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The Royal Humane Society of New Zealand’s Gold Medal, which was presented to the people of Christchurch City at the Christchurch Earthquake Awards in February, will today go on display for the public to see.
The medal, located in a display case on the first floor of the Council’s Civic Offices (53 Hereford Street), honours the many people right across the city that carried out extraordinary acts of bravery following the 22 February 2011 earthquake.
Mayor Bob Parker says this medal recognises the outstanding acts of bravery and humanity by many people who selflessly assisted others immediately following the 22 February 2011 earthquake. Many volunteers acted without regard for their own safety in frightening and dangerous situations. People put their lives at risk to help fellow workers, friends and complete strangers.
The Society’s President, Austin Forbes QC, says “This is the first Gold Medal awarded by the Society since the Wahine disaster in 1968 and so is very significant. The Society considered that these exceptional circumstances justified the presentation of a Gold Medal, which is quite rare.”
The presentation of the Gold Medal, on the 22 February 2012, was made by the Governor-General Lt Gen Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, who is the Patron of the Society, to Mayor Parker on behalf of those who put their lives at risk to assist others.
Mayor Parker emphasised that round two of the city’s own Earthquake Awards is also underway, as a means to recognise city residents who performed acts of kindness, service or heroism during the earthquakes.
“However, time is running out for people to nominate those that helped them. Nominations for the awards close this Friday (21 September) and we don’t want anyone deserving to miss out. Think about those that may have helped you or your family during the earthquakes and get nominating.”
For further information or to nominate someone visit www.ccc.govt.nz/civicawards or pick up a nomination form from your closest Council Service Centre.
The Royal Humane Society of New Zealand was established in 1898. It is an independent, charitable body which makes awards for acts of bravery or acts of humanity by people in saving or attempting to save the life of another person, particularly where there has been personal risk to the rescuer. The awards are in the form of gold, silver and bronze medals, plus various categories of certificates. The level of the award reflects the extent of the personal risk to the rescuer. Over 2,000 such awards have been made by the Society in the past 113 years but only 20 Gold Medals.