Topic: 2006 Hamilton Civic Awards

Topic type:

In 2006 Civic Awards were presented to Simon Acarapi, Maurice Boswell, Robin Cuff, Dorothy Jeans, Des Meads, Barbara Redfern, Alwyn Seeley, John Gordon Thorn, Joan M Travaglia, Michael W Tuck, Joyce Williams, Elsa Pauline Wood and Louise Willis, on December 13 2006, by Mayor Michael Redman.

 Civic Award Citation

SimÓn Acarapi
People & Well-being

SimÓn has made significant voluntary contributions over the past twenty-seven years which have enriched the city and benefited many people. Since moving from his native Bolivia to Hamilton in 1977, SimÓn has provided many opportunities for Hispanic migrants to express and celebrate their culture, and to share it with the local community.

SimÓn co founded the Hamilton Hispano-Latin cultural group in 1978 and was its chairperson for approximately fifteen years. In 2005 Simon re-established the Hispano-Latin cultural group as an Incorporated Society, and began developing opportunities to make Hamilton people more aware of the various Hispanic groups within their midst. The club represents all of the cultures of Central and South America, Spain and her colonies.

For twenty seven years SimÓn has organised the Spanish community's participation in a variety of city events such as Christmas parades, Indigo festivals. He has organised Spanish cabarets often providing costumes from within his own family. And he has been heavily involved in the annual Ethnic Soccer Festival.

SimÓn has coordinated Spring Festivals for the past three years, turning them into fabulous cultural extravaganzas, involving Hispanic people from all over the world.

Since his settlement in Hamilton he has assisted many Hispanic immigrants to obtain work permits and residency. Many will recall the social occasions SimÓn has organised so that new migrants could meet and learn from others who had been through the same experiences.

He has worked with the Waikato Museum on several occasions, often acting as a spokesman for the Hispano- Latin Society. He taught Spanish night classes through The University of Waikato Continuing Education Department and ran free Spanish classes for children. He also led the design and construction of the Hispanic Garden at the Hamilton Gardens in 1990.

SimÓn has done all of this, and more, with a determination and a passion for his culture that has inspired those around him. He is committed to bringing together the Hispanic community as well as sharing with the wider community.

As one submission says - it is easy to list a person's involvement in clubs and events. It is much harder to express the impact one person can have on so many different individuals over twenty five years. We truly believe SimÓn deserves the recognition of a Civic Award.


Michael Redman
Mayor
13 December 2006


Civic Award Citation

Maurice Boswell
People & Well-being, Environment

For fifty four years Maurice has worked to make Hamilton City an attractive and exciting place to live and work. His tireless efforts in several roles within the city have benefited the whole community.

Maurice was a board member of Jaycees for four years from 1952 and in that role he attended the original public meeting at which the Hamilton Civic Trust was formed. The Trust was formed to give Hamilton Citizens a chance to have a say in the workings of their own city. Maurice has worked for thirty seven years to uphold the objectives the Trust set out in 1969.

Through good times and bad Maurice has worked tirelessly to keep the Trust's presence strong in the city.

Maurice's interest in his city and the community did not stop with the Civic Trust. During his time with the Jaycees he was awarded a J.C.I Senatorship for his outstanding service. He was a Hamilton City Councillor for nine years and has been involved with the Friends of China Society and the New Zealand Japan Friendship Society, holding the position of president in this organisation for four years. Maurice is a member of Friends of the Gardens and he qualified as a Hamilton Gardens Tour guide in 1993. He was also a trustee on the Japanese Garden Trust.

He has been a strong supporter of the arts and events in Hamilton being involved with the Waikato promotions society, Hamilton's Centenary Committee and the Hamilton Operatic Society.

It is with great pleasure we acknowledge the many years of service that Maurice Boswell has given to the community and support his presentation of a Civic Award.


Michael Redman
Mayor

13 December 2006

Civic Award Citation

Robin Cuff
Art & Culture

Through his work with WSA Robin Cuff has made a very significant contribution to the arts in Hamilton. During his many years of service he has been President and a member of the committee on several occasions.

For the last two years Robin has shared the Presidency of WSA with Joan Travaglia. Robin and Joan took over at short notice, during a difficult and turbulent period. They brought stability and calm to the management of the WSA.

Having responsibility for the management of Artspost Shop and Community Galleries, they have often filled in when there was no one available by working themselves. They provided support for - and trained - staff and volunteers, managed the galleries and shop, the Art school and the societies' affairs, often working full time.

Robin has always had the diverse needs of the members of the society utmost in his mind. When the membership voted to hand back the management of Artspost galleries to the City Council Robin spent a huge number of hours liaising with artists and City Council staff, to ensure there was a smooth handover of the galleries and shop. When the WSA moved out of Artspost over Christmas, Joan and Robin did the bulk of the work, and did not take a summer holiday break.

Robin has dedicated several years of his life to the WSA. He has shown a great deal of concern about the future of the society, and its welfare has been uppermost in his mind. Although no longer managing Artspost, the WSA Management Committee continue to meet each Friday, usually for at least 4 hours to discuss the affairs of the WSA.

Robin Cuff is to be commended for the extraordinary work he has done for arts and culture in Hamilton. He is committed to keeping the WSA, community based and open for all - our community is much richer for all that he has given.


Michael Redman
Mayor

13 December 2006

Civic Award Citation

Dorothy Jeans
People & Well-being

Dorothy has been a volunteer of the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Cancer Society for nine years. Her main role has been as a Coordinator for Daffodil Day, one of the Society's main fundraising activities. More recently the Cancer Society has successfully introduced a second community fundraising event - Relay for Life. Dorothy has taken on a key volunteer role in the information tent - answering participant and guest queries, locating tent sites selling merchandise, and assisting the Event Manager and staff as needed.

Dorothy's contribution to the Society and the community over these years has been very significant with many thousands of dollars being raised from her various fundraising efforts. The services of the Cancer Society rely greatly on the fundraising efforts of volunteers like Dorothy and they are fortunate to have her services.

For a number of years Dorothy and her husband Wallace were volunteer drivers for the Cancer Society - driving patients to and from their treatments at Waikato Hospital. Dorothy also assists with annual fundraising appeals which take place each year. This can entail folding over eight thousand newsletters twice in each year.

Dorothy is also involved with fundraising and volunteer assistance for other organisations. For fifty years she has collected for the RSA's annual Poppy Day appeal. She is a volunteer for the Care and Craft Centre in Forest Lake, where she drives members to and from meetings, helps prepare for functions and events at the centre and provides preserves and items for "sales tables" for fundraising.

Dorothy has contributed to her community, without expecting anything in return. A real unsung hero, she truly deserves this recognition.

 
Michael Redman
Mayor

13 December 2006

 Civic Award Citation

Des Meads
People & Well-being, Sport

Des arrived in Hamilton in 1974 and has been an active member of the community ever since, making an extraordinary contribution to our city.

Des has been involved with sports administration for over thirty years. He has been the chairman of the Waikato Hockey Charitable trust since its inception in 1989. In this role his focus has been the development and maintenance of the world class hockey facility in Hamilton known as the Gallagher Hockey centre.

He was the driving force behind getting artificial turfs laid and getting the pavilion and other facilities built. His contacts, financial expertise, drive and passion have produced a world class facility which is very heavily used.

Several Organisations have recognised Des' contribution to hockey. Des is a Life member of both Fraser Tech Hockey Club and Waikato Hockey Association and in 1992 was named Waikato Sport Administrator of the year. And in 1995 he was awarded the highly prestigious "Pakistan Trophy" by Hockey New Zealand.

Des' has also made a contribution to general sporting administration through his participation with other codes in regional forums.

But Des' contribution has not been limited to sport. As treasurer of the Waikato New Caledonian Society, Des was influential in helping the Society purchase their property in High Street. He served five years as a trustee for Volunteering Waikato, as well as twelve years on the board of the Hillary Commission/Hamilton City Council Funds Allocation Committee.

A Rotarian for nearly thirty years Des has held all offices within the club, many of them more than once. He was club President 1989/90. He organised the equipment for the Top Team competition; he assisted with awarding the Colin Reese Memorial Plumbing Scholarship; and has been a prime mover for the Rotary Seats around the Hamilton Lake project. Earlier this year Hamilton Rotary Club awarded Des the Paul Harris Award for Services to Club and Community.

Des is a true contributor to his community, and is a worthy recipient of a Civic Award

Michael Redman
Mayor

13 December 2006

Civic Award Citation

Barbara Redfern
People & Well-being

Barbara has made an extraordinary difference within our city. For twenty seven years Barbara has been a leader in the resettlement of refugees. Today she is known as "Mother" to many migrant families.

This Civic Award is recognising her long service to the community and its new settlers.

When Barbara began her work, the Inter-church Commission on Migrant and Refugee Resettlement in New Zealand had just started to settle refugees from the conflicts in Southeast Asia, such as the boat people from Cambodia and Vietnam. Before becoming the regional coordinator for RMS, Barbara worked voluntarily for twenty years helping refugees settle in Hamilton

She has helped settle over four thousand people. She has been an active participant in research into resettling migrants, and worked with several organisations to assist with their research.

In 1997 Barbara formed the Waikato Refugees Resettlement Society to care for migrants who she felt needed more ongoing support than was otherwise available. This society, registered at her own residence, provides on going support for refugees and assistance for all aspects of relocation to New Zealand, anything from assistance with becoming a New Zealand Citizen to a quiet cup of tea and a chance to talk.

The Society has taken up much of her life. She is on call for assistance twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. Barbara and her husband Doug, often use their own financial resources to support the families they work with.

While Barbara officially retires from her role with RMS at the end of the year the Waikato Refugees Resettlement Society will still be operating from Barbara and Doug's home.

Barbara is held in very high regard by many communities. She has an incredible commitment to people and has managed to create positive things for some of the most vulnerable people in our community. She is a worthy recipient of the Civic Award, which are proud to bestow upon her today.

Michael Redman
Mayor

13 December 2006

Civic Award Citation

Alwyn Seeley
Environment

Dr Seeley has made a physical contribution to the city - with the donation of a two hectare, almost fully restored gully.

Alwyn purchased the property in the 1950's, initially grazing the land but he soon decided to indulge his passion for tress. For over thirty years Alwyn planted and maintained his land and today there are several species of mature natives throughout the gully.

In 1997 Alwyn approached Hamilton City Council with the thought of gifting the Gully to the city for the community to make use of and enjoy. After legal process had been followed the deed officially transferred in July 2004.

Today Seeley's Gully is utilised for recreation by city residents and visitors. There is now a local "care" group - members of the community control weeds and maintain tracks, paths and bridges.

The gully is also a great teaching resource for the local schools and community groups - schools are working with Hamilton City Council on restoration and maintenance of gully systems.

Alwyn has shown the way for the redevelopment of the cities gullies through the work he has done transforming his own gully. As part of a small group, he helped the Hamilton City Council with publishing their own "Gully Restoration Guide" designed to assist others with restoration.

Alwyn still continues to give his time to school groups, residents undertaking gully restorations and the casual visitor, taking them on impromptu, inspiring and interesting tours throughout the gully.

Dr Seeley has been a great inspiration to many in the city and he has made and extraordinary contribution to the community. It is with great pleasure we present him with a Civic Award today.

Michael Redman
Mayor

13 December 2006

Civic Award Citation

John Gordon Thorn
People & Well-being

John has taken number of leadership roles in the city over a very long time.

John has been a Rotarian for forty years. He has been a club president, has served on all club committees, has participated in numerous community projects and has been involved in raising large amounts money for charity. Earlier this year Hamilton East Rotary Club awarded John the Paul Harris Award for Services to Club and Community.

In 1962 John founded the Waikato Chrysanthemum Society and he has been on its executive since. He is a past president of both the Waikato and National Chrysanthemum Societies, and his contribution has been recognised by a life membership.

John was a founder of the Hamilton Gardens building Trust, and from there a founding member of the Friends of the Hamilton Gardens. John organised the original annual Garden World public open days at the Gardens. He is an active volunteer and is known by his peers as a ‘behind the scenes' worker who is always prepared to tackle difficult tasks.

John has been a Justice of the Peace for fifty eight years, is the third longest serving JP in New Zealand. He was a founding member and fundraiser for the Maungtautari Ecological Island Trust and the Hamilton Zoo Trust.

He has had a strong interest in rugby in the city. He coached junior players for twenty years, and was president of the Matangi-Hillcrest Club and the Waikato Rugby Union.

It is with great pleasure we acknowledge the Service that John Thorn has given to the community and support his presentation of a Civic Award.

Michael Redman
Mayor

13 December 2006

Civic Award Citation

Joan M Travaglia
Art & Culture

Through her work with the Waikato Society of the Arts, Joan Travaglia has made an extraordinary contribution to the arts in Hamilton City.

Joan is a long standing and active member of the WSA, having been a tutor at the WSA arts school for more than twenty two years. She has tutored in clay sculpture and more recently in printmaking. As a tutor she has a special ability to meet the diverse needs of the people in her class, whether they are a total novice, a recreational artist, or a professional artist.

She set up the WSA Art school print room, equipping it to make printmaking a positive experience for students.

During the past two years Joan has shared the presidency of the WSA with Robin Cuff. Having responsibility for the management of Artspost Shop and Community Galleries, they have often filled in when there was no one available by working themselves. They provided support for - and trained - staff and volunteers, managed the galleries and shop, the Art school and the societies' affairs, often working full time.

When the WSA moved out of Artspost over Christmas, Joan and Robin did the bulk of the work, and did not take a summer holiday break.
Joan has dedicated many hours to the WSA, over twenty two years. She has shown a great deal of commitment to the future of the society, and its welfare has been uppermost in her mind.

Joan has never asked for thanks and always thinks of others and their needs, which makes her a true "unsung" hero who deserves this Civic Award.

Michael Redman
Mayor

13 December 2006

Civic Award Citation

Michael W Tuck
People & Well-being

Michael began his community service at a young age. Soon after leaving school he served on the Junior Road safety Council and from the age of eighteen to forty was an active member of Jaycees.

He has been a member of the committee of the Waikato Motor Trade Association for twenty five years. He has been its president for three years, and served on its apprenticeship committee for five years.

He has been a member of the New Zealand Craftsman's Trading Foundation for twenty five years and its chairman for twenty years, Michael helped the organisation to promote excellence in industry and develop pride in craftsmanship. Michael was himself a recipient of a Foundation award in 1965/66 which enabled him to train for a year in Australia.

For twenty years he has assisted trade training as a member of the Advisory Committee of the Waikato Institute of Technology. In this role he has interviewed automotive training applicants at secondary schools throughout the Waikato area.

For five years Michael has served as Vice President of the New Zealand branch of the Institute of Australian Mechanical Engineers and as the chairman of the local Waikato branch.

His Rotary service has been extensive. He was a club president in the 1996/97 and has been a driving force behind several Rotary projects. He is currently a coordinator of a driver education programme, which helps people to gain a licence. This is the first educational success for some participants. The programme gives these people increased self esteem while at the same time making our roads safer.

Michael is also the organiser of the Fieldays Society Information Volunteers, which demands an extensive time commitment, particularly prior to and during the annual event.

He is a member of the Rotary District Science School Committee which screens Secondary School aged applicants for the Waikato Summer Science School. And he is the Central north Island District coordinator of applications for the Genesis Auckland Science School, a position he has held for four years.

Michael also supports the University of Waikato Student Union elections, which involves manning polling stations daily and counting the votes and delivering the results.

Over the past two years he has been a member of the Kiwi night watch patrol and in conjunction with the Police is setting up a new area of patrol for the Hamilton East/Hillcrest district.

It is with great pleasure we present Mr Michael Tuck with a Civic Award today.

Michael Redman
Mayor

13 December 2006

Civic Award Citation

Joyce Williams
People & Well-being

Joyce has worked continuously in the community for the past thirty years. She has assisted many agencies and organisations, and people from all walks of life.

Joyce always thinks of others.

She has volunteered for Nga Whare Awhina Charitable Trust, an organisation that provides accommodation, rehabilitation and support for people that suffer with a mental health illness. Joyce transports people to functions and events, encourages clients to participate in community activities, and helps with shopping for people who have difficulty shopping for themselves.

She has been a leader among the Kirikiriroa Maori Wardens for many years. The wardens who have worked with her have all treasured her teaching, learning to do the duties of a Warden with dignity, respect and honesty. Through her duties as a Warden she has patrolled our City's streets, and coordinated Maori Warden's presence at local regional and national events.

Joyce has strong ties with Community Centres in the City and shows a tremendous commitment and dedication for the betterment of people. She is always willing to help out.

Described as a "godsend to the community," Joyce is a worthy and deserving recipient of this Civic Award.

Michael Redman
Mayor

13 December 2006

Civic Award Citation

Elsa Pauline Wood
People & Well-being

Elsa's service to the community began over forty years ago. Her work has benefited children and parents throughout New Zealand, and we are still benefiting from her dedication today.

Elsa has been a mainstay of the Hamilton Parents Centre, a voluntary organisation whose mission states that they support informed parenting in a community where parents are supported and highly valued. Elsa joined the committee of Hamilton Parent Centre in 1960. She was elected president in 1962 and sat on the committee for a further fifteen years. Elsa is currently the Patron of the Hamilton Parents Centre.

Until 1980 Elsa was a convenor for the Federation of NZ Parents (now Parent Centres New Zealand). In her role as the National Convenor for Welfare of Children in Separation she travelled extensively throughout New Zealand where she addressed many organisations, and held television and press interviews on the disadvantages of children being separated from their mothers during hospitalisation.

Elsa was elected to the Waikato Hospital Board and served as the Chairman of the Waikato Hospital Committee from 1979 -80. After receiving grants to do research in Canada and the USA she was able to introduce new processes to care for sick children and parents in Hospital.

Elsa was instrumental in advocating the establishment of the Mothercraft Unit at the Waikato Hospital, the first of its kind in New Zealand. Elsa worked with the Hamilton Parents Centre to raise awareness and funds t support the Unit. The Mothercraft Unit continues to operate today and is an important facility in the Waikato for mothers and babies.

Elsa also researched mother baby attachment issues, and in 1982 she organised the first human milk bank for New Zealand, based at Waikato Women's Hospital. This was used to provide breast milk for premature and sick babies.

Today Elsa is still helping her community - she works for the food bank as a volunteer and is involved with Mainly Music, who hold music classes for pre-schoolers.

Elsa has pent most of her life dedicated to serving the mothers and children of Hamilton and New Zealand. She deserves to be recognised for her contribution to this city.

Michael Redman
Mayor

13 December 2006

Civic Award Citation

Louise Willis
Art & Culture

Louise has worked tirelessly for the Riverlea Theatre for many years.

Louise has travelled from Huntly to open and operate the theatre five days a week every week for almost twenty years.

She has taken full responsibility taking bookings, organising repairs and maintenance, working within the wardrobe, and dealing with visitors who pop in on a daily basis. She is often found in the cooler of the bar unpacking supplies ready for a show or doing a stock take, or with a paint brush in her hand helping paint sets. It is not uncommon to see her at the theatre into the wee small hours "just making sure everything is ready" for that next play or musical.

Louise has been the president of the Riverlea Management Board for the past four years and in this role has worked very closely with the Hamilton City Council to negotiate the gifting of the theatre from Council.

Louise was the head of the committee that organised the Concert in the Gardens. This concert was initiated originally by the Riverlea Theatre and Louise stayed on the Hamilton Gardens Committee for seven years as the Riverlea Board's representative.

Louise has made an extraordinary contribution to the Riverlea Theatre and o Hamilton's theatre community. She is a worthy recipient of this Civic Award.

Michael Redman
Mayor

13 December 2006

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