Clutha District Community Service Awards
Gay Bloxham, Gloria McHutchon, Janet Noah, Joyce Beck, Kerry and Jeff Seymour were presented with Clutha District Council Community Awards for 2020 formally acknowledging their community service to the district.
A new award was included in this year’s awards, called the Youth Community Spirit Award. The youth award recognised Year 13 students’ service to their school and community.
Annabelle Philps and Sydney Robertson were this years recipients.
The 2020 Community Award recipients (alphabetical order):
Gay Bloxham – for services to the Lovells Flat Miltoncommunity
For over 40 years Gay has been an outstanding champion for the Lovells Flat community.
A dedicated member of Lovells Flat Women’s Institute for over 40 years, in 2004 Gay received her Good Service Badge, then again in 2010 Gay received a rare Diamond Award from South Otago Federation of Women’s Institutes, in recognition of her work with the group.
Gay has spent many years as a church leader for Lovells Flat as part of the Kaitangata Stirling
Lovells Flat parish. She helped establish the Lovells Flat grounds surrounding the Church and Cenotaph while overseeing the maintenance and improvements of the Church buildings. She is also known for making the Anzac Wreath for the Cenotaph.
Gay has held many garden tours at her extensive garden – fundraisers for the benefit of the community. She is a floral artist extraordinaire and her extensive garden provides many pleasant floral gifts to those who needed encouragement.
Gay has been a Sunday School teacher and leader of a successful Mainly Music Group for Pre
Schoolers at the Kaitangata Church.
Gay was also a Buddy to a young local boy under the auspices of Presbyterian Buddy Programme.
Lovells Flat Tennis Club and Courts have also had Gay’s touch, spending many hours caring for the courts and encouraging the community to participate in the local sport.
Over the winter months you will find Gay organising the weekly card evening in the Lovells Flat Hall, which is popular with many families in the community.
The annual district picnic is another gathering Gay likes to assist with, delivering posters to
letterboxes and providing the lollies and games for the children, as well as large Chocolate
Cakes for supper.
Over the years Gay has been an enthusiastic Door to Door Collector for Braille, IHC and Red Cross.
Gloria McHutchon - for services to the West Otago community.
Gloria moved to the district as a young teacher. She married and raised four children while farming in West Otago.
Right from the beginning Gloria was actively involved in the community and this has continued for many years.
Her community involvement includes:
- Country Girls Club
- Plunket (Life Member, Heriot Branch)
- Heriot Presbyterian Church – currently secretary and lay preacher
- Launchpad presenter
- TWO Promotions
- Heriot Community Hall committee
- Heriot Anzac committee
- Teaching English to migrant workers in both Tapanui and Clydevale
- Runs evening knitting classes for young mums
- Oral historian
- Reader at Ribbonwood Rest Home
- Lay preacher at Ribbonwood Rest home
- Organiser of the Heriot School Craft week for over five years, along with Moa Flat Rural Women.
- West Otago Cavalcade 2013- secretary
- Quiz night organiser and supporter.
- Rural Women – (previous president, Moa Flat branch)
In addition, Gloria is a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother and friend to many.
Janet Noah – for services to the South Otago community
Janet Noah works tirelessly away behind the scenes for the numerous clubs in the Clinton and wider area.
Janet has been a playing member of the Clinton Golf Club since 2007 and was fully involved with catering fundraising to allow the club to renovate the club house kitchen and bar area and helped raise money for new machinery for the golf course. She has been an invaluable help also with ground maintenance.
Janet is also on the Clinton Cemetery Committee and has been very much hands on in the beautification that they are undertaking with the planting of trees and natives.
Currently the president of the Clinton Flower Show Committee, she does what is needed in her wholehearted quiet way. After one show she gathered up the flowers and repurposed them for another community function the next day.
Janet’s been involved in the Clinton Community Centre committee for a few years and she is always available at the drop of a hat to assist in any catering that the hall committee might do either in dinners or funeral afternoon teas. When a call goes out for a working bee Janet is always one of the first to turn up, get stuck in and will usually be the last to leave.
Janet also helps at the Warepa Collie Club Dog Trials, working in the kitchen for two days each year. Janet’s catering skills come to the fore again for the Clinton Sub Association and South Otago Indoor Bowls – she has organized the catering of representative games and major bowling events held in South Otago.
A Clinton Garden Club member for more than 20 years, having been the president for some time and continues in a very supportive role to the club. Janet also opens her garden for viewing to the club and others and this too is a credit as not just the flower garden but her and hubby Lawrence’s all year round veggie garden is also very impressive and she is always bottling or putting things in the freezer or making something up to drop off to someone going through a tough time.
Janet has up until this year managed to fit all these clubs needs into her schedule whilst rearing calves and seeing to her family’s needs.
Joyce Beck QSM - for services to the Kaitangata community
Joyce has been described as the “engine room” for the Kaitangata community.
She received an QSM in September 2012 for her work in improving the wellbeing of children and families in the local area. The QSM acknowledged her efforts with organising Strengthening Families meetings utilising input from a variety of organisations including Child, Youth and Family, Women’s Refuge, Police Youth Aid Officers and Health Camps to assist children and their families.
She was involved in coaching young people with reading difficulties outside of school hours, to lobbying for a mobile dental health service for the school.
She supervised the planning and construction of the Kaitangata School Gymnasium and Hall and organised the construction of the Kaitangata Church.
Involved with Black/Gold Heritage Museum, Secretary of Kaitangata and Districts Promotion Association and a JP.
Her passion for Kaitangata’s history has led her to write four books with her most recent titled, A Trip Down Memory Lane in Kaitangata: Volume 2.
It delves into the history of the coal-mining township. She spent a total of 102 days compiling the oral histories of 21 people who were born or lived in Kaitangata and it gave her enough stories to be able to publish volume 2.
The Kaitangata community will be able to look back in years to come and appreciate her historian efforts.
Kerry and Jeff Seymour – for services to the Balclutha Community
Kerry and Jeff Seymour have been involved in supporting many groups in Balclutha.
Jeff was the driving force behind securing funding and overseeing the $5 million Cross Recreation Centre build. Jeff joined the organisation in 2008 and led a large, dedicated group of volunteers in a significant period of development for the community facility. He was chair of the steering committee and went on to become the inaugural Chair of the Clutha Recreation Centre Charitable Trust (2008-2018). He continued on as a committee member until 2020 and has recently retired.
Thanks to Jeff’s leadership and vision, the Clutha District now boasts a modern multipurpose centre providing a range of facilities including the Powernet Sports Arena with five indoor courts, the Tyrone McElrea Lounge and kitchen and most recently, the Jeff Seymour wing. The facility is used for sports, events, meetings and other community activities.
In addition, Jeff served four terms on the Clutha District Council, three as Chair of the Corporate Services Committee.
Thank you, Jeff, for your vision and lasting legacy.
Kerry has a long history of selfless service to the community and district. She has been actively involved in a wide range of community sporting and educational organisations, including governance roles with Telford Rural Polytechnic and the Heartland Life Education Trust.
Kerry was acknowledged by Netball South (Southern Steel) in 2018 for her long service as a board member. She served on the Sport Clutha Steering group and on the board of Sport Otago. She has judged the Clutha District Sports Awards and has served on the Sport New Zealand Rural Travel Fund Committee since 2014, providing valuable guidance to the committee.
In 2018 Kerry became a Trustee of the Clutha Foundation Trustee and visited workplaces and organisations to encourage the community to give to this worthwhile cause.
Kerry is also a member of the Naish/Centennial Park working group. All of this is in addition to Kerry’s work in restorative justice and her role as a JP.
Thank you, Kerry, for your tireless efforts to support the community.
Youth Spirit Awards 2020
Annabelle has high levels of motivation and is a capable, independent learner. Always aware of the needs of those around her, Annabelle shows empathy to others. She is an outstanding young woman with high ethical boundaries.
Annabelle has been on the student council at Tokomairiro High School throughout her time at the school and has also been a house leader over the past couple of years. Her organisational abilities came to the fore with the school ball held recently.
Annabelle is held in high regard by both the staff and her fellow students. As a peer support leader, the younger students look up to her – she is an excellent role model.
Annabelle is also a capable hockey player and captain of the senior team. Annabelle has been a member of the Clutha District Youth Council for the past two years, this year as chairperson. She has been a member of the Project Bruce advisory committee and is now on the Project Bruce Trust here in Milton.
For the past year, Annabelle has also been the Student Representative on the Board of Trustees.
Annabelle will be recognised with prize money of $500 and will also receive $250 for a charity of her choice.
From the beginning of her time at Blue Mountain College, Sydney has worked well with others within her year group and beyond.
She is often seen chatting to younger members of the school and is very approachable. As the House Leader, of McKellar, Sydney has effectively organised and encouraged the members of her house to do as well as possible in all activities. Her relationships with college staff have also been very good; respectful and engaged. Sydney gets things done using a relationship style of leadership.
Sydney has been heavily involved in both school and community-based activities for her whole school career - 2020 has been especially busy for her. She has proven herself an enthusiastic and effective school leader in a wide range of activities, including cultural, sporting, and academic.
As a Year 13 student, Sydney has taken her leadership roles seriously and contributed widely to school life in this very difficult year. During Level 4 lockdown, Sydney was very busy completing her grandmother’s Meals on Wheels run and delivering groceries to those in need.
She has been the Deputy Chairperson of the Clutha District Student Council for two years and contributes well here too. Sydney has matured into a community minded and responsible (near) adult who does not sit back on her laurels.
Sydney will be recognised with prize money of $500 and will also receive $250 for a charity of her choice.
Finlay Abernethy, Peter McPherson, Stu Michelle, Ila Ryan, Chris Shaw, Dawn Smith and Helen Keen were presented with Clutha District Council Community Awards for the 2019 year.