Mayoral award for Gordonton couple

GOOD WORK: Gordonton's Roger and Rosalie Jennings at the awards. Photo: Philippa Stevenson
GOOD WORK: Gordonton’s Roger and Rosalie Jennings with Mayor Allan Sanson. Photo: Philippa Stevenson

Voluntary work by Gordonton couple Roger and Rosalie Jennings has been recognised with a Waikato District Council Mayoral Community Award.

The pair were among 13 community volunteers from around the district who received awards at a event that was packed with families and supporters.

The awards, held every second year and designed to highlight and reward significant, voluntary community contributions, were presented by Mayor Allan Sanson yesterday (Wednesday 16 December.)

For the past 30 years Roger and Rosalie Jennings have lived in Gordonton and have undertaken a tremendous amount of community work. They joined the Woodlands Trust volunteer group in 1992 and still volunteer there to ensure its ongoing improvement.

Together, they have served on the Gordonton Community Committee over many years. Roger’s work at the Gordonton cemetery recently involved planting and maintenance of the nearby pine plantation.

Roger and Rosalie have had a significant involvement with St Marys Church at Gordonton, with both having served many roles within the church community.

Also receiving awards were:

“Eco-warrior” Leo Koppens, Tamahere, has been restoring gullies for about 35 years. He began with restoration work on his own property, turning a 1.5 hectare unproductive gully in to native woodland. His passion for environmental restoration has led him to voluntarily restore gully networks in Tamahere and Matangi. Leo has done an amazing job in the Tamahere Reserve along the Mangaone Stream and has also created the start of the Allan Turner Walkway and worked on the restoration of the Mangaharakeke Stream. All of this has been done in a purely volunteer capacity and Leo has inspired many other volunteers to assist him in his crusade.

Graham Membery, Matangi, is well known as a Matangi/Hillcrest Rugby Club member, and keen bowler and committee member of the Matangi Bowling Club, Graham has given many years of dedicated service to his community. He has been very involved in the school and was one of the group members that worked hard towards establishing the Matangi reserve. He is chairman of the Matangi Community Committee, and is the current chairman of the local drainage committee . Graham has made a huge contribution to the drainage schemes in his district to manage the flooding issues.

Angela Williams, Raglan, helped organise a Sunday and public holiday bus service for Raglan when the service was cancelled. She is Raglan Arts Council secretary and treasurer and Raglan Chamber of Commerce board member.

Gwen Oliver, Ngaruawahia, has been involved with Meals on Wheels for over 25 years and, aged 74, still delivers them to people in the town. She has also been involved with the Ngaruawahia Senior Citizens and Friendship club for 12 years, the last nine as Club President.

Graham McBride, Te Kowhai, led the Te Otamanui Lagoon Walkway project for many years on behalf of the Te Kowhai Community Committee.

Syd Goodwright
, Otaua, current Chairman of the Aka Aka Otaua Land Drainage Subcommittee of the Waikato Regional Council, originally the Drainage Board, which started in 1895 and is the oldest such board in New Zealand. Syd joined in 1976 and is in his 40th year of service.

Elaine Preston, Ngaruawahia, led a successful crusade to keep the Ngaruawahia High School from closing and to turn its reputation around.

Gilbert Powley, Te Kauwhata, has voluntarily pruned the two thousand, iconic, heritage roses adorning the fences of the Te Kauwhata Road entrance for 20 years. He continues the job in his 90s.

Gail Mayall, Eureka, is Eureka Hall committee secretary, an office holder and member of the badminton club and district reunion committee, helps produce the Eureka Express newspaper, and writes on local history.

Graham Gunn, Huntly, volunteers for many sporting club committees, served as a trustee of the Kimihia Home and Hospital, and helped initiate the volunteer house build project involving Huntly High School students.

Judith Pellow, Onewhero, has dedicated nearly 50 years to improving health within Franklin and has been an integral part of numerous local organisations and committees. She began volunteering for the Franklin community in 1966, first with Plunket, followed by the Tuakau and Districts Church, Onewhero Area School and the National Council of Women.

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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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