‘Community heroes’ recognised for work

Receiving their Invercargill City Council Civic Honours Awards recently are (from left)  John...
Receiving their Invercargill City Council Civic Honours Awards recently are (from left) John McManus, Peter Swain, Douglas Black, Kathryn Morrison and Pam McKee with Invercargill Mayor Nobby Clark. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
The efforts and contributions of Southlanders to their communities were recognised at the Invercargill City Council’s Civic Honours Awards recently.

The awards had been in hiatus for almost a decade but were a popular success at the city’s Civic Theatre.

The aim was to recognise those contributing to community wellbeing in four categories: social, cultural, economic and environmental, a release said.

Mayor Nobby Clark considered the return of the honours a way to celebrate the people who made the city an amazing place to live.

‘‘Each and every one of our award recipients has gone over and above to service their communities, without any fuss or need for recognition,’’ Mr Clark said.

‘‘The awards are a great way to acknowledge these silent community heroes, for the difference they are making.’’

Kathryn Morrison and Douglas Black were recognised in the environmental and social wellbeing category, through their voluntary work at Bush Haven.

Based out of their family home in Otatara, they accepted and rehabilitated injured native birds — mainly kereru, tui, and korimako (bellbird) and other species.

They are Southland’s only port of call for bird recovery care.

John McManus received his award in the social and cultural wellbeing category for volunteer services to scouting and IHC.

Mr McManus had been a member of many Scout groups across Southland for more than 60 years.

During this time, he had helped shape the lives of many children and was seen as a positive role model and mentor for many.

Pam McKee was the social wellbeing category recipient and was recognised for her work in health and fitness for the elderly.

For more than 35 years, Ms McKee had been an aqua aerobics and fitness instructor, running community fitness classes at the YMCA, Jenkin St, Peacehaven, Waikiwi Gardens, Rowena Jackson and many other locations.

Peter Swain took out the social and economic wellbeing category for his volunteer work with a food bank.

Mr Swain played an integral part in setting up, building and maintaining the Southland Foodbank Charitable Trust — a valuable non-profit community asset in Southland since its inception in 1991.

His dedication to providing free emergency food assistance had helped hundreds of families over the past 33 years.