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Mr Weatherall, who was a Saddle Hill area community board member, chairman, ward councillor and city councillor over 30 years and involved in service and sports organisations, was awarded the medal for service to the community after retiring from politics last year.
He received it from the Governor-General last week.
Mr Weatherall's work ethic, integrity, sense of humour, humility, diplomacy skills and dedication to Saddle Hill and Dunedin were observations repeated by speakers at the afternoon tea.
His dedication to his community and city had been unswerving, Mayor Dave Cull said, through present ward councillor Andrew Whiley.
''The city would not be the same place without him.''
Board member Jonathan Usher observed Mr Weatherall seemed embarrassed by all the hoopla, but should not be: ''I hope you are proud of it [the QSM], because we are incredibly proud of you.''
Mr Weatherall thanked his wife Ann, family, and others: ''I truly do accept this not so much for myself, but for my family and community.
"I have nothing but passion for my patch.''