Former editored honoured
QUEEN’S SERVICE MEDAL
By Victoria White
The pivotal role of one Hastings resident in helping Hawke’s Bay over the past decades has been recognised, with James Morgan being awarded the Queens Service Medal.
Mr Morgan said it was nice to receive the honour for his services to the community, but felt he never needed the recognition. “What’s happening in all the organisations that I’ve been involved in, that’s more important than this,” he said.
His motivation was simply about helping people, and “doing my share”.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to do that in so many ways,” he said.
He felt his interest in helping the community was highlighted during the 44 years he spent in the newspaper industry – including being editor of the Hawke’s Bay Herald-Tribune until 1998.
This background sparked his passion for his recent project – he initiated the digitisation and preservation of Hawke’s Bay’s historical records by establishing the Hawke’s Bay Digital Archives Trust, then the Hawke’s Bay Knowledge Bank in 2012.
Among other things, he was also an initial trustee of the Hawke’s Bay Community Foundation, the foundation director of Trust House, and spearheaded the formation of the Friends of the Pekapeka Society to support restoration of the wetland.
“Creating something is a great deal of fun, it’s a great opportunity to work with others and to learn from others,” he said.
He was also the founding chairman of the Flaxmere Licensing Trust from 1975 to 1990, which he said grew from a desire to help the community his family lived in.
It may have “started off with nothing”, but had since returned around $6 million to the Flaxmere community, mainly in the form of support for education.
He was stumped when trying to pick the project he was most proud of.
“They’ve all had their great and glorious moments, when I look back on them I look back with a nice warm glow,” he said.
Mr Morgan also worked with local theatre groups and served as director of the Hastings-Quilin Sister City Board and was National Administrator of the New Zealand Sister City Board from 2000 to 2002.
Photo caption – JAMES MORGAN, QSM