Achievements honoured, immortalised
The Oturehua, Blackstone Hill and Ida Valley district’s greatest sportsmen and women were recognised in a community gathering on Sunday.
About 200 people packed the Oturehua hall for the unveiling of a mahogany honours board celebrating past and present New Zealand sporting achievements from the past 125 years.
Among the 35 names on the board was New Zealand hockey player Brian Turner, champion New Zealand shearer Murray McSkimming, 85, and curler/ cricketer Stewart McKnight, 81.
The latter pair were the oldest surviving names to be added to the board and were a part of the unveiling.
Nine different sports were represented on the board including curling, ice-skating, ice hockey, cricket, field hockey, rugby, bowls, boxing, shearing and athletics.
Former Maniototo Area School principal and Otago cricketer David Hunter hosted the event with Turner’s brother Glenn Turner, a former New Zealand cricketer, the guest speaker.
The board was the two-year brainchild of Gilchrist’s Oturehua Store owner John Hellier who felt the district’s most prominent sporting figures should be immortalised for the community.
It was taken to the Oturehua Working Group committee and was met with a resounding: ’’Wow. This is a great idea’’, Hellier said.
He called the response from the community ‘‘overwhelming’’.
Committee member and coorganiser of the gathering Trevor Beck said the board honoured sporting greats who were born, lived and worked in the area and who represented New Zealand.
‘‘We’ve had such great help from people within the community,’’ he said.
Stewart McKnight, left, and Murray McSkimming at the unveiling of an honours board on Sunday at the Oturehua Hall.