On Friday 14 December, twelve extraordinary Hamiltonians were awarded city honours. Each received a Civic Award to commend their commitment to the arts and culture, dedication to people, involvement in education, sport and enterprise, and those who care for the environment.
“The familiar thread that runs through the stories of our award winners is outstanding and long-standing service to the community,” says Mayor Andrew King.
“Volunteers like this distinguished dozen are part of the essential oil that makes our city tick successfully. We take pleasure in being able to acknowledge their contribution”.
The types of exemplary citizens ranged from a padre to a Paralympian to fundraising philanthropists and a compassionate carer for kaumatua. All who are well-deserving recipients of this year’s prestigious Hamilton City Council Civic Awards.
The 2018 Hamilton City Council Civic Award winners are:
Now in her 90s, Sylvie has carried out decades of voluntary service as a visitor at Waikato Hospital and rest homes, as well as being involved with Poppy Day and placing poppies on headstones at Hamilton and Newstead cemeteries.
Margaret Comer’s award comes after her 30 years continuous service as Corporate Services Executive at Gallagher, during which time she also made contributions in the fields of arts, culture, education, sport and enterprise.
Brian King has drawn praise for his role in charity auctions in the Waikato, in particular Hospice Waikato’s major annual fundraising event – the Hospice Waikato, Montana Food and Events, Bucket List Banquet.
Dale Lethbridge has been active in Hamilton’s environmental group Tui 2000 since being a founding member in 1989, particularly helping restore tui to the city and being active in the arts scene.
The award to Epilepsy Waikato Charitable Trust worker Maria Lowe reflects her long association with that organisation and her “unswerving” commitment to the needs of those with epilepsy in the region.
Don Oliver JP has been with the Salvation Army for more than 30 years, acting as Returned Services Association padre and chaplain during that time, as well as being a Combined Services chaplain. He has led the ANZAC Day dawn service and Hamilton City Council’s civic service.
Former paralympian Tiffiney Perry has dedicated more than 20 years to Parafed Waikato, a not for profit organisation supporting and promoting sports to people with physical disabilities and visual impairment. She has also been active on various community boards and has a passion to help the community.
Fred and Yvonne Phillips, described as behind the scenes heroes, have received a joint award for their long association and fundraising efforts with Hospice Waikato, Waikato Athletics and Hamilton Central Rotary.
Laurie Pilling MBE, a former New Zealand Defence Force Lieutenant Colonel who served in Malaysia and Vietnam, is being recognised for his military service and his contribution to tourism and printing. He has been closely involved with developing the relationship between Hamilton and Ieper in Belgium, an area where many Waikato soldiers served in World War One.
Since 2010, Rangimahora Reedy has been chief executive of the Rauawaawa Kaumatua Charitable Trust, leading the delivery of services to kaumatua and older Maaori in Hamilton. She is described as a hard-working and humble leader.
Western Community Centre Neil Tolan is heralded as a strong and compassionate community advocate. He has initiated many community projects, programmes and community events for children, young people and families.