50 YEARS IN SCOUTS
Bill’s volunteer of the month
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.
Bill Charnock is November’s Volunteer of the Month.