Tiger Town’s own out­stand­ing cit­i­zen

North Taranaki Midweek - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - CHRIS­TINE WALSH

New Ply­mouth’s Terry Parkes swears he’s no ’goody two shoes’.

One thing’s for cer­tain that when he is on a mission for a wor­thy cause he jumps in with both feet.

‘‘Not ev­ery­thing I do is won­der­ful. I’m known for say­ing the most in­ap­pro­pri­ate things at the most in­ap­pro­pri­ate times,’’ Parkes said.

Faux pas aside, Parkes was re­cently hon­oured for his out­stand­ing service to the com­mu­nity with a New Ply­mouth Dis­trict Coun­cil Cit­i­zen Award.

‘‘When you ac­cept it, you have been picked out amongst hun­dreds of de­serv­ing peo­ple. It doesn’t mean your much greater than them, it means you know peo­ple, who will know peo­ple, who will tell other peo­ple,’’ Parkes said.

The well known flam­boy­ant fig­ure is at the fore­front of pro­mot­ing the arts in the re­gion. He is in­volved in Art in Pub­lic Places, Taranaki Arts Fes­ti­val, Tropfest, Wo­mad, Govet­tBrew­ster Foun­da­tion and prom­i­nent fundrais­ing the for the Len Lye Cen­tre.

The hote­lier and restau­ran­teur has a rep­u­ta­tion for es­pous­ing the finer things in life, he says it’s his hum­ble be­gin­nings that in­stilled the ethos of do­ing and giv­ing. ’’I’m proud to say I’m from Tiger Town and was brought up in an area that wasn’t bathed in money.’’

He re­calls fondly his child­hood days where you had a milk run or pa­per run and the com­mu­nity spirit of giv­ing was strong, es­pe­cially when it came to fundrais­ing for his schools.

With his eclec­tic range of pas­sions and in­ter­ests, it’s hardly sur­pris­ing his service to the com­mu­nity was not limited to one sec­tor alone. His other ef­forts in­cluded, Lotteries Com­mis­sion, Gar­den Spec­tac­u­lar, and the Taranaki Health Foun­da­tion - to name a few.

Parkes has long walked his char­ity talk, with spon­sor­ship, sup­port, men­tor­ing, or hands-on muck­ing in. His lat­est mis­sions is to help raise money for the Taranaki Cathe­dral Project to strengthen, pre­serve and rein­vig­o­rate the 170-year-old stone build­ing.

While he prefers to be un­der the radar about his ef­forts, he had no qualms in ac­cept­ing his lat­est award if it helps to­wards the cause.

Vol­un­teers are the life-blood of our dis­trict, there are many ser­vices that would grind to a halt with­out them,’’ mayor Neil Holdom said.

ANDY JACKSON/ FAIR­FAX NZ

Terry Parkes poses for an ap­pro­pri­ately arty pho­to­graph.

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