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Motueka celebrates its volunteers at moving event

October 30th, 2017

About 80 people from 20 community groups on Sunday celebrated the contribution that volunteers make to the life and growth of Motueka.

The annual event, organised and hosted by Vision Motueka and held at Memorial Hall, treated invited guests to a great afternoon tea and some superb musical entertainment, rounded out with the presentation of 18 awards to volunteers who have provided outstanding service in recent years.

Co-hosts David Armstrong and Claire Hutt made the presentations, based on nominations received from community groups for some of their special members.

Two talented local musicians provided excellent entertainment spots: Louis Lucas-Perry excelling on Memorial Hall's recent specially acquired grand piano, and Linda Bartlett singing some beautiful country-folk songs.

The audience were also treated by two short speeches, both amusing and heartfelt, from Don Grant and Paul Hawkes.

As in previous years, the afternoon tea catered by the Crafty Tarts group was a special event in itself, with no one going away hungry.

The following were the citations read out for the people receiving awards, along with some of the photos taken.


Nominated by Motueka Riding for the Disabled - Cynthia Wratt

She's aged only 20, but Cynthia has been volunteering for the RDA for 5 years. She often goes far beyond what is asked of her and has organised her work to fit around Tuesdays at RDA, and helps train the horses during the week.

She is extremely busy otherwise with rearing calves and helping out on her parents small farm, looking after her mother, studying music and working 5 days a week, but never ever lets the team down at RDA.

She also gives up valuable work hours to help out at RDA's Open day in November and at the Motueka Show when they take the horses and riders to attend the classes there.

Nominated by an individual on behalf of the Motueka Power Boat Club - Dennis Bisley

Without Dennis, the Motueka Marina would not look like it does. As well as helping build it, he now mows the grass, weeds the garden, helped Samarita's put together their funiture, put the glass panelling up at Sam's, and put the paving stones down in front of the coffee cart.

During the summer when it's really busy, he picks up rubbish and all year round keeps it looking great for all the visitors and locals that use the Marina and visit Samarita's By The Sea.

Nominated by the Motueka 50+ Walking Group - Frances (Francie) Neumann

During her 30 years with the group, Francie has been its Secretary/Treasurer and always at the forefront of the walks organisation, sharing her extensive knowledge of the region's walks, offering constructive advice to the managing group and, when necessary, a portion of "cold steel" to keep them on their toes!

For many years she has organised an annual "Away Trip" - taking 30 to 40 members away to all parts of the country for a week's walking in new areas. Francie would research the local walks, organise the travel schedules and ensure the group got a sharp deal in local accommodation.

In more recent years Francie has concentrated her energies on a group of her contemporaries, the more elderly walkers who still enjoy a jaunt in the fresh air every Thursday and a coffee and chat to wind up the outing.

Nominated by Woodlands rest home and retirement village - Glen Davenport

Since 2014 Glen Davenport, or Mrs Glen as they call her, has been taking village residents on bus outings at least twice a month. Her sparkling enthusiasm and knowledge about nature which she likes to share, lifts the outings to a higher level.

Over Spring and Summer she invites residents a few times for High Tea at Doone Cottage, her B&B in the Motueka valley. Occasionally she also takes residents out for a lunch in one of the amazing restaurants in the area.

Nominated by Nelson Cancer Society - Jan Riley

Jan started volunteering with the Nelson Cancer Society in 1991. She co-ordinates Daffodil Day in Motueka which includes the sourcing of bulbs, planting, fertilising, picking and bunching and selling of the daffodils. She distributes display boxes, helps arrange collection sites, and does the banking. Jan always loves beating her total from the previous year by doing more every year.

Jan assists with the Cancer Society's Survivors and Thrivers support group bi-monthly in Motueka. She will drive patients to the group or to appointments if required. She is dedicated to raising funds for cancer patients and their families in the Nelson Tasman area.

Nominated by Motueka Newcomer's Group - Jo Walker

Jo has co-run Newcomers for about 3 years. She took on the paperwork administration of the group, maintaining the member lists, updating the main group email subscribers list as well as making sure application forms are managed and filed efficiently.

Jo has also become the main 'meeter and greeter'. Her warm, patient, positive personality makes her an absolute natural at this and she spares no effort to make new group members feel welcome and included.

Sadly, Jo suffered a serious brain bleed or stroke last month and is now in a rehabilitation unit on the North Island, following major surgery. But despite her present poorly condition and disabilities, her humour and her interest in others' wellbeing still surfaces. And her sheer determination has already seen her make small, but significant and steady physical progress. Of course she was unable to attend this afternoon, but her award will be accepted on her behalf by a member of the Newcomers Group.

Nominated by SeniorNet - Norma Westrupp

Norma is a founding member of Motueka SeniorNet and has been extremely active in a number of roles within the club. She has served on Committee in various roles, been a Tutor helper and continues to organise the monthly raffles.

She is the face of SeniorNet at the welcome desk, directing new members and attendees at Help and support sessions. Her wealth of knowledge of SeniorNet is willingly shared and she is always happy to help out.

Nominated by the Motueka Music Group - Alison Gamlen

Alison was the Secretary of the Motueka Music Group for about 20 years until her retirement due to ill health earlier this year. She always prepared thoroughly for the group's meetings, kept an archival record of all concerts and the musicians who performed in them, and was always ready to answer the committee's awkward questions.

She wrote publicity notices for newspapers and websites and prepared the programmes for all concerts. She left such a large gap when she retired that it had to be filled by two people! Unfortunately, recently Alison took ill and has spent some days in hospital, so she is unable to attend today, but her award will be accepted on her behalf by Colin Hooker.

Nominated by Motueka Arts Council - Shirley Wallace

Over the last couple of winters Shirley has organized several very successful Art Competitions for the Arts Council, including the Beanie and dog coat competition, the Tea cosy competition, the Make a Child's Toy competition, and this year the Make a Hold-All competition.

At the end of a competition Shirley always organises a two-day exhibition where all the judged work gets expertly displayed. There is a lot of work involved to run this event as smoothly as it does. Shirley often starts planning and organising a year ahead, mostly on her own. Shirley promotes the Arts to a wider public and the Motueka Arts Council is very grateful for having her as such an enthusiastic member.

Nominated by Motueka SPCA - Suzanne Krammer

Sue has run the SPCA's cat shelter for many years, dedicating part of her home and yard to house the unwanted and strayed animals from around Motueka and surrounding areas. She has had some help from other volunteers but has carried a large portion of the work herself, especially when there have been outbreaks of illness.

Sue nurses sick and injured cats and also bottle feeds very young kittens that are handed in. She has re-homed many cats, having members of the public come to her house at all times to look at the cats the SPCA has "in house".

Nominated by the Motueka Community Store - Julie Thomas

Julie has been a member of the team of volunteers who have served at the Community Store in Whakarewa Street since it opened last year. This involves not only selling goods but also receiving and sorting donated goods and setting them up for display. Several members of the team deserve volunteer recognition, but as only one from each group is allowed each year, this is the Store's choice.

Nominated by Motueka Menzshed - Hugh Booker

As one of the two founding members, Hugh has been involved in the Menzshed since its inception six years ago. Thanks in a large measure to Hugh's drive and persistence, the Menzshed now have premises at Marchwood Park.

Hugh has been energetic and tireless in seeing the vision for the Menzshed come to life. He has been chairman for five years now and has been involved in many fundraising schemes that have seen the shed being able to be equipped with an excellent range of tools and machinery for members to use.

He shows real care for the shed members, to the extent of picking people up so that they can be present at the mornings; visiting those in ill-health, and supporting partners of members whose husbands are having ongoing health problems.


Nominated by the Motueka and District Historical Association - Coralie Smith

Coralie joined the Association in 2001 and has been a very active member. She has been on the committee and served as secretary for many years and held the post of president for one year.

She has used her considerable computer skills in getting their collection onto the computer. The indexing she has done is very helpful in dealing with enquiries from the many people who use the Research Room. She also handles most of the enquiries which come in by email. She, with other volunteers, is on duty when the Research Room is open to the public, but often comes in by appointment for visitors.

She designed the Association's website on Facebook which is very popular. She coordinated the committee which was responsible for publishing "Motueka Wharf 100 years". She has been working with the National Library of NZ to have early copies of the Motueka Star microfilmed and eventually onto Papers Past. She has willingly given considerable time to collecting and preserving the history of the district.

Nominated by Motueka Senior Citizens - Dylis Rutter

Dylis is a life member of Motueka Senior Citizens. She started taking her mum along to housie at the club in 1981 and attended the club's socials with her two sisters. By 1993 she began contributing her own volunteer work for the club.

Dylis introduced a course of games such as bag-o-tell and quoits each month, and still provides this service at age 88, setting up the hall and buying economical prizes and a raffle. Also over the years she has been housie caller and coordinator. For ten years she taught line dancing with the help of others, preparing music and dances attending classes herself to learn new ones.

During that 24 years Dylis has served as President and Secretary, and even worked for very minimal remuneration as the club's cleaner where she lovingly treated the club as she does her own home.

Nominated by the Community Swimming Pool fundraising committee - Sue Clark

For over two years Sue has been the driving force and Energiser Bunny behind the fundraising effort for the Motueka Community Swimming Pool. Although initially brought in to be the team Treasurer, she quickly became the main organiser, motivator and stirrer of a huge number of community events and fundraising initiatives, which to date have raised approaching $200,000.

Despite her mobility difficulties, she has attended every committee meeting and kept impeccable financial accounts. From home, she has prepared numerous event posters, newsletters, and other computer-based material. When empty shops became available on High Street, she has organised the sales of donated materials and has manned the shop freely for up to 5 hours every weekday.

Sue also has a long record of voluntary work for other community groups including the Motueka A&P Society and the Pony Club and Dressage Club.

Nominated by Mark Wentworth, the guru of Memorial Hall - Michael Pickering

Michael and his young colleague Kase Walker have been assisting Mark on light, sound and stage management for 5 years, doing the long slog over in Nelson at the theatre and many, many hours for Motueka High School outside school hours. Only one nomination was allowed, so Mark this time chose Michael, though both equally share the duties.

Both have helped with ANZAC ceremonies, Christmas in the Park events, various primary school concerts and events, and for Fiddler on the Roof, ROCK DA HOUSE and MASSIVE at this Hall for 12 primary schools.

Michael and his mate have helped save the community thousands of dollars with less help from Nelson needed for these events and cost associated to putting them on. Both have been reliable and committed to their job.

Michael and Kase work for Mark without pay but occasionally get a donation from the community for their efforts. Of course, the team has assisted in the running of today's event.

Nominated by Keep Motueka Beautiful - Paul Mosley

Paul has made an outstanding contribution to the Keep Motueka Beautiful committee and various projects that that committee undertakes.

Paul's most notable recent project has been the George Quay / Port Motueka landscaping upgrade. Paul initiated the project 4 to 5 years ago by organising a design concept. Over these years he has negotiated with TDC staff, managed finances and arranged volunteers and working bees to take the project to where it is today - shrubbery, paths, parking and tables. It has been a worthwhile and considerable effort.

In the years leading up to the George Quay renovation, Paul also led the work to design and begin development of the Beach Reserve behind the saltwater baths. He has also played a strong role in work on the Adopt-a-Plot reserve and the popular Motueka calendar, and has been the committee secretary for several years.

The once neglected Port Motueka and Beach Reserve area is fast becoming an appealing spot for residents and visitors. Motueka owes this aspect to the Keep Motueka Beautiful committee, and especially to Paul.

Nominated by Vision Motueka - David Armstrong

For the past eight year David has acted as Motueka's Town Crier, keeping us all up to date with the local community news via his website Motueka Online. He has attended and reported on countless meetings of groups including the Community Board and many AGMs, kept an online event calendar, and provided a database of community contacts.

David created Motueka Online as a not-for-profit community facility, and it rapidly grew to be the largest and most active non-commercial community website in Australasia. In 2015 it was a finalist in the Australia and New Zealand Internet Awards.

Last month he handed over the website to Shawn Hansen, passing it on to someone with a community heart who will redesign it to match modern trends.

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