Recognition for Southlanders

SOUTHLANDERS of all ages and walks of life were honoured in ceremonies in the lead›up to Christmas.
As part of the 2016 New Zea› lander of the Year Awards, nine Southland Kiwibank Local Heroes were presented with specially made medals.
Southland District Mayor Gary Tong presented the medals and congratulated the recipients.
‘‘These fine people embody the qualities that have long held our community together. Their charity, selflessness and generosity have touched upon the lives of so many and make our community a better place to live,’’ he said.
This year, 292 medals were pre› sented nationwide. One person will be named the national local hero at the New Zealander of the Year Awards gala function next month.
Kiwibank chief executive Paul Brock said Kiwibank was proud to have supported local communities in celebrating their outstanding citizens during the past seven years.
‘‘The Local Hero Awards are very special. They recognise good people in our communities — people whose sacrifice, optimism, and commitment make others bet› ter off.’’
The Southland recipients were Neil Wyeth (Invercargill), for services to business and community organisations; Jenny Insall (Inver› cargill), for services to Plunket, parents and children; Stephen Jones (Invercargill), for services to young people, community organisa› tions and the New Zealand Flag Consideration Panel; Mary Gilbert (Invercargill), for establishing and operating the Southland Random Acts of Kindness group; Mike and Maree Horgan (Winton), for their commitment to staff on their dairy farms; Lois Heads (Edendale), for her tireless voluntary work with many Edendale organisations; Tony McDonald (Tuatapere), a volunteer ambulance officer; and Pam Yorke (Wyndham), for services to farming and the com› munity.
Southland District Council Com› munity Spirit Award
A willingness to go the extra mile for their community led to two Aparima College pupils being named winners of the 2015 Com› munity Spirit Award.
Chloe Gorton and Jacob Brown were the first›ever joint winners of the award, given by the Southland District Council to celebrate young people who have had a positive impact on their communities.
Mr Tong said choosing last year’s winner from seven nominations was especially difficult.
‘‘The calibre… was exceptional. Chloe and Jacob really embody the qualities our award represents.
‘‘Each of them was nominated for their willingness to go above and beyond for others, and Riverton is all the better for their efforts.’’
Both are active in school, com› munity, young enterprise and sports activities in Riverton. Jacob also represented Aparima College on the Students Against Dangerous Driving national executive last year, while Chloe recently helped fund› raise for a shelter at the Riverton skate park.
Presbyterian Support Long Ser› vice Awards
With 30 years’ service, Resth› aven staff member Barbara Living› stone was the longest serving of 36 staff whose contribution was acknowledged recently.
Others recognised for 10 or more years’ service were Lyn Valoajack (Vickery Court, 25 years), Daphne Stonach (Walms› ley House, 20 years), Janice Turner (Vickery, 20 years), Carolyn Evans (Vickery, 20 years), Peter Wards (central office, 20 years), Dorothea Hawkins (Peacehaven, 20 years), Felicidad Ricketts (Resthaven, 10 years), Robyn Campbell (Peacehaven, 10 years), Patricia Officer (Resthaven, 10 years), Yvonne Lunns (Vickery, 10 years), Scott Morrissey (Resthaven, 10 years), Julie Cooper (Iona and Peacehaven, 10 years), Amelia Rarere (Resthaven, 10 years), and Amy Kelly (Peacehaven, 10 years).