Kiwi hu­mil­ity seen at awards

Stratford Press - - News - By BRYAN VICK­ERY

I in­ter­viewed mayor Neil Volzke re­cently about some of the pos­i­tive de­vel­op­ments in the district.

I was struck by his mod­esty and al­most “no-thrills” ap­proach to the may­oralty. In my opin­ion, he’s an ex­pe­ri­enced and most ef­fec­tive civic leader. Neil made a com­ment to the ef­fect, “That the Strat­ford District Coun­cil didn’t need to make the news, or win awards to prove they were do­ing a good job.” Yes, there’s some­thing to be said for quiet mod­esty and com­pe­tence.

As an ex­pa­tri­ate Aussie (who be­came a NZ cit­i­zen in 2007) I reckon that Aus­tralians are more di­rect than Ki­wis. We are also not backward in telling you how good we are. Un­sur­pris­ingly most Ki­wis ad­mire the ret­i­cent mod­esty and su­per achieve­ments of the late Sir Ed­mund Hil­lary and his mod­ern equiv­a­lent Richie Mc­Caw.

Speak­ing of mod­esty, that was ev­i­dent in spades at the Strat­ford Press Romeo Awards. It was a stun­ningly suc­cess­ful evening. I was amazed and be­mused though by the brevity (and al­most dis­com­fi­ture) of some of the win­ners’ speeches. Most of the win­ners de­flected the ku­dos with com­ments like, “Strat­ford is a great place to live and this award is re­ally a re­flec­tion on what an amaz­ing com­mu­nity we have.”

Ini­tially I thought this was ad­mirable, and il­lus­tra­tive of Cen­tral Taranaki mod­esty. How­ever, in ret­ro­spect, it would have been good to hear a lit­tle more from the win­ners. Be­cause af­ter all, they were nom­i­nated be­cause they of­fered out­stand­ing cus­tomer ser­vice.

How­ever, at the end of the day, it doesn’t re­ally mat­ter, be­cause the win­ners were de­servedly feted and por­trayed as re­tail rock­stars in the Strat­ford Press.

And as an aside, Win­ston Peters is uni­ver­sally re­garded as an out­stand­ing Min­is­ter of Rac­ing, how­ever, his com­mis­sioned re­port rec­om­mend­ing the sale of the Strat­ford Rac­ing Club, and a raft of oth­ers across the coun­try, in­clud­ing Haw­era, will surely gen­er­ate plenty of con­tro­versy and ac­ri­mony.

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