Community volunteers acknowledged
Five people received Palmerston North’s highest accolade last week.
Stewart Collis, Ian Gray, Jenny Mair, Margaret May and Isabelle Poff-Pencole were recognised in the Convention Centre with Civic Awards for what mayor Grant Smith said were ‘‘extraordinary contributions to the city’’.
Collis had devoted much of his life to serving the farming community, establishing the Feilding Rural Trading Society, now Farmlands, and serving on its board for 12 years.
His work with the Manawatu Hearing Association contributed to hearing loss eventually being recognised as a disability.
A member of the Manawatu Historic Vehicle Collection Trust, Collis contributes at the Coach House Museum in various volunteer roles.
A life member of the the Manawatu Masters Cycling Club, Gray has dedicated more than 50 years to cycling.
He established the first open Novice Tour of Manawatu as a national event, helped rejuvenate the Feilding velodrome, has coached many representative riders and is writing a history of cycle racing in Manawatu
Mair has contributed to the Manawatu Scottish Society for more than 40 years, to the Pipes and Drums of Palmerston North and Districts and to the Manawatu Orchid Society. The Jenny Mair Highland Square Day has grown to be the second largest pipe band contest in the country, and Mair is also the primary organiser of the annual Colin Craig Claidheamh’mor Invitational Solo Piping Competition.
A founder of Across Social Services, which provides social work, counselling, and foster care services, May has served as its board member, and is now chair of the Manawatu Community Housing Trust providing homes for up to 50 people. She has served on the Globe Theatre Trust board since 2011 and is currently its secretary.
Poff-Pencole has dedicated 20 years to growing the local Alliance Fran«aise into a thriving French language and cultural centre. She has helped make the delivery of translation and inter- preting services in New Zealand more professional, making it easier for minority groups to access government services, and also setting up free literary classes for French-speaking refugees from the Congo.
The City’s Civic Awards have been celebrated since 1988.
Civic Award winners, top row, Ian Gray, Margaret May and Jenny Mair. Bottom row, Isabelle Poff-Pencole and Stewart Collis.