Mayor makes special award

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher and Waitaki Citizens' Awards Mayoral Commendation Awards recipient...
Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher and Waitaki Citizens' Awards Mayoral Commendation Awards recipient Bernard Wilkinson at the awards ceremony at the Oamaru Opera House yesterday. PHOTO: DANIEL BIRCHFIELD
A Mayoral Commendation Award has been handed out for the first time at the annual Waitaki Citizens' Awards ceremony, held at the Oamaru Opera House yesterday.

The award was created to recognise those who have previously received a citizens award and have continued their dedication and commitment in volunteering.

Bernard Wilkinson, who received a citizens award in 1996, was presented with a plaque by Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher in front of friends and family.

He quipped it would have to be modified to include the names of those who have volunteered at the Oamaru Combined Churches Foodbank, which he established more than 20 years ago.

In Mr Wilkinson's citation, Mr Kircher spoke of his commitment to the foodbank, his involvement with the North Otago Anglican Homes for the Aged charity and Victim Support among others.

Mr Kircher said while Mr Wilkinson may have retired, in theory, 25 years ago, that was not the case in practice, and he had created a ``legacy'' in the district.

Lyall Caldwell (Oamaru), Glenys Dawson (Omarama), Donald Ellis (Maheno), Hilary Fleming (Palmerston), Avril Keep (Oamaru), Gordon Martin (Oamaru), Colin Murray (Oamaru), Trevor and Elizabeth Norton (Hampden), John Reid (Oamaru), Ronald Sloan (East Otago) and Warren Crawford (Oamaru) all received citizens awards for their volunteer efforts.

Mr Kircher thanked each of the award recipients for their service.

``All of the recipients are very deserving of recognition for their voluntary work across the district that positively affects so many others. The citizens awards are a significant event each year and it is a great privilege to be able to honour those who have given so much to our community.''

 - Daniel Birchfield

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