Committed to community
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.