Long service to community
If you have boys, you can expect some cuts and scrapes. But Diane Martin was always kissing boo-boos and slapping on Band-Aids when her rambunctious rugby-playing sons Donald and Rodger were growing up.
Two gruesome incidents kickstarted her career path — one boy kicked the front glass door which resulted in some nasty cuts. The other son got his ankle caught in the spokes of a bike while being doubled.
Both resulted in a trip to Tauranga Hospital.
It occurred to Diane she didn’t really know what to do during those stressful accidents and felt helpless.
“So I was speaking to the superintendent of St John Ambulance about it and he suggested I do a first aid course.”
At the time, there was only one doctor in Katikati, she says.
So Diane decided to upskill from being a volunteer ambulance driver to becoming a paramedic. Her involvement with St John Ambulance was from 1977 to 1991. She also went on to be a secretary and superintendent in the adult and youth divisions.
It’s just one of the vocations and community service roles Diane has undertaken throughout her life and this year she has been awarded the Queen’s Service Medal for services to the community.
It was a total surprise to her. When she was first contacted by the organisers, Diane assumed it was a scam caller as she knew nothing about it.
Looking into it further, she found an email alerting her about the accomplishment in her junk folder.
Diane is still in the dark about who nominated her for the medal.
“I have no clue who it was. But thank you so much! I’m so flattered.”
Diane has lived in Katikati for 50 years with her husband Peter. They have three children (two boys and daughter Lorenda) and four grandchildren.
Thanks to her two boys, Diane was involved with the Katikati Rugby and Sports club for 22 years in various roles including secretary to the senior rugby club. She was club president and ladies patron in 2010.
She was also involved with Katikati Athletics Club and helped to organise the regional championships for young competitors.
Kids taking part and their enjoyment was more her focus, she says. “All the Bay of Plenty kids used to come home with a ribbon who had taken part rather than just the winner. The same with the rugby . . . if we had one team that was winning and the others weren’t we’d swap around a few players to make it so they didn’t lose by a lot and they enjoyed the game.”
Diane was also a Plunket committee member in Mananui, Kihikihi and Katikati for several years and served as Plunket president in Kihikihi and Katikati. She was part of the group that helped organise the centennial ball for Katikati in 1975.
Since retiring in 2012, she has been involved in numerous community initiatives including local archives, the heritage museum and Katikati Neighbourhood Support. She has volunteered at Katikati Police since 2012.
She’s held various positions with Katikati A&P Society and was the first woman to serve as president of Katikati RSA and Citizens Club.
Diane still runs Neighbourhood Support and emails 1500 households every week. She is also a Justice of the Peace.
I have no clue who it was. But thank you so much! I’m so flattered Diane Martin