Community Heroes Recognised at Annual Civic Awards
(Above): Community Heroes, from left; Individual recipients Chris Paul, Valmay Rayner, John Stevens, Mayor Craig Rowley, Mandy Tangney, Group recipient Michael Horne (President Rotary Club of Waimate) and Youth recipient Kate Melville
This week (16 February) marked a time to celebrate and reflect on the efforts of several deserving volunteers throughout the Waimate District, as the 2022 Waimate Civic Award recipients were acknowledged at the prestigious function held at the Waimate Event Centre on Wednesday night.
Every year, dozens of individuals and groups are nominated for the awards, with many reluctant to step in to the spotlight, instead happier to remain behind the scenes. However, with volunteering at the heart of the community, the awards serve as a special occasion to recognise the ongoing work many have done and continue to do.
In his address to the recipients, Waimate District Mayor Craig Rowley said people like the ones that were honoured are the reason the Waimate District is such a special place to live, work, visit and play.
“We see them driving our community car, delivering meals on wheels, holding fundraising events, tending our walking tracks, running sports events, working in charity shops, organising our popular events, catering, entertaining and plenty of other wonderful things,” Mayor Rowley said.
“Largely, they work quietly, usually unrecognised and behind the scenes, but this work and dedication helps keep our community active and alive. So, while our recipients may not like the recognition, they say they volunteer for that “do good feeling, the feeling of helping someone, or just because they want to “give something back” – it’s important we do recognise these people, if only to give the people that benefit from their service the opportunity to acknowledge and thank them publicly.”
This year’s event, which is now in its twelfth successive year, saw 2022 Waimate High School Head Girl Kate Melville take out the Youth category, Rotary Club of Waimate recognised in the Group category and Chris Paul, John Stevens, Mandy Tangney and Valmay Rayner all honoured within the Individual category.
Since its inception, 50 adults, seven youth and six groups or organisations have been recognised, with Mayor Rowley encouraging those who have yet to receive an award to try again next year, and the years that follow.
“Volunteering is alive and well in the Waimate District and I know there are still plenty of very worthy recipients for these awards to continue for many years to come.”
Throughout the event, Mayor Rowley acknowledged the work of the selection committee, whose makeup is drawn from Community and Service Clubs, Council and local Iwi, and extended a further thanks to the Waimate Community Choir and Waimate Floral Art Group for their fantastic displays and table art.