Award recog­nises Waitara’s fix it man

North Taranaki Midweek - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - KRIS BOULT

Jim Hook likes to tin­ker.

In fact the Waitara man has been fix­ing things for peo­ple for most of his life and isn’t about to stop any time soon.

Hook’s work was recog­nised re­cently when he was one of nine peo­ple awarded a New Ply­mouth Dis­trict Coun­cil Cit­i­zens Award.

‘‘It was re­ally humbling that some­one has cared enough to put my name for­ward,’’ he said. ’’It was quite a big thing to re­ceive this award be­cause the Sav­age Club put me for­ward for it.’’

Hook has been in­volved with Sav­age Club across Taranaki for 45 years and is cur­rently the Waitara Sav­age Club vice-pres­i­dent and de­spite his many roles over the years is known as ‘the fix it man’.

He can also be found down at the Waitara Sal­va­tion Army fam­ily store where he helps pre­pare and sort out items for sale as well as fix­ing any bro­ken fur­ni­ture that may come in. ’’I used to pick up the fur­ni­ture in my truck long be­fore they had their own. Now they’ve got their own truck and some much younger peo­ple.’’ Hook said.

As if he wasn’t busy enough Hook is also the train guard at the Waitara Rail­way Preser­va­tion So­ci­ety that trav­els from Waitara to Lep­per­ton, a trip that takes an hour.

‘‘It was re­ally humbling that some­one has cared enough to put my name for­ward.’’

Jim Hook

‘‘I clip the tick­ets, look af­ter the pas­sen­gers and make sure ev­ery­one’s safe,’’ he said.

To help raise money for the Rail­way So­ci­ety, Hook runs a strip joint - a work­shop com­plete with ra­dio and tea maker, where he strips down old TVs, tele­phones and mi­crowaves for cop­per and other metal to sell.

Hook said the amount of money he got back from the time he put into strip­ping the old ap­pli­ances wasn’t great, but ev­ery lit­tle bit helped.

The train op­er­ates fort­nightly be­tween the months of Septem­ber and April on ev­ery first and third Sun­day and was in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar.

‘‘We had 60-odd the first week and about 75 the fol­low­ing,’’ Hook said.

Jim’s wife Pat said she was tremen­dously proud of the work Jim had done to help oth­ers over the years.

‘‘He’s not a man who stands out in the front, he’s usu­ally the out the back do­ing the work no one sees,’’ she said.

ANDY JACK­SON/FAIR­FAX NZ

Train guard and cit­i­zens award win­ner Jim Hook takes pas­sen­gers be­tween Waitara & Lep­per­ton.

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