Com­mu­nity con­trib­u­tors recog­nised

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - By KRIS DANDO

‘‘It’s nice to be recog­nised but I’ll just go on, as usual’’.

John Wilce, from Mana, is proud of what he’s done in his 79 years – he has a wall in his lounge cov­ered in cer­tifi­cates – but that doesn’t mean he’ll gloat about it in pub­lic.

‘‘I try to hide some­times, you can get em­bar­rassed by it all.’’

Mr Wilce was one of five res­i­dents of Porirua and Tawa who re­ceived New Year hon­ours. He says he was ‘‘ ex­cited’’ to re­ceive no­ti­fi­ca­tion that he was awarded the Queen’s Ser­vice Medal for ser­vices to golf and the com­mu­nity, and has fielded plenty of con­grat­u­la­tory calls and emails.

His CV of ser­vice is long, of­ten in con­junc­tion with wife Judy, who died in 2010.

Mr Wilce has been a mem­ber of Mana Lions Club for 39 years and is a re­cip­i­ent of the club’s cov­eted Melvin Jones Fel­low award.

He or­gan­ises the Se­nior Ci­ti­zens Christ­mas Lunch and a num­ber of other projects for Lions.

His involvement with Judge­ford Golf Club, Mana Lit­tle The­atre, the Ea­gles Golf­ing So­ci­ety – through which he has helped young peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties play the sport – and the Child Can­cer Foun­da­tion have been con­tin­u­ous for decades. He shrugs his shoul­ders, how­ever.

‘‘I just en­joy help­ing and work- ing with peo­ple and be­ing part of the com­mu­nity.

‘‘ Ev­ery­one gets my share of at­ten­tion and I don’t in­tend to stop yet, I’ll just carry on.’’

Of his QSM, his only re­gret is that Judy was not here to en­joy it with him.

Also re­ceiv­ing QSMs were Shona Mur­ray and Gra­ham Goss, both from Tawa. Mrs Mur­ray, who re­ceived the hon­our for ser­vices to ed­u­ca­tion and mu­sic, taught at Tawa Col­lege from 1977 to 2011 and es­tab­lished the sub­urb as a strong cen­tre of mu­sic, par­tic­u­larly choir.

She was the driv­ing force be­hind the Tawa Schools and Com­mu­nity fes­ti­vals, held since 1979.

Mr Goss, mean­while, was in­volved with the es­tab­lish­ment of the New Zealand Fed­er­a­tion of Brevet Clubs. The clubs pro­vide fel­low­ship and wel­fare for those who served in air crew and their de­pen­dants af­ter World War II. He was also in­volved with the fundrais­ing and es­tab­lish­ment of mu­se­ums at the Ohakea and Wi­gram bases.

Turoa Royal, from Pare­mata, was made a Com­pan­ion of the New Zealand Or­der of Merit for ser­vices to ed­u­ca­tion.

He was foun­da­tion di­rec­tor of Whi­tireia Com­mu­nity Polytech and foun­da­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive of Te Wananga o Raukawa.

‘‘I’m hon­oured to re­ceive [the CNZM], peo­ple think I’ve done a good job and it’s a cul­mi­na­tion of a lot of things.

‘‘ I’m en­joy­ing my re­tire­ment now but I’m keep­ing very busy, I have a lot of en­ergy.’’

He has a book on the way and con­tin­ues to work with the World In­dige­nous Net­work Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Con­sor­tium, which is look­ing to es­tab­lish an on­line univer­sity.

Tua­nine Ro­bati was made an Of­fi­cer of the New Zealand Or­der of Merit for ser­vices to ed­u­ca­tion and the Pa­cific com­mu­nity. He has been in­volved in ed­u­ca­tion for 40 years and has contributed to the growth and main­te­nance of Cook Is­lands dance and cul­ture in Porirua.

A lec­turer at Whi­tireia, Mr Ro­bati chairs the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion Cook Is­lands Maori Lan­guage Cur­ricu­lum.

Hon­oured: John Wilce gets a round in once a week at his beloved Judge­ford Golf Club, but his com­mu­nity work of­ten draws his at­ten­tion else­where.

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