50 YEARS IN SCOUTS

Bill’s vol­un­teer of the month

Whanganui Midweek - - FRONT PAGE - By PAUL BROOKS

Next year, Bill Charnock will cel­e­brate 50 years in scout­ing, 40 of those as a vol­un­teer leader.

That, com­bined with his vol­un­teer­ing work for Harriers and foot­ball has earned him Vol­un­teer of the Month.

“Since we have the high­est vol­un­teer rate in New Zealand, we thought we’d make a ‘to-do’ about it and, each month, recog­nise some­one for their con­tri­bu­tion to vol­un­tary work,” says San­dra Rickey, man­ager of Vol­un­teer Whanganui.

She pre­sented Bill with a cer­tifi­cate, a vol­un­teer badge and a $40 voucher from Mud Ducks cafe.

In Bill’s 49 years in Scout­ing he worked through the ranks, as a Cub, a Scout, a Ven­turer Scout, be­fore tak­ing on lead­er­ship roles for the next 40 years.

Then there’s Harriers, the run­ning/walk­ing group of ded­i­cated foot­path pounders.

“I’ve been a mem­ber of Harriers for 13 years and I’ve been on the com­mit­tee for 11 of those years,” he says. “I had stopped play­ing foot­ball about five years pre­vi­ously and needed to do some­thing for my fit­ness.

“When I was work­ing at Tas­man Tan­ning, some­one put up a poster ad­ver­tis­ing the Three Bridges marathon.”

That’s an event or­gan­ised by Wan­ganui Harriers Club.

A friend talked him into hav­ing a go at the half marathon. They trained around the bridges, not re­al­is­ing two cir­cuits were re­quired.

“Our max­i­mum train­ing was about 10km. We rocked up on the morn­ing and did 21! “Once my feet had re­cov­ered I re­alised I quite en­joyed it.”

He joined not long af­ter­wards. These days he or­gan­ises events and still com­petes.

Be­fore Harriers he was in­volved in lo­cal foot­ball.

“I was team cap­tain/co­or­di­na­tor for Wan­ganui Ath­letic lo­cal league team and did that for about 15 years.”

He also used to drive for the Age Con­cern travel group, and once a month, he would take re­tired peo­ple for a drive, then take them to a cen­tral point for en­ter­tain­ment and af­ter­noon tea. He was also on the com­mit­tee.

Now he vol­un­teers for Scouts and Harriers and holds down a full-time job at the Whanganui Chron­i­cle.

“Scouts has been con­tin­u­ous since not long af­ter my eighth birth­day,” says Bill.

“I took to heart the Scout Prom­ise to help other peo­ple and I’ve al­ways lived by that.”

Bill is a zone leader for Cubs, cov­er­ing a wide area, mak­ing lots of vis­its to groups in the dis­trict.

PIC­TURE / PAUL BROOKS

Bill Charnock is Novem­ber’s Vol­un­teer of the Month.

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