Com­mit­ted to com­mu­nity

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - By NI­COLA STE­WART

A com­mit­ment to work­ing with peo­ple in a ca­reer span­ning more than four decades has cul­mi­nated in royal recog­ni­tion for a Mata­mata po­lice of­fi­cer.

Com­mu­nity con­sta­ble Bruce Milne was awarded the Queen’s Ser­vice Medal for ser­vices to the New Zealand Po­lice and the com­mu­nity as part of the New Year’s Hon­ours list.

‘‘I guess I was sur­prised but I was also hum­bled to be recog­nised not only for my time with the po­lice but also my involvement in the com­mu­nity,’’ he said.

Mr Milne was sworn in as a po­lice of­fi­cer in Welling­ton in 1969 and came to Mata­mata 10 years later.

He worked as a con­sta­ble on the front line for a fur­ther decade be­fore tak­ing up the po­si­tion of com­mu­nity con­sta­ble in 1989.

‘‘I en­joy the va­ri­ety the job of­fers and the con­tact with peo­ple,’’ said Mr Milne.

‘‘Even though it’s my po­si­tion, in a small town like this, I would con­sider ev­ery po­lice of­fi­cer a com­mu­nity con­sta­ble.

‘‘Be­cause of the size of the town and the type of work that we do, most of us are in­volved in ac­tiv­i­ties with sports or chil­dren – that’s a big part of polic­ing a small ru­ral town.’’

Over the years, Mr Milne has been in­volved in polic­ing projects such as the Safer Com­mu­ni­ties Coun­cil, Mata­mata Youth Club com­mit­tee and Blue Light Ven­ture.

He helped es­tab­lish Vic­tim Sup­port in Waikato and has acted as po­lice rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Mata­mata Pi­ako Vic­tim Sup­port for more than 20 years.

In this time, he has acted as both chair­man and sec­re­tary and in 2009 was awarded the Na­tional Merit Award for ser­vice to Vic­tim Sup­port.

He is proud of his involvement and of work­ing with such ded­i­cated vol­un­teers, he said.

Out of uni­form, Mr Milne has helped young rugby play­ers at the Corinthi­ans Rugby Club for close to 30 years.

He has served as pres­i­dent, sec­re­tary, se­lec­tor and com­mit­tee mem­ber, and was made a life mem­ber in 2006.

‘‘When I first got here I got in­volved in rugby and I found peo­ple were very friendly and sport ori­en­tated, which suited me,’’ he said.

Bowl­ing has also taken up a fair amount of his spare time, with 28 years of mem­ber­ship at the Hin­uera Bowl­ing Club.

Again, he has acted as pres­i­dent, sec­re­tary, se­lec­tor and com­mit­tee mem­ber at the club, as well as win­ning 17 Waikato ti­tles.

His bowl­ing skills have seen him rep­re­sent Waikato, the New Zealand Po­lice and the New Zealand Com­bined Forces.

Af­ter 34 years, Mr Milne said Mata­mata was very much home to him and his wife Bron­wyn.

‘‘It’s not too big and it’s not too small – it’s just right.’’

Hum­bled: Se­nior Con­sta­ble Bruce Milne was awarded The Queen’s Ser­vice Medal for ser­vices to the New Zealand Po­lice and the com­mu­nity.

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