Volunteers’ work crucial
It is the hard work of volunteers that keeps many of Auckland’s clubs, museums and organisations afloat.
Next week New Zealand will celebrate National Volunteer Week to recognise people who give up their time to make a difference to their communities.
For Ross Goldsworthy and Toby Hutton next week will be like any other.
They were recognised at the Waitemata Local Board’s Good Citizens Awards as one of Motat’s longest-serving and youngest volunteers, respectively.
Mr Goldsworthy has been keeping the wheels turning at the museum for more than 45 years, welcoming visitors, hosting exhibitions and driving classic military vehicles.
The 81-year-old was presented with an outstanding individual award this month for his years of service.
Volunteers don’t do it for the recognition, Mr Goldsworthy says.
‘‘You do it because you get some elderly chap who rode in one of the old vehicles and you let them have a ride and they’re living a dream they’ve had, reliving an affair from long ago.
‘‘Making them so happy – that’s great, it’s always nice to see smiling faces.’’
He was joined in Motat’s military section five years ago by Mr Hutton, an enthusiastic young territorial soldier who would become a key part of its military restoration team.
The 25-year-old was presented with a youth award for his regular service.
Fellow Motat volunteer Leyton Chan was also recognised for his nine years volunteering as the principal professional engineer for the museum’s Western Springs Tramway.
Mr Hutton says there is no greater feeling than opening the museum’s shed and seeing the collection.
‘‘Knowing that generations before me have gone out and collected this equipment, and it’s great to be carrying that around and hopefully one day there will be someone else to continue it on.’’
Visitors of all ages are fascinated by the collections.
Both insist they have no plans to retire from their voluntary posts any time soon.
Motat director Michael Frawley says volunteers are the backbone of the museum.
‘‘They’re fantastic. They bring such a huge variety of skills and it’s not just the work they put in but the knowledge they can pass on to visitors. The museum couldn’t do what it does without them.’’
Hard working: Ross Goldsworthy and Toby Hutton represent both the long-serving and new generation of volunteers who keep things running smoothly at Motat.