Award recognises Waitara’s fix it man
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.’’
‘‘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.
Train guard and citizens award winner Jim Hook takes passengers between Waitara & Lepperton.