Clive to bid farewell to community role
Clive Callow was destined to be involved in the community.
He says he inherited a ‘‘community service gene’’ from his mother’s side of the family, as well as a ‘‘helping gene’’.
The Community Trust of Mid and South Canterbury community relations manager will retire in January after six years in the position. Leaving the job will mark the end of a life-time’s work in the community, though Callow says he will still keep busy with various projects.
‘‘My wife [Doreen - a teacher] and I are both retiring,’’ Callow said. ‘‘We are both at the right age to retire and want to do our OE and we want to do it while we’re still physically able.’’
It has been a job he has enjoyed, he said. ‘‘It gives you a good feeling to help others.’’
The trust uses the returns from investments to fund its philanthropy and in its last financial year, $1.449m was donated to community organisations and their projects throughout the region.
Callow said he had applied for the job as it ‘‘suited me to a tee’’. His role, and that of chief executive officer Liz Shea, were created when the trust’s general manager John Wilson resigned in 2011.
Callow already had a strong involvement with the community as the club liaison officer for the Mid and South Canterbury rugby unions.
‘‘I was from Pleasant Point and from 1980 to 2002 was the high school guidance counsellor and a teacher. ‘‘I became part of the senior management team and was the deputy principal in the last year of the school.’’
The school closed in 2005 and it was this move, and his mother’s influence, to which Callow attributes his interest in photography.
Callow said the ‘‘digital photography revolution’’ took off in his last years at Pleasant Point High School. He decided to follow his mother’s lead and record the last year of the school.
‘‘I had already begun with family photography and then the kids bought me a digital camera when they first came out in 2003.’’
The camera then came in handy when his work moved to the rugby union liaison role. His photography skills became a necessary skill in his role with the community trust, as promotion of the trust, and working with the media had been big parts of the role, he said.
In the job he also managed applications from community organisations and had been required to ‘‘be out there in the community’’.
He said while the board made the final decision about where the funds were granted in the region, he had always enjoyed being part of community projects and seeing groups achieve, sometimes, major work.
‘‘There’s been some big recreational projects like CBay, and the Ashburton equivalent, which were major.’’ He said in recent times the trust had developed ‘‘closer relationships’’ with the Arowhenua and Hakatere maraes and the Te Aitarakihi Multicultural Centre.
‘‘There’s also a few organisations that we’ve encouraged the development of such as Volunteering Mid and South Canterbury and given funding to, towards the expansion of their services.’’
Callow did some mathematics before The Timaru Herald visited and said by the end of November, just over $8 million had been funded by the trust, that he’d had some involvement in the assessment of the applications.
Helping in the community was something he enjoyed long before his days with the trust, he said.
‘‘I was involved with getting the Pleasant Point squash courts up and running, and assisted with development at the Pleasant Point Rugby Club. ‘‘It’s about putting something there that will serve the community for many years hence. It’s somewhat of a legacy.’’
He said in his time with the trust, there had not been an increase in the number of fund applications. ‘‘When I first came here the amount being sought was double what the trust had available,’’ he said.
He said over time people had become better at researching more before they applied. This meant they had been making pitches which had been closer to what the trust could give out, he said.
Welfare groups were consistently looking for funding to pay field workers in the community, he said. He had also noticed an increase in the number of cultural groups which had developed over the past few years too.
He would not be taking life after retirement at a slower pace. ‘‘I won’t be standing still. I will still have my photography and involvement in other community things.’’
Community Trust of Mid and South Canterbury community relations manager Clive Callow is retiring in January.
Clive Callow is never far from a camera.