Com­pas­sion for her com­mu­nity

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - REXINE HAWES

A Mata­mata woman, well known for giv­ing to her com­mu­nity has been awarded a Queen’s Ser­vice Medal.

San­dra Hunter, orig­i­nally from Scot­land, has been vol­un­teer­ing since she ar­rived in New Zealand with her hus­band Brian and three boys Richard, Stephen and Ross in 1972.

While the Queen’s Ser­vice Medal is a lovely way of be­ing recog­nised for ser­vices to her com­mu­nity, for Hunter, vol­un­teer­ing is not a job, but just be­ing who she is.

‘‘I grew up with a mum and grand­mother who were very much into jus­tice, equal­ity and help­ing peo­ple wher­ever you got the op­por­tu­nity.

‘‘I had been brought up with a ser­vant heart.

‘‘It’s just sat­is­fac­tion in feel­ing like I am do­ing what I should be do­ing.’’

Hunter, a for­mer edi­tor of the Mata­mata Chron­i­cle, has been sit­ting on the news of her medal since April.

She says the let­ter con­firm­ing the ac­co­lade was to­tally un­ex­pected and left her speech­less.

‘‘I in­stantly felt like a fraud be­cause Mata­mata’s built on a his­tory of vol­un­teers and ser­vice.

‘‘You just pick up and carry on.’’

Hunter’s in­tro­duc­tion to vol­un­teer­ing in New Zealand came a year af­ter ar­riv­ing in the coun­try.

She and Brian had set­tled in the North Shore.

Their twin boys were en­rolled at kindy for six weeks be­fore school started.

She was re­quired to stay with them at each ses­sion.

By the end of the six weeks, a teacher, who was also a Guide Leader had drafted her into the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

‘‘I had three boys, and had noth­ing to do with Guides what­so­ever, and sud­denly I am a Guide leader in Tor­bay,’’ she laughed.

‘‘I learned from that - wow, ev­ery­one vol­un­teers here.’’

When they made the move to Mata­mata in 1976, Hunter found the fa­mil­iar­ity in a small com­mu­nity that she had felt as a young child in Scot­land.

‘‘I had never felt such a well de­fined sense of com­mu­nity as when I was a lit­tle girl grow­ing up in a small vil­lage in Ayr­shire, Scot­land.

‘‘Every­body rolls their sleeves up and pitches in. It was in­ci­den­tal learn­ing.’’

It was while study­ing so­cial sci­ences through Massey Uni­ver­sity, that she be­came in­ter­ested in peo­ple and their dy­nam­ics.

San­dra Hunter.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.