|Not a member? Sign up now!|
Ten long-standing role models have received Citizens’ Awards from New Plymouth District Council.
The recipients each have worked for several years for the betterment of their communities, which Mayor Harry Duynhoven says is a wonderful example for young and old alike.
“These award-winners show how individuals can make an enormous difference through selfless community work,” says the Mayor.
“Their commitment and generosity over many years have benefitted innumerable people throughout the district, and I’m very proud that we’re able to give them the public commendation that they deserve.”
The recipients of the Citizens’ Awards 2012 are:
Don Bennett (New Plymouth)
Don is a highly valued member of the Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind, New Plymouth, and is their longest-standing member, having completed 26 years of service from 1986 to the present. He has also been a member of the Tainui Home Trust Board, helped Fitzroy Villa residents, and was involved with the New Plymouth Methodist Social Services Committee.
Michael Fabish (NP)Mike Fabish has been a member of the New Plymouth Cadet Force since he was 13 years old and is current a Non-Commissioned Officer. His community service activities have included fundraising for the Taranaki Helicopter Trust and selling poppies for the RSA. Mike is also a senior fire fighter with the New Plymouth West Fire Brigade and voluntarily takes on the role of leading less senior fire fighters and new recruits.
Judy Field (Inglewood)
Judy has been a leading figure in the music teaching profession in Taranaki for nearly 25 years, organising, mentoring, assisting, supporting and sustaining music at both a regional and national level. In 1999 Judy was honoured with a National Excellence in Teaching Award. She has been involved with the New Plymouth Competition, the Dame Malvina Major Foundation and Cue Theatre. She was the National Chairperson of the New Zealand Society of Music Therapy and was instrumental in establishing the Master of Music Therapy Course at the NZ School of Music.
Ashley Howan (NP)Ashley’s 25 years of missionary work in Fiji included providing building assistance with homes, creating a camp retreat, training and equipping locals in various roles, transport, clothes and food distribution among the needy, and hurricane and flood relief. On his return to New Plymouth he helped the Open Brethren Church construct Everett Road Christian Camp, and he is known for his many little garden plots for growing vegetables for solo mums and Foodbanks in New Plymouth and Waitara. Ashley has been a board member of Habitat for Humanity, a leader at Merrilands Sunday School, and has been involved with Opunake Beach Mission, prison ministry, chaplaincy work in New Plymouth, and Gideon’s Taranaki.
Adam Jasinski (NP)
A professional conductor, violist and university lecturer in his native Poland, Adam arrived in New Plymouth in 1998, bringing his professional European experience to our city. Adam has been the Music Director of the New Plymouth Orchestra since 1998, conducting about three concerts per year and giving young players the opportunity to not only to join the orchestra but also to star as soloists. In 2003 Adam was appointed as Music Director for Ars Nova Choir, delivering 18 concerts under his direction. He has also conducted the Taranaki Youth Orchestra, played with the Plymouth Ensemble, conducted the Bay of Plenty Music School several times and taught a number of private students.
Aleister O’Donnell (NP)Aleister O’Donnell is described as hardworking, kind, genuine, honest, stubborn and inspirational with a willingness to roll up his sleeves and get stuck into a range of activities – so much so that one forgets he has no sight. For 13 years he looked after a severely disabled boy who lived close by. He has been involved with the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind since he went blind 33 years ago and was Chairperson of the community committee for 12 years. Aleister was also the instigator, foundation member and Chairperson for the Taranaki Trust for the Blind which, through grants or loans, financially assists blind people in need of help for items, such as new glasses and, equipment or maintenance and repairs.
Rex Phillips (NP)
Rex has been a member of the Taranaki Cathedral Church of St Mary since 1955, having previously served as a vestryman and currently as a member of the Cathedral Finance Committee and the Parish Magazine Committee. Rex has used his business acumen to help in his role on a number of organisations, including the Taranaki Rhododendron Festival Organising Committee, the New Plymouth Opera House Board of Trustees, Event Venues Taranaki Trust, Barrett Homes Trust and the New Plymouth Boys’ High School Board of Governors. In 1991 Rex helped establish the volunteer organisation Company Rebuilders Ltd to help small businesses.
Lawrence Prior (Inglewood)Lawrence is a long-serving volunteer at Lifeline Taranaki, taking on the roles of phone counsellor, clinical leader and board member. He has also been involved in training, using his knowledge and down to earth approach to create confidence for all the new starters who go on to face many difficult phone calls. He is acknowledged for his ability to create reassurance and enable people to give their best.
Rosalie and Willie Still (NP)
Willie and Rosalie both have long-standing relationships with the YMCA. Rosalie joined in 1970 as a member of the YMCA Ladies Badminton Club and in 1978 became president of this club, and her involvement continued up to 2010. She was recognised with life membership in 1978. Willie has served the YMCA in a variety of roles including President and Chairman, and continues to be involved with the YMCA as a life member. He was founding Chairman of the ‘Y’ Community Stadium Trust and retired as a trustee last year.
Willie has been an active member of the New Plymouth Rotary Club since 1971 was President from 1978-79. He has also been involved with the Masonic Lodge since 1950, taking on many roles including Director, Chairman of Directors, and Treasurer.
Willie and Rosalie have both been actively involved in the Pukeiti Rhododendron Trust for many years. In 1995 they were both made life members of the trust.
Willie purchased a half-share in the former YWCA building to enable youth health service Waves to move into new premises.
In 1992 Willie was awarded the Queen’s Service Oder (QSO) for public service.