Topic: 2004 Hamilton Civic Awards

Topic type:

In 2004 Civic Awards were presented to Mr Abdirizak Abdi, Mrs Bev Allen, Mrs Margaret Arthur, Mr John Bailey, Mr Frederick Copeman, Ms Imelda Corby, Mrs Margaret Galloway, Mrs Margaret Hellen, Mr Ronald Jensen, Mrs Lena O’Neil, Mr Graham Pallesen, Mrs Dorothy Thomas, Miss Betty Ward, and Mr Peter Way.

Civic Award Citation

Name: Mr Abdirizak Abdi

Nominated For: People & Well-being, Education, Sport

Abdirizak Abdi arrived in NZ in 1993 as part of a 38 strong intake of Somali refugees, the first Somali to be resettled in NZ as part of the NZ Government's Annual Refugee Quota. The group comprised only women and children and two single young men, one of whom was Abdirizak. Having recently arrived in NZ from refugee camps in Kenya and from war-torn Somalia and its 1991 Civil War, these newcomers needed total care and commitment as they settled into New Zealand's way of life and assimilated NZ habits and customs.

Abdirizak was the person who came forward at that early stage and offered support and advocacy to his own people. Abdirizak became a spokesperson and leader of the Somali Community and later founder and President of the present Somali Friendship Society (the first Somali community organisation of its kind in the country).

He has continued his support for refugee integration into the Hamilton and Waikato scene being involved with youth activities, soccer and sporting ventures both in Hamilton and Christchurch. Abdirizak has directed Somali youth live-in camps at Coromandel and Raglan with RMS Refugee Resettlement for several years. Currently he is directing a much needed learning and computer based program for secondary school refugee youth.

As the RMS Cross-Cultural worker from 1997 - 2001, he attended and trained at RMS staff conferences in Auckland and Wellington where he has given valuable support. During his term with RMS, Abdirizak gained a Bachelor of Social Science, majoring in Economics and Geography, with emphasis on refugees and migration studies. He completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Management for Not for Profit Organisations in 2002 and gained his Masters Degree in 2003.

He has worked with RMS in providing support and friendship to newcomers during initial and on-going resettlement. His work has helped not only his own Somali people but many refugees who have arrived in Hamilton needing support in beginning their lives anew, preparing for the future, reclaiming their dignity and rebuilding their own sense of security.

Abdirizak has supported all of these services (and many more) without expecting any personal gain, financial gain or status from them. He has carried out these services while juggling work, family and study. This is why he is being honoured today, for his outstanding contribution to the welfare of the Somali community in Hamilton, and also for his relentless effort to promote and represent the Somalis in the wider community.

Michael Redman
M A Y O R

Dated this 10th Day of December 2004

Civic Award Citation

Name: Mrs Bev Allen

Nominated For: Art & Culture

The first time Bev made costumes was exactly 40 years ago for a production of ‘The Taming of the Shrew' for Cambridge Repertory. Bev has created wardrobe for various organisations and companies, most significantly Musikmakers and Opera Waikato, in most instances as Head of Wardrobe.

As well as wardrobe, Bev has taken on other responsibilities within theatre companies eg: front of house. But wardrobe has stood out and has been highly regarded. She has, over the decades, been in considerable demand to do this work.

Bev is an extremely talented, hard working volunteer. Whenever an extra helping hand is needed Bev is always there. Her good humour is an asset to any theatre company. Now in her 70's, commitment to and involvement with Hamilton theatre remains strong.

Bev has been involved in various other organisations over the years. She has been a member and committee member for many years of the Hamilton Jazz Society. She has recently begun work with Friends at Court. And she periodically puts time in assisting with Friends of the Gardens and organisations such as Save the Children.

Bev's dedication to her community is well demonstrated and she is very much worthy of this honour today.

Michael Redman
M A Y O R

Dated this 10th Day of December 2004

Civic Award Citation

Name: Mrs Margaret Arthur

Nominated For: People & Well-being

Margaret began her guiding leadership roles in 1975 as an enthusiastic Hamilton Brownie Leader. This enthusiasm has continued throughout her 28 years of service in roles that have included Guide Leader, District and Division Commissioner, Camp Recorder, Assistant Regional Coordinator and Resource Team Coordinator.

Margaret is actively involved in training Guiding leaders. Her presentations are well organised, fun and informative. Margaret is always ready and willing to share her incredible knowledge and experience that enhances the development of leaders by providing a flexible approach, equal opportunities, progressive development, team work, service to the community, feeling of belonging and appreciation of nature.

Margaret is a trained nurse working in Dinsdale. She also organises Guiding lifesaving, resuscitation and first aid trainings.

Guides Waikato is privileged by the support and commitment that Margaret puts into Guiding. We believe her long and special service to Guiding, that benefits not only Hamilton but also the Waikato, deserves this special recognition here today.

Michael Redman
M A Y O R

Dated this 10th Day of December 2004

Civic Award Citation

Name: Mr John Bailey

Nominated For: People & Well-being

Alfred John Bailey (known as John) commenced his volunteer work with Care & Craft as a driver in 1986. This involved collecting guests who had no transport and returning them to their residences after meetings. A short time later he also became a helper to many guests on various craft and therapy tables eg: cane weaving etc.

His help with organising outings and keeping an eye on wheelchair maintenance was much appreciated.

John was also a very capable MC at their Christmas parties, always joining in the little skits that they put on to amuse the guests. They loved to see them make fools of themselves.

John is also a founding member of The Probus Club of Te Rapa and has been awarded Life Membership for being an active member over the past 13 years.

In 2003 John shifted into the Hilda Ross Retirement Complex and it was with regret he had to curtail his volunteer work which has covered a period of 15 years.

A tireless worker over many years for Care & Craft and well deserving of this Civic Award.

Michael Redman
M A Y O R

Dated this 10th Day of December 2004

Civic Award Citation

Name: Mr Frederick Copeman

Nominated For: Sport

Fred became an official for Frankton Athletic Club in 1965 and during that year attended a NZAAA school for coaches. He gained passes in several Track & Field events. He worked within the club as an official and administrator, coached a North Island Secondary School Champion and was awarded a Life Membership after 25 years of work.

Fred has also become an official for the Waikato AAA and in 1974 officiated at the Commonwealth Games in Christchurch. He was appointed as AAA Centre Supervising Officer, and his duties were to train athletic officials. This entailed lecturing and examining club officials in the area. He was appointed the Starter for Waikato Track and Field Athletes, a position he held for 15 years.

During Fred's lifetime he has trained on the Waikato Hospital Radio Station where he became Station Manager and was awarded a Gold Disc Award for 13 years service to the station. He was also Treasurer/Ringside Announcer and Timekeeper for the Waikato Boxing Association and was appointed Ringside Announcer for the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland.

Fred has competed in the Veterans, now the Masters Track & Field Athletics. He was Treasurer for the Waikato Association for 11 years and has been awarded Life Membership of the Association.

Fred has been more than a willing volunteer for our sport and we consider him to be a very worthy recipient of a Civic Award.

Michael Redman
M A Y O R

Dated this 10th Day of December 2004

Civic Award Citation

Name: Ms Imelda Corby

Nominated For: People & Well-being

Imelda is a Social Worker with a long history of involvement in Community Health, particularly in areas of Mental Health, most often associated with Elder Care.

As such, she was the President of Alzheimers Waikato for the period 1994 - 1997 inclusive. During this time, Imelda worked most effectively to have the Society recognised, to oversee and provide governance for staff, to promote better understanding and to de-stigmatise the perception of Alzheimers within the community.

Imelda has been tireless in her advocacy of the services offered at Alzheimers Waikato. She is still an active member and advisor to staff, provides practical assistance within the office and acts as a consultant to the existing Committee.

Imelda has served the Waikato community with distinction through both her professional and voluntary work. She is a very capable and compassionate person who has given freely of her time, energy and considerable talents to numerous community organisations. Some of these organisations are: Lifeline Waikato, Head Injury Society (Waikato) Inc, Citizens Advice Bureau, Workplace Support, NZ Christian Social Services, Elder Care and Protection, Age Concern and Hamilton CAB.

Imelda is a very worthy recipient of such acknowledgement here today.

Michael Redman
M A Y O R

Dated this 10th Day of December 2004

Civic Award Citation

Name: Mrs Margaret Galloway

Nominated For: People & Well-being

Margaret has been a devoted volunteer worker in the Presbyterian Support Shop since it opened on the 16th April 1984. Her tasks have been to sort, price and organise donated goods. This she has carried out as a devoted worker, day in and day out, for the past 20 years. She is a very dedicated and tireless worker. Although the working day ends at 5.00pm, Margaret often takes home clothing to be washed and made presentable for sale. The high standard of goods in the shop can be attributed to Margaret's care and all customers have always left very satisfied. Regularly she takes the trouble to sort out the older items which may be of some value and takes them to Auckland in hope of receiving a better price for them.

Saturday mornings see Margaret doing the rounds of sales in Hamilton hoping to pick up bargains, then she has a stall at the Frankton Market from which the Support Shop and Scots Church benefit.

Margaret also does considerable work for her church (Scots Presbyterian Church). She has been involved with the community for over forty years. She has supported women's groups in the parish and served as an elder for over ten years. She coordinates the church emergency fund which ensures that monies from the congregation are channeled to those in need in our community with a regular amount going towards the Hamilton Churches Foodbank.

Margaret has enhanced the life of many through her work and is therefore is worthy of this recognition for the sterling community work she has given.

Michael Redman
M A Y O R

Dated this 10th Day of December 2004

Civic Award Citation

Name: Mrs Margaret Hellen

Nominated For: People & Well-being

Margaret joined Waikato Diabetes Society Inc, when she herself was diagnosed as a diabetic. Three years later she became a committee member.

Margaret has served the Society well and given of her time freely in all areas of the Society. She has manned stalls at Health & Agriculture days, helped put together and print the monthly newsletter and has also been one of the volunteers that helped run the office.

As a Not for Profit Society, funds are gained through subscriptions, grants and fundraising. Margaret has helped out with Christmas Raffles and has been the Treasurer of the Society for 9 years.

Margaret has helped out with camps for the youth arranged by the Diabetic Clinic at the Hospital and has attended National Conferences and Support Groups.

Margaret has also been involved in a number of other community organisations such as Waikato Magic Circle, Waikato Irish Club Inc, Catholic Woman's League, Waikato Toast Mistress Club and Waikato Good Companions Dancing Club.

All of her life she has given to the city of Hamilton. With the added health issues that come with being a diabetic, she still serves this community. Her service is tireless and she is a very valuable member of our community.

Michael Redman
M A Y O R

Dated this 10th Day of December 2004

Civic Award Citation

Name: Mr Ronald Jensen

Nominated For: Sport

Ron Jensen became involved in rowing when he organised a Dinner/Fundraising Auction in 1984 to assist the New Zealand Rowing Squad to the Los Angeles Olympics. The NZ Rowing team was desperately short of funds and was facing the prospect of not being able to compete at the Olympics. Ron emerged from the woodwork and single handedly engineered a fundraising drive that contributed over $50,000 to the rowers and made their fine performances in Los Angeles possible.

Shortly after this venture he became involved with the Waikato Rowing Club and has been a member for the last twenty years including eighteen years as Club Secretary. Some of Ron's roles with the Club include: organising and facilitating meetings, developing and updating Strategic and Business Plans, prepare and present fundraising proposals, organise and run club functions and fundraising events and purchasing of rowing equipment. Ron has been an outstanding ‘doer' and plays such an important role for this organisation.

Subsequently, Ron has been the primary motivator behind a host of other fundraising efforts to ensure the financial viability of rowing as a sport in the Waikato and in New Zealand.

All his efforts are too numerous to list but examples include running a series of seminars in the Waikato for business people on topics such as ‘How to thrive on stress' and ‘The Psychology of Selling'.

Ron uses a low key, almost unassuming, approach in his business transactions. He does, however, get results in the highest order.

He is thorough in his written documentation and meticulous in his attention to detail. He is a shrewd judge of character and has the ‘happy knack' of being able to get the best out of people at all levels.

These characteristics combined with his knowledge of the business community at large have enabled Ron to successfully engineer a wide range of activities that have been for the good of the New Zealand sports community.

Michael Redman
M A Y O R

Dated this 10th Day of December 2004

Civic Award Citation

Name: Mrs Lena O'Neil

Nominated For: People & Well-being

Lena (known as Biddy) started her family in Te Aroha. Whilst there she started the Knitting Guild, and would herself knit loads of clothing for the people living at the Marae. The Marae would send a horse and sledge into Biddy's house loaded with Kumara and would swap them for all the knitted garments. Biddy would then distribute the Kumara to those in need.

Biddy has always had a very large vegetable garden full of healthy veges, and she distributes them out amongst the community to those in need.

Biddy moved to Hamilton and joined the NZ Red Cross Chartwell Branch, some 30 years ago.

Whilst being involved with the Red Cross, Biddy has volunteered to help out with the following:

• Red Cross Chartwell Knitting Group, buying the wool herself and distributing the items to the elderly in Rest Homes, newborn babies and those in need in the community.
• Organised dozens of Christmas luncheons for people who are on their own at Christmas.
• Driven hundreds of people who have no transport, to hospital appointments.
• Worked with Somali Refugees since 1990, teaching them English, giving Sewing lessons and driving them to Hamilton events to ensure they have social interaction.
• Organised public displays of Red Cross involvement with Land Mines.
• Delivered Meals on Wheels every week, throughout Hamilton for 20 years.
• Helped out at the Red Cross Shop at Five Cross Roads.
• Red Cross Annual Appeal Collections will always see Biddy pounding the pavements of Chartwell and knocking on every door in her allocated area. Last year she did this five evenings during the week of the Appeal - unknowingly with Pneumonia.
• Biddy was hugely involved in the Red Cross Special Appeal for Rwanda in which $4 million dollars was raised.

Time is so precious to many people today, Biddy will always make time to help anyone in need, whether they be in need of food, clothing, bedding or transport etc.

Biddy is always cheerful, reliable and honest, and hundreds of people in this community have benefited from all projects she has been involved with.

Biddy O'Neill is a huge asset to the City of Hamilton.

Michael Redman
M A Y O R

Dated this 10th Day of December 2004

Civic Award Citation

Name: Mr Graham Pallesen

Nominated For: People & Well-being

Graham Pallesen is involved with a wide range of organisations within the Hamilton area.

He willingly gives his time to people within the community to assist those who need it.

Graham underwent triple bypass heart surgery in recent years, and within weeks was back volunteering, even though he was unable to drive at that time.

His support to the Hamilton community includes the following:

Te Awhina Blind Craft and Social Centre
Royal NZ Foundation of the Blind
Hamilton Community Committee
Cancer Society
Grey Power
City Council of Elders
Hamilton Safer Communities
Hukanui Bible Church

Graham is committed, enthusiastic and a valuable volunteer. He works tirelessly within the community, not for monetary gain, but for the benefit of others.

Graham so richly deserves this civic award for all of his years of being one of our great unsung heroes.

Michael Redman
M A Y O R

Dated this 10th Day of December 2004

Civic Award Citation

Name: Mrs Dorothy Thomas

Nominated For: People & Well-being

Mrs Dorothy Thomas joined the Waikato Historical Society in 1976 and was immediately actively involved in restoring Hockin House, which became the society's headquarters.

In 1996, the society was looking for a new Treasurer and Dorothy agreed to fill this role. She has held the Treasurer's position for a continuous period of nine years. Also, she was elected Second Vice President in 2002 and has held this position to date in conjunction with being Treasurer.

There have been numerous unofficial positions that Dorothy has fulfilled over the years. She has helped with the catering at various functions, been a volunteer in fundraising activities such as open days and garage sales and has willingly provided transport for members who would otherwise be unable to attend meetings.

Dorothy has been an invaluable member of the Waikato Historical Society and has continued to work beyond the call of duty. She has done sterling work in a completely voluntary capacity. The society honoured her with the Freedom of Hockin House in 2000 and it made her an Honorary Life Member in 2001.

Dorothy has also been a Treasurer and Secretary for the Hamilton Happiness Club. She works hard in helping out in many ways to keep the money coming in which is all given away each year to many organisations who need their help - the aim being "to help those in need".

Dorothy has also been an active member in many other community organisations and is very much deserving of this Civic Award today.

Michael Redman
M A Y O R

Dated this 10th Day of December 2004

Civic Award Citation

Name: Miss Betty Ward

Nominated For: People & Well-being

Betty is involved in many worthwhile activities in the Hamilton community and I shall outline them briefly.

Newstape - From the time of inception of Newstape Trust Inc in January 1994, Betty has been a tireless and conscientious volunteer. During this time she has been on the executive committee as coordinator, volunteer staff recruiter, organiser of social activities, has been called up to give talks to Community Groups and outline how Newstape works, senior reader of the news item for the blind listeners, and has contributed with her own poetry readings and researched and produced programmes on "Historical Hamilton - Buildings & Walks". This voluntary organisation provides on a weekly basis a 60 minute audio tape of local news and events etc for our blind listeners, producing in excess of 200 tapes each Thursday.

Probus Club of Glenview - Betty Ward has been a member of this club for the past six years. She has served on the committee (and still does) and served one term as President. Betty is indeed a very valuable member of this club and has a great talent for getting senior people involved in some sort of activity and it is always fun.

Beerescourt Bowling Club - Betty joined this bowling club in 1985, went onto the committee and was made President from 1988-1990. She produced the club newsletter, was made Club Captain, introduced Mahjong to the club and took charge of the entertainment for club functions.

Continuing Education Group - Hamilton (formally known as the 60 plus group) - Betty was involved with the establishment of this group and has served as a Chairperson and has worked on the Continuity Committee.

Betty's contribution to the welfare and well-being of so many, particularly to the blind over many years, is most worthy of this recognition here today.

Michael Redman
M A Y O R

Dated this 10th Day of December 2004

Civic Award Citation

Name: Mr Peter Way

Nominated For: Sport

Peter is a long standing member of the Melville Rugby Club dating back to 1982 when he first coached the Junior Boys 10th Grade. Throughout his 20 years with the Melville Rugby Club, Peter has spent 8 years coaching, 2 years as Manager, has been a committee member on both the Senior Management and Executive Committees for 19 consecutive years, has been the clubs Delegate to the Hamilton Rugby Union and the Council of Clubs for 7 years, 3 years as Club Captain and 12 years as Groundsman. Peter currently holds the positions of Club Groundsman, Senior Management Committee member, Executive Committee member and Chairman of Hamilton Rugby Union.

Peter has been extensively involved in all aspects of the club and was made a life member in 1992. The Melville Rugby Club and Waikato Club Rugby in general have both benefited greatly from the contribution that Peter has made by being a "doer" and not just a "talker".

Peter's long term dedication to this sport is clearly shown here today.

Michael Redman
M A Y O R

Dated this 10th Day of December 2004

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