to victims of crime, accident or emergency.

Jenni received the award for services to welfare.

Devotion to preserving the natural environment has resulted in John Scott collecting the award for services to the environment and sport.

John formed the Maraetotara Tree Trust to monitor upgrading of the Maraetotara River to restore it to its previous status as a world-class brown trout fishery.

His project has become a model for river rejuvenation in other parts of New Zealand.

John, a member of the Hastings and Districts Angler’s Club, is a expert fly-tier and is a sought-after speaker and demonstrator.

The musical talent of John Snowling has been recognised with an award for services to the arts.

John, the musical director of the Hastings Citizens Brass Band from 1978-1992, was the founding director of the Hawke’s Bay Youth Band which won a gold award in Hawaii in 1993. He was the conductor of the Hawke’s Bay Symphonic and Concert Bands which have won seven gold awards at the national festival.

Mary Stewart’s willingness to share her organisational skills for the benefit of the community have been rewarded with an award for services to culture and welfare.

The convenor of the three-day Hospice Holly Trail festival has helped raise $150,000 in two years for the Cranford Hospice.

Mary was the instigator of the Woodford House Garden Weekend and has served on the Havelock North Kindergarten Committee and Hereworth Parents’ Association.

Mavis Tremain, who won an award for services to welfare, is driven by a desire to help people wherever there is a need.

Mavis, now retired from the Salvation Anny, is involved with ministry to the elderly as a voluntary chaplain and takes regular services at the Cornwall Park Rest Home. She helps throughout the community, making jams and marmalades, baking, washing and ironing for the less able. Mavis, an active volunteer of the Hastings Stroke Fellowship Club, also visits sick people at home and in hospital.

Melva Mildenhall has a deep concern for young people and their development.

The recipient of an award for services to recreation and youth work, has devoted her Saturday mornings and a week-day evening in her role as captain of the Hastings Girls Brigade for 57 years.

Melva has sought to equip young women with everyday life skills. During her time with the brigade, Melva has touched the lives of more than 1000 young woman in Hastings and Havelock North.

Michael Bates has, at times of great personal crisis, selflessly supported his peers.

The president of Canteen Hawke’s Bay and vice-president of Canteen New Zealand, has consistently supported newly-diagnosed patients and their siblings despite his own terminal illness.

Michael has organised activities for members, helped with fundraising events, and delivered presentations about cancer at schools, service clubs and churches resulting in significant financial donations.

He received the award for services to health and welfare.

The recipient of an award for services to recreation and welfare, Richard McKenzie, has made a commitment to the safety and wellbeing of people in his community.

A member of the Havelock North Volunteer Fire Brigade for 25 years, Richard organises fire safety displays and presents Fire Wise programmes in Havelock North primary schools. He has been a high country volunteer firefighter with the Department of Conservation in Hawke’s Bay for 12 years. Richard, a leader with Scouting New Zealand, was the first person to receive the Troop Challenge Award for many years in 2001.

An involvement with welfare agencies spanning more than 30 years earned Martin Hobson an award for services to sport and welfare.

Under his leadership with the Havelock North Pakeke Lions, the club started chipping kindling for the elderly in 1984 starting from 80 bags a year to 1000 bags today.

A driver for Meals on Wheels in the Hastings district for many years, Martin also rolled newspapers for the Red Cross for 15 years. The Hastings Bowling Club member has also been a successful coach at club and provincial level.

The Keirunga Gardens Arts and Crafts Society won the group award for services to arts and culture. Labelled “idealistic dreamers,” the band of volunteers are now heralded as cultural leaders in the community.

The society was established in 1967 and a paved courtyard installed 20 years later continues as a popular outdoor venue for drama productions. Today, there are 442 members throughout Hawke’s Bay.

The skilled members of the Waimarama Rural Fire Force have added advanced first aid training in addition to fighting fires and promoting fire education programmes.

Firefighters use oxygen and defibrillator equipment to revive and resuscitate patients and are also trained in helping at motor. vehicle accidents.

They also help other rural fire forces in the Hastings district and support a small unit at Ocean Beach. The force were awarded the other group award for services to welfare.

Rebecca Harper is an allround achiever with a deep sense of commitment to her community.

During her years at St Matthew’s Collegiate, Masterton, and more recently Woodford House in Havelock North, Rebecca took part in a wide range of academic, sporting and cultural activities.

She was a member of the Hastings District Youth Council last year and took on other leadership roles including Head of the Woodford House Student Council and was a member of Students Against Driving Drunk.

The recipient of the youth award in the category of community service was considered by judges an important role model.

Bridget Kight is a gifted public speaker, pianist and actor who has generously shared her talents for the benefit of her peers and the school community.

The 16-year-old Woodford House student was last year awarded a diploma in public speaking and made an associate of the New Zealand Speech Board for Public Speaking. She also excelled at hockey, representing the under-21 Central Districts Women’s team. She received the youth award in the category of arts and culture and was described as a fine example in leadership, effort, reliability and participation.

Sapphire Paul is tipped as a bright prospect on the region and national sporting stage in softball and swimming.

The recipient of the youth award in the category of sport was a pivotal member of the Havelock North High School team placed fourth in the national secondary schools’ softball competition last year. Gifted at breastroke [breaststroke], she finished 10th in NZ in the 50m and 200m events. She is described as a young woman with a positive attitude and excellent leadership skills.

Photo caption –

HASTINGS District Council 2003 Civic Award recipients front row from left; Michael Bates, Betty Carding, Irene Chrisstoffels, Jennifer-Jane Fulford, Jeanne Hall, Martin Hobson, Cheryl Lattey, middle row from left, Richard McKenzie, Melva Mildenhall, Gerda Pronk, John Scott, John Snowling, Mary Stewart, Mavis Tremain, back row from left, Alan Chapman, president of Keirunga Gardens Arts and Crafts Society, Peter Morrell and Mike Stokes, The Waimarama Rural Fire Force, Cynthia Harper on behalf of daughter Rebecca, Alison Thomson, on behalf of Bridget Kight, Sapphire Paul.

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Hawke's Bay Today


Published with permission of Hawke's Bay Today


  • Michael Bates
  • Betty Carding
  • Alan Chapman
  • Irene Christoffels
  • Jennifer-Jane Fulford
  • Jeanne Hall
  • Cynthia Harper
  • Rebecca Harper
  • Martin Hobson
  • Regan Horrell
  • Bridget Kight
  • Cheryl Lattey
  • Richard McKenzie
  • Melva Mildenhall
  • Peter Morrell
  • Sapphire Paul
  • Gerda Pronk
  • John Scott
  • John Snowling
  • Mary Stewart
  • Mavis Tremain
  • Mike Stokes
  • Alison Thomson

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