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Central Hawke’s Bay champions and legends celebrated at Civic Awards Ceremony


Central Hawke’s Bay’s legends, Community Service champions and volunteer organisations were recognised in a heartfelt Civic and Community Awards ceremony in Waipawa last night (Thursday, August 24).

The Civic Honours Award remains most prestigious, honouring exceptional individuals who have poured heart and soul into their communities over an extended period.

This year there were two Civic Honours Award winners; Amanda Withers and Marilyn Forrest. Both have dedicated years of their lives to build stronger, more resilient rural communities where they live through their contributions to education, health, sport and the environment.

Amanda has been an instrumental organiser and fundraiser for the likes of Flemington Playgroup, Flemington Hall Committee, Waipukurau Tennis/Squash Club (20 Years) and Pōrangahau Rugby Club Junior Rugby Prizegiving. For the past one and a half years she has also acted as Vice Chair of Pōrangahau Catchment Group.

Marilyn has dedicated her life to clubs, community organisations and numerous committees, including Pōrangahau Golf Club (38years), Pōrangahau Bowling Club, Pōrangahau Arts Club, Pōrangahau School and as a volunteer with St John’s Ambulance for 36 years.

Two other award categories acknowledged individuals, groups and organisations who have shown ongoing dedication and passion for Central Hawke’s Bay.

Community Services Award recipients Robert McLean, Donald Parkinson, Rod McKenzie and Margaret Schaw had their mahi recognised and appreciated; While CHB Swim 4 Lives and Connect Youth Community Trust took home Organisation of the Year Award for their tireless efforts.

Mayor Alex Walker said: “These awards mark our outstanding citizens, most of whom fly under the radar, and do not seek praise for their tireless work. They are the quiet achievers of our district, and embody the giving spirit of Central Hawke’s Bay.

“Every single one of these special individuals and organisations make our communities a thriving place to live, work and play. The awards are so special because they allow us to showcase the incredible spirit that drives Central Hawke’s Bay forward.

“There are some truly amazing things happening behind closed doors, last night we flung open those doors and celebrated the teams and key people who make it all happen.”

Central Hawke’s Bay District Council Civic Honours Awards began in 1991 to recognise outstanding voluntary community service in the district.

Since its establishment, up to four Civic Honours Awards have been presented every year. In 2020, two additional categories were added to the long-standing Award; a Community Service Award and the Organisation of the Year Award.

The special Civic Awards ceremony was held at Central Hawke’s Bay Municipal Theatre in Waipawa last night.

25 August 2023

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