Prostate Cancer Foundation chief executive Keith Beck has been nominated for the Senior New Zealander of the Year award. Photo by Jane Dawber.
A Dunedin man becoming a finalist in the Senior New Zealander
of the Year awards is a fitting way to finish a career with
the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
Foundation chief executive Keith Beck (62), of Waverley, said
he was ''chuffed'' when he heard he was one of the 10
semifinalists for the 2013 Senior New Zealander of the Year
''It was out of the blue.''
He has urged people to ''get blue'' when fundraising for the
foundation in Blue September.
He admitted working as a ''one-man-band'' from home could get
lonely, although it had been one of the initial attractions
of the chief executive position when he applied.
He became the foundation's first full-time employee but would
be leaving the ''fantastically satisfying'' job after nearly
He finishes with the foundation on January 25, taking up an
IT role as chief operations manager at Financial Planning Ltd
During his role at the foundation he was available to talk to
people who had been diagnosed with prostate or testicular
After diagnosis, they called one of two 0800 numbers, which
diverted them to his cellphone.
However, he could usually tell what type of cancer they were
calling about, soon after answering the phone. Younger
callers usually had testicular cancer, because it mostly
affected men aged between 16 and 35. Prostate cancer callers
were usually 50 and older, he said.
However, it was often the wives and girlfriends of the men
calling, he said.
''Guys get embarrassed and go quiet. Women want to know what
they can do to help.''
The Hawea Community Association and the Mataura Community are
finalists in the Community of the Year category of the 2013
Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards.