No spare moment for John and Ngawai
It doesn’t take much to motivate Jon Earley and Ngawai Richardson.
Whether teaching English to refugees or to being a cancer survivor and living life to the fullest, the Whitby pair are committed to everything they do.
‘‘For us it’s about giving something back to the community we live in. It’s just nice to see Porirua grow and know you have helped,’’ Earley said.
Richardson is a breast cancer survivor from Porirua, and for 25 years has been a member of the Zonta Club of Mana.
She was diagnosed with cancer 12 years ago, but has been going strong since.
She is a real estate agent at Tommy’s Real Estate in Mana and also paddles for the Cansurvive dragon boating team, which is made up of breast cancer survivors.
Before Earley retired about 19 years ago, he worked in sales and marketing, but more recently he has been helping teach English to refugees.
Earley volunteers for the New Zealand Police, and for his local neighbourhood support group, and is a driver for cancer patients.
Earley and Richardson spend countless long nights volunteering on their local neighbourhood watch.
‘‘You never do it for the reward. You do it because you enjoy helping people. It revitalises me,’’ Earley said.
The pair were presented with a Porirua 50th medal in honour of the city’s milestone birthday last year. They were acknowledged for their commitment to enhancing the lives of Porirua people through volunteer work.
Though Earley is originally from Dunedin and Richardson from the Hutt Valley, both soon fell in love with Porirua. They have lived here for more than 30 years.
‘‘There’s a sense of community pride and enjoyment of helping. It gives you something to do,’’ Earley said.
When asked what the recognition meant to them, both said it was unbelievable and out of the blue.
‘‘It’s nice to be proud of where you are from,’’ Richardson said.
‘‘We just wanted to do stuff for the community. We wanted to be involved.’’
Jon Earley and Ngawai Richardson were acknowledged for their commitment to volunteering around Porirua.