Un­sung he­roes hon­oured by coun­cil

Feilding-Rangitikei Herald - - Our District News - SAM KILMIS­TER

Four ‘‘un­sung he­roes’’ have been recog­nised for their life­time of com­mu­nity ser­vice in a cer­e­mony at the Manawatu¯ District Coun­cil.

Sally Reed, Ann Wil­liamson and Bill and Mar­ion Ab­biss join 96 other district res­i­dents who are per­ma­nently etched into the hon­ours board in the coun­cil build­ing’s foyer.

The awards were ini­ti­ated in 1991 and recog­nise sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions to the com­mu­nity.

Manawatu¯ mayor He­len Wor­boys said vol­un­teer­ing was the so­cial fab­ric that brought peo­ple to­gether.

‘‘It’s at the heart of any suc­cess­ful com­mu­nity. Vol­un­teers are not paid, they give their time freely and are our un­sung he­roes.

‘‘It mo­ti­vates us to get to know our neigh­bour, gives us con­fi­dence to en­gage with peo­ple of dif­fer­ent walks of life, dif­fer­ent cul­tures, dif­fer­ent in­come brack­ets and dif­fer­ent be­liefs.

‘‘As I work around our district I see the qual­ity of com­mu­nity com­mit­tees, com­mu­nity projects, events, or­gan­i­sa­tions, clubs and fundrais­ing ef­forts. I am hum­bled by the mod­esty, energy, en­thu­si­asm and achieve­ments of our un­sung he­roes.’’

They re­ceive a framed hon­ours cer­tifi­cate, sil­ver coun­cil logo pin and have their name en­graved on the coun­cil’s hon­ours board.

Reed said she worked to get things done. She lived in Glen O¯ roua for donkey’s years and is known for her ded­i­ca­tion to the Glen O¯ roua Coun­try Women’s In­sti­tute, Te Kawau Play­cen­tre, Glen O¯ roua Coun­try Women’s In­sti­tute Choir and the lo­cal scout bri­gade.

Bill and Mar­ion Ab­biss are an iconic duo in Hal­combe. Bill’s farm­ing prac­tices at Sil­ver­ton have be­come the sub­ject of in­ter­na­tional re­search - he ap­plied ro­ta­tional graz­ing long be­fore it be­came a recog­nised method.

He had a long in­volve­ment with lo­cal govern­ment, hav­ing been a coun­cil­lor on the O¯ roua County Coun­cil for sev­eral years and was the cre­ator of the pop­u­lar Bill’s Walk, which treks from his farm in Hal­combe to the clock tower in Feild­ing for St John.

Wil­liamson has been the ve­hi­cle be­hind the Manawatu¯ Ru­ral Sup­port Ser­vices, hav­ing ded­i­cated 10 years to iso­lated and re­mote fam­i­lies in the district.

She joined the Manch­ester House board in 2012 and trained as a vol­un­teer tu­tor for Lit­er­acy Feild­ing. The Feild­ing-Rangitikei Her­ald will pro­file each vol­un­teer in the com­ing weeks.

PHOTO: PAUL STEIN/ SUP­PLIED

Four res­i­dents have re­ceived Manawatu¯ District Coun­cil com­mu­nity hon­ours awards. From left, Bill and Mar­ion Ab­biss, Sally Reed and Ann Wil­liamson.

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