Topic: 2008 Hamilton Civic Awards

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In 2008 Civic Awards were presented to Brian L. Anderson, Graeme Henry, Paul John Kane, Dudley Lorimer, Seddon Polglase, Murray Savage, Sonja van Vliet, Barry Were, Trilby Joan Williams (Joan), Sun Jack Wong and Sue Wright, in December 2008, by Mayor Bob Simcock.

Brian L. Anderson

Brian has been a stalwart of Riverlea Theatre for many years. For the past ten years he has helped design and build sets for Musikmakers, Playbox, Stagecraft and the Riverlea Board.

He has a remarkable talent for set construction and he has taught many younger members of the Riverlea groups many skills in this area.

Before coming to Riverlea he had given a large part of his time to the performing arts in the Waikato, contributing his set building skills to Opera Waikato, to the Valerie Lisette School of Dance and many other organisations within the area.

Brian is well known in the Waikato for setting up theatre restaurants; in particular during the seventies and eighties with Andersons Restaurant, the only one of its kind in Hamilton; and later the Leftbank Restaurant and the Station at the University of Waikato.

In the past few years Brian has taken on the role of volunteer resident caretaker at Riverlea and now appears at the theatre everyday to do odd jobs. He is an integral figure around the theatre and the skill and knowledge he brings to the organisation is invaluable.

It is with the greatest pleasure that we give Brian a Civic Award today, he has dedicated his life to enriching theatre in the city and has passed on many of his skills and knowledge to ensure that theatre in Hamilton thrives.

Graeme Henry

Graeme has dedicated many years to various organisations in Hamilton, and has helped establish many of our longstanding city events and facilities.

He was involved with the Hamilton Conventions Bureau from the beginning helping to co-ordinate accommodation for major events such as the Fieldays. He was secretary and National President of the English-Speaking Union; . For seven years he was treasurer of the Hamilton Cosmopolitan Club. At the Hamilton East Rotary Club he served in a number of roles, including that of club president.

As inaugural Secretary to the Waikato Museum Society in the 1970's he was part of the group that led to the founding of the Waikato Museum. He was subsequently involved with the Hamilton Community Arts Council for a number of years.

Graeme has dedicated over twenty-three years to the Waikato Society of Arts (WSA). He was treasurer for seventeen year, responsible for the growing business of the Galleries, the art school and membership. For many years he was heavily involved in the Right Bank Arts Festival and then in later years coordinated the WSA's National Art Awards - the Summer Paint and Printmaking and Contemporary Art Awards.

Graeme also used his skills as an auditor for other charitable organisations in the city, over the years helping a number with their annual auditing requirements.

Graeme's receipt of other awards and several life memberships of organisations that he has worked with highlights the value of the work he has done throughout the city. He truly deserves the honour of the Civic Award bestowed on him here today.

Paul John Kane

The creation of the Trust Waikato Symphony Orchestra as it is today, consisting of 60 or more players, is largely due to the efforts of Paul Kane.

Paul is currently the General Manager of the Waikato Orchestral Society which is the parent organisation of the Trust Waikato Symphony Orchestra (TWSO). He has served the Orchestral Society in a number of roles on a continuous basis since 1970. He has played a major part in the survival and growth of the Society and to its contribution to the cultural life of this region.

Paul is dedicated to the development of the Orchestra. He is responsible for the management of the musicians, musical director, concerts, fundraising, finances, advertising and coordination of the volunteers who support him.

He has assisted the Orchestra become a cultural and community asset which provides opportunities for both budding and accomplished Hamilton musicians to be part of a fully fledged orchestra.

Despite the Orchestra having some difficult periods in the past, Paul's optimistic and positive contribution has enabled the organisation to continue and to progress.

Paul has devoted many years to the Orchestra - contributing much of his "spare" time to what is essentially a full time role; Paul also juggles his own career. In the main his contribution to the Orchestra has been without financial reward.

As one supporter says: "you will never see Paul Kane on stage or in the limelight, yet for the past fifteen years his quiet but determined efforts have been the backbone of the TWSO." Paul is a most deserving recipient of a Hamilton City Council Civic Award.

Dudley Lorimer

Dudley has worked for many organisations in Hamilton and, at the age of ninety-three, is still involved with many of them. A testament to Dudley's commitment to these organisations is Life Membership with several national and Hamilton based groups and societies.

A beekeeper, Dudley has served as President and Secretary of the Waikato Branch of the National Beekeeper's Association, and also spent many years on the National Executive for this organisation. He went on to Chair the Honey Marketing Authority.

Dudley has recently taken up delivering Meals on Wheels again, after a few months off. He is older than the majority of his clients and the oldest of all the drivers. An inspiration to those who work with Meals on Wheels, Dudley is seen as an exemplary driver.

Dudley joined the Hamilton Contract Bridge club in 2001. He is always one of the first to offer his services when needed - whether it be for fundraising, or fence mending.

He was an early member of the Hamilton Probus Club and is now an Honorary member having held most positions in the club.

Dudley has been President, Treasurer and Secretary of the Waikato Mounted Rifles and is now a Life Member having given up the role of secretary after twenty-three years. He recently guided the club through a transitional period and the organisation is going from strength to strength.

As one support letter for Dudley states: "I have known Dudley Lorimer for over six decades, He has always been a great and popular worker for the many clubs he has been involved with in Hamilton". In his ‘retirement' Dudley is still working for many of these organisations, and still helping others in Hamilton.

He truly deserves the Civic Award we bestow on him today.

Seddon Polglase

Seddon has worked tirelessly for over thirty years for the Waikato Hockey Association, filling many roles from school coach to his current roles of President of Waikato Hockey and Vice President of Hockey New Zealand.

While Seddon was teaching at Hillcrest High he spent many hours over and above his teaching load supporting students in extracurricular hockey activities and running tournaments for the Waikato Hockey Association in addition to the formal positions he held within the Association.

In his retirement he has devoted even more of his time to the Waikato Hockey Association, he is currently leading a strategic planning review within the Association which will lead to a major restructure. In addition he chairs the committee which is organising the Association's Centenary.

An active member of the Rotary Club of Fairfield he has been involved with a number of projects, particularly with selection of students for the New Zealand Science Schools.

Seddon is a past president and Life Member of the Waikato Orchestral Society Inc - a testament to his years of service and his significant contribution to this organisation.

Seddon's work over many years and his many roles in these organisations highlights his dedication and commitment to his community. He is a worthy recipient of the award we bestow on him today.

Murray Savage

Murray has given over 40 years of continuous service to athletics devoting many volunteer hours to coaching athletes to achieve their potential.

He is a Life Member of Frankton Athletic Club. Since joining in 1969 he has contributed tremendously to the development of athletics in Hamilton. He has held executive positions on the Athletic Club Committee and the Waikato Athletics Centre. He has been the centre selector for many years and managed Waikato teams to National Championships.

Over the past 40 years Murray has coached both able bodied athletes and those with disabilities. He has coached many athletes who have competed at Parafed Nationals, Paralympics and World Games. One of his athletes won a medal and set a world record at the World Games.

At present Murray coaches 10-15 athletes at club level and is the track coach for Waikato Diocesan School. His youngest athlete is an 11 year old with a disability and his oldest is a Masters Athlete.

Murray continues to adapt coaching techniques and styles to bring out the best in the athletes he coaches. He inspires his athletes to achieve success.

He is a dedicated, committed person, passionate about his sport and encouraging his athletes achieve their goals. He has contributed greatly to the Hamilton and Waikato athletics community and thoroughly deserves recognition for his service to athletics in our city.

Sonja van Vliet

Many children and young adults have benefited from Sonja's participation in activities throughout the city and her dedication to the committees she worked with.

She was Chairperson of Nawton Brownies and Girl Guides assisting with camps and jamborees along with the daily running of the organisation. A few years later, as Treasurer of the Te Rapa Air Scouts she assisted the successful campaign for a new Scout Building at the Air Force Base.

Sonja became involved in rowing in 1989, as a member of the Fraser High School Rowing Club Committee and later as a School representative on the Hamilton Rowing Club Committee. In 1992 she was appointed to the Waikato Bay of Plenty School Rowing Committee and was also a member of the judging team. She continued to be involved with the Fraser High School Rowing Club as Chairperson.

In 1997 Sonja was on the committee that organized the 50th Anniversary celebrations for the Maadi Cup. She became Treasurer of the Hamilton Rowing Club, and committee member of the Ferrybank Lounge committee, and subsequently the Waikato Bay of Plenty Secondary Schools representative on the Waikato Rowing Association Committee.

She has also found the time to officiate at many North Island and New Zealand Rowing Championships.

She is a Life Member of the Hamilton Rowing Club in recognition of her long service to the club.

A true unsung hero she is worthy of this Civic Award

Barry Were

Barry has been involved with Search and Rescue since 1976, including 18 years in the Waitomo Cave Rescue Group. In 1998 he and two other local men formed the Hamilton Search and Rescue Group (SAR).

Chairman for the first seven years, Barry ensured that the organisation started on a firm footing and has gone from strength to strength. In ten years the organisation has been involved with over one hundred searches with an impressive success rate in returning individuals to their loved ones.

Barry's vision, guidance, drive, technical expertise and wealth of experience has made Hamilton SAR one of the leading groups in the country. He has been a leading influence in shaping the national organisation, LandSAR NZ. Thanks to Barry's technical proficiency the Hamilton Group has an advantage over other groups. He is investigating exciting new technology for future use which will assist with searches and will undoubtedly save lives.

A few years ago Barry founded Youth Search and Rescue. Based on an American model, the primary goal of the group is to train young people so they are later able to join the Hamilton Search and Rescue Group. The twelve month training programme includes weeknight and weekend training, and Barry takes personal responsibility to ensure all sessions are run to a very high standard of training and safety. The development in attitudes, abilities, and confidence of the Youth Search and Rescue members has been commendable, Barry has put together a training programme and mentoring that is un-matched.

Barry's energy, knowledge, ability, wisdom and vast experience, which he willingly passes to others, makes him a truly deserving recipient of this award today.

Trilby Joan Williams (Joan)

Joan has worked quietly and persistently advocating on behalf of others, particularly those in Hamilton's refugee communities. She has given many hours of voluntary work to families through the Waikato Refugee Resettlement Society. Joan's ideal is for the newcomers to feel welcome in Hamilton, their new home. Joan often goes the extra mile to ensure this happens.

Joan's first task with a new family is to establish a home in houses provided. She has set up eighteen houses to date. There is often little funding so Joan calls on her networks to assist, often obtaining furniture and bedding needed to make the families home warm and welcoming.

Joan then ensures the family is able to find schools for their children, assists with shopping needs and enrolls families with doctors as well as helping them learn about Hamilton and their neighbourhood.

RMS supports the first six months of a family's resettlement but Joan has found that families need continued companionship and support so she stays in touch, and always tries to be available when called upon to help, showing initiative and consistent support for her families.

Often Joan helps the families with difficult situations and support in tough times. She has supported families facing the death of loved ones here, and in their home countries as well as helping to obtain urgent medical assistance. She has also assisted with reuniting families, making countless phone calls and writing letters on behalf of families.

It is easy to list the people that Joan has helped but it is much harder to express the impact one person has had on so many different individuals. A true measure of her commitment to our city is the many different families that continue to blossom with her help. Joan Williams is a worthy recipient of a Civic Award, in recognition of the outstanding service given to refugee newcomers to Hamilton City.

Sun Jack Wong

Dr Sun Jack Wong or Jack, as he his known to many, has been helping people in Hamilton for many years, both in his role as a general practitioner and as a contributor to his community.

Jack has worked for thirty-eight years as a GP. He has always been forward thinking, starting one of the first medical centres of its type in Hamilton - the Glenview Medical Centre. He is a very dedicated doctor.

However it is Jack's dedication and commitment to those in the community which have earned his recognition today. Over the years Jack has freely given his time to patients over and above his practice, as well as to school groups, sports teams and community organisations.

For many years Jack would go out of his way to visit patients out of hours to assist their families as needed before hospices came into being. He spent many hours after normal surgery counseling members of the community, in times when there were not many counseling and support facilities available.

Over the years Jack has freely given his time for sports teams to have medical checks, often seeing teams that were playing at a national level.

Local schools have benefited from Jack's community spirit - with several schools in the Melville area having presentations about physical development and other medical matters. Jack did not just confine his presentations to schools, other youth organisations benefited from his knowledge too.

Jack actively teaches and promotes health and wellbeing in the community He has shown his dedication and commitment for almost 40 years, he deserves public recognition of his work.

Sue Wright

In the fifty years that Sue has lived in Hamilton she has worked tirelessly for a number of organisations.

She was a committee member for the Hamilton East Plunket Committee, the Miropiko Kindergarten Committee, PTA and the local Scouts.

Sue became president of the English Speaking Union in Hamilton, hosting overseas visitors, and heading several fundraising campaigns.

She represented the Waikato on the Northern Regional Broadcasting Committee in the early 1970s, volunteered for the Cancer Society and has assisted PARS - the Prisoner's Rehabilitation Society - and the Women's Refuge.

After retiring Sue was able to take on more activities and in 2000 she offered to computerise the membership list for the Friend's of the Waikato Museum of Art & History. As a consequence of this work she became their Treasurer and Membership Secretary, a position she still holds. Sue plays a pivotal role in this organisation, implementing the plans of the Executive Committee, and often initiating many of the ideas that form the core of the activities and events.

Sue is generous with her time and is always ready to help people in need. She still works for the Cancer Society on Daffodil Day, the society's national fundraiser. She has been involved in Neighborhood Support for many years.

Sue has given thousands of hours to the people in Hamilton over many years, through many organisations. Her commitment to Hamilton, and its residents is worthy of recognition with this Civic Award today.

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