Culture & Events

Freedom of City for former mayors and social services champion

Two former mayors and a champion of social justice initiatives have been awarded Hamilton’s highest civic honour, the award of Freedom Holder of the City.

The former mayors, David Braithwaite and Russ Rimmington, have both made significant contributions to political and business life in Hamilton over the decades, while Anglican Action director Karen Morrison-Hume’s award reflects her leadership role in that organisation, and in various social justice and social services initiatives.

The awards, confirmed at a recent meeting of Hamilton City Council, pay a very high tribute to three people who had provided the city with a huge amount of service, says Mayor Andrew King.

“David Braithwaite and Russ Rimmington have both played very significant political roles.

“David has also made a huge contribution to Hamilton’s business community over 50 years and been a major donor to and supporter of the Hamilton Gardens. Russ has also made a big contribution to business over 40 years, including being a founding member of the Agricultural Fieldays, and was twice Deputy Mayor and a city councillor for 10 years.”

Karen Morrison-Hume, meanwhile, has been an active Anglican Action leader for 20 years and was instrumental in creating Te Ara Hou social services village in Hamilton.

“Her efforts have helped make an impact on the lives of many who have needed support over the years,” says Mayor King.

“It’s a real pleasure to have been part of honouring this trio’s fantastic work on behalf of Hamiltonians and the wider region.”

A Freedom Holder of the City Award is an honorary title.

The City Honours Policy states:

    • The award of Freedom Holder of the City is the highest civic honour bestowed by the city. Freedom Holders are rare awards given to people who have made a significant and sustained contribution to the city. The Award recognises the recipients as stewards of the city and as people of special note.
    • Nominees for the awards must have made a significant contribution to the city for more than 20 years.
    • This civic honour is bestowed upon an individual for their lifetime.
    • There is no limit to the number of people recognised as Freedom Holders of the city. Worthy nominees are identified and assessed on a case by case basis.



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