Sir Tim thrilled by tribute book, heartfelt ceremony

A book celebrating the life, times, and legacy of Sir Tim Shadbolt book was presented to the former Invercargill mayor during a ceremony at Waverley Park School yesterday.

School pupils greeted Sir Tim with a karakia, and some took to the stage alongside deputy principal Helen Kennedy as she read passages from the book regarding the iconic concrete mixer being towed about town by Sir Tim in his Daimler, and his history of debating with then minister of finance Robert Muldoon.

Sir Tim was then presented with a copy of A Tribute to Tim Shadbolt along with a bouquet and hand-stitched mailbag by pupils Kaia Furlonge, Amya-Ita Muliana, and Kalyn Whaanga.

Sir Tim said he was very moved by the ceremony.

"They’ve put a lot of thought and historical knowledge in.

"I’ve never really had a tribute, I’ve had columns and leaflets, I’ve had co-operative projects, but I’ve never had a [tribute] — and I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself in for. But the quality and style of the tribute is well worth the effort."

Present at a ceremony at Waverley Park School to present the country’s second-longest-serving...
Present at a ceremony at Waverley Park School to present the country’s second-longest-serving mayor with a copy of A Tribute to Tim Shadbolt, a book celebrating his legacy, are (back, from left) author Helen Campbell, principal Kerry Hawkins, deputy principal Helen Kennedy, (middle from left) Kaia Furlonge, Amya-Ita Muliana Kalyn Whaanga (all 10), (front) Asha Dutt and Sir Tim. PHOTO: BEN TOMSETT
Waverley Park School principal Kerry Hawkins said the ceremony was marking history, and the pupils had been given the opportunity to be part of something significant in Invercargill’s history.

He said his path had crossed with the former mayor numerous times over the years, including when his own son was a one-term mayor of Dunedin.

"I’ve the utmost respect for people who put their hand up in politics in New Zealand," he said.

Authored by local woman Helen Campbell, A Tribute to Tim Shadbolt features interviews with Sir Tim alongside compilations of messages, drawings and photos contributed from a range of community organisations and collated by Campbell.

She said the ceremony was absolutely perfect and that the book ticked the box "big time" on setting the record straight on how much Sir Tim had been appreciated as a mayor and community icon.

Sir Tim’s wife Asha Dutt delivered a speech thanking Mrs Campbell on behalf of Sir Tim and their son Declan Lawton-Dutt for her work on the book.

"Tim’s always been a history buff ... He's always acknowledged the importance of history himself, and it's wonderful to have everything collated into a publication."

Speaking to the Otago Daily Times, Mrs Dutt said the book was very fitting and apt for a colourful life.

"[The ceremony] was very touching ... It was very heartfelt.

"Helen’s encountered so many obstacles [in order] to pull this off, and we’re indebted. We appreciate the work."

Distribution methods for the book are yet to be announced.