Recog­nis­ing our lo­cal he­roes

Stratford Press - - News -

Ev­ery­day peo­ple do­ing ex­cep­tional things were the toast of the town last Thurs­day night as Taranaki hon­oured its very own “Lo­cal He­roes” at the an­nual Ki­wibank Lo­cal Hero Awards.

As part of the 2019 New Zealan­der of the Year Awards, the 23 Ki­wibank Lo­cal He­roes were pre­sented with medals to recog­nise their achieve­ments at a cer­e­mony at Devon Ho­tel.

New Ply­mouth Deputy Mayor Richard Jor­dan pre­sented the medals and con­grat­u­lated the re­cip­i­ents on their awards.

“Our re­gion’s 23 lo­cal he­roes demon­strate the acts of char­ity, com­mit­ment and self­less­ness which is what holds a com­mu­nity to­gether. Many of th­ese in­di­vid­u­als are in­spir­ing mem­bers of our com­mu­nity who have all uniquely touched the lives of oth­ers.

“The awards con­tinue to be the per­fect op­por­tu­nity for our com­mu­nity to ac­knowl­edge th­ese peo­ple and their ef­forts in mak­ing Taranaki a bet­ter place to live,” he said.

Start­ford res­i­dents Kerry Mramor and Allister Thomas were among those hon­oured on the night.

Both Kerry and Allister re­ceived Start­ford Cit­i­zens Awards ear­lier this year.

Allister’s lo­cal hero award was to recog­nise his in­volve­ment in Taranaki hockey for most of his life as a player, coach, um­pire and ad­min­is­tra­tor.

He has coached at all lev­els of the game for more than 25 years and has trained and men­tored other um­pires. He is also chair­man of the Taranaki Hockey Fed­er­a­tion board.

Kerry was recog­nised for more than 30 years of com­mu­nity work which be­gan when she was a board mem­ber at St Joseph’s School in Strat­ford. She has been in­volved with many com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions, in­clud­ing St Vin­cent De Paul, Strat­ford Food­bank and the Strat­ford Ta­ble Ten­nis Club.

Kerry has also been an ac­tive mem­ber of the Catholic Church, or­gan­is­ing so­cial gath­er­ings for the el­derly.

Mary Ti­pler of Eltham was recog­nised as well. She was in­volved with Rawhitiroa Women’s Di­vi­sion for three decades, sup­port­ing young moth­ers. She has also helped run the Rawhitiroa Swim­ming Club and fundraised for Rawhitiroa Pri­mary School.

Mary has also vol­un­teered with many or­gan­i­sa­tions, in­clud­ing giv­ing 50 years’ ser­vice to Fitzroy Catholic Church as well as teach­ing flo­ral art and judg­ing com­pe­ti­tions for the Taranaki Flo­ral Art Club.

Now in its 10th year, the Ki­wibank Lo­cal Hero Awards are New Zealand’s premier com­mu­nity awards, cel­e­brat­ing and hon­our­ing those who have made a pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tion to their re­gion, town, sub­urb or com­mu­nity.

This year, 322 medals will be pre­sented na­tion­wide with one New Zealand Lo­cal Hero of the Year win­ner an­nounced at the New Zealan­der of the Year Awards Gala in Fe­bru­ary next year.

Ki­wibank CEO Steve Jurkovich said the Lo­cal Hero awards al­ways held a spe­cial place in the hearts of the bank’s staff.

“Th­ese medal re­cip­i­ents are the un­sung he­roes whose self­less­ness, op­ti­mism and com­mit­ment has had a pro­found ef­fect on the lives of so many in the com­mu­nity. Yet in the rush of day-to-day lives, we can some­times for­get to prop­erly ac­knowl­edge just how spe­cial th­ese peo­ple are.

“That’s why we have the Lo­cal He­roes awards — it’s the com­mu­nity’s way of hon­our­ing and say­ing thanks to th­ese fine peo­ple.”

■ The Ki­wibank Lo­cal He­roes for Taranaki were:

Suzy Allen (New Ply­mouth); Teri Ta­mati (Waitara); Li­onel Shaw (Haw­era); Allister Thomas (Strat­ford); Robyn Watkins (New Ply­mouth); Dar­rin West (In­gle­wood); Karen Schu­macher (In­gle­wood); Bob Schu­macher (In­gle­wood); Grant Roger Downes (In­gle­wood); David Leask (New Ply­mouth); Bruce Find­lay (Waitara); Lor­raine Wil­liamson (Opunake); John Rust (New Ply­mouth); Rex Gyde (In­gle­wood); Melva Gyde (In­gle­wood); Mar­garet McCall (New Ply­mouth); Michelle Ra­m­age (New Ply­mouth); Paul Rus­sell (New Ply­mouth); Joy Rus­sell (New Ply­mouth); Mary Ti­pler (Eltham); Kerry Mramor (Strat­ford); Al­i­son Cole (New Ply­mouth); Pereni Belle Tupe (Waitara).

Back row L to R: Deputy mayor Richard Jor­dan, Robyn Watkins, Li­onel Shaw, Allister Thomas, Rachel West (Col­lected on be­half of Dar­rin West), Grant Downes, John Rust, Rex Gyde. Mid­dle row L to R: Teri Ta­mati, Suzt Allen, Joy Rus­sell, Paul Rus­sell, Michelle Ra­m­age, David Leask, Neil Phillips (col­lected on be­half of Karen and Bob Schu­macher), Al­i­son Cole, Lor­raine Wil­liamson, Bruce Find­lay, Steve Jurkovich (CEO Ki­wibank). Front row L to R: Kerry Mramor, Pereni Belle Tupe, Melva Gyde, Mary Ti­pler, Mar­garet McCall

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