Community service is often considered a selfless endeavour, with just a few beneficiaries acknowledging those involved in an often thankless enterprise.
However, it is heartening that the New Zealand Government recognises at least some of them through various citations and awards, the foremost of which is the Honours List announced in the name of Queen Elizabeth II on New Year’s Day and her Birthday later in the year.
Auckland Indian Association (AIA) President and New Zealand Indian Central Association Vice-President Harshad Patel, Sikh Community leader Gurmeeta Singh, and Tamil Community leader Thevarajan Arumugam, have done us proud with their relentless services to the respective segments of the society.
It was therefore gratifying that the Government found them qualified for the Queen’s Service Medal (QSM).
Indian Newslink was among the first to congratulate them on December 31, soon after the Honours List was made public.
Mr Patel described the QSM as a ‘beautiful award’ and that it was a “great honour bestowed on the members of the AIA and the Indian community at large.’
“I thank my family for encouraging me to work for the community and the Indian Community for giving me an opportunity to serve them. Many senior members of the community have inspired and guided me throughout the years,” he said.
Ms Singh, who contested at the recently held election for the Manurewa Local Board, said she was humbled by the Award.
“My passion for community and an advocate of social and community welfare stemmed from the role played by my parents as early settlers in New Zealand.
“I believe that a progressive community is one in which everyone is responsible for other.
“But I have just scratched the surface of the social concerns and community needs and this Award encourages me to work even harder,” she said.
Mr Arumugam (of Sri Lankan origin) has been a pillar of strength to the Tamil community in New Zealand and his literary and other contributions have been acknowledged from time to time.
Following are recipients of some of the other Honours.
Order of New Zealand
Sir Robert Charles becomes the 18th Ordinary Member of the Order, New Zealand’s highest honour, restricted to 20 living persons.
The return of Knighthood last year has seen a number of prominent people featured in this honour. They include the following:
Knight Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (GNZM)
Raymond John Avery (Auckland) as the for philanthropy.
Knights Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit (KNZM)
James Henry Peter McNeish (Wellington) for literature; Richard Michael Hill (Arrowtown) for business and the arts; Professor Emeritus Tamati Muturangi Reedy (Wellington) for education; William David Baragwanath (Wellington) for services as a Judge of the Court of Appeal; William Murray Gallagher (Hamilton) for business
Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM)
Christine Mary Fernyhough (Castle Hill) for community service; David John Hay (Auckland) for local body affairs and community service; Professor Ian James Warrington (Palmerston North) for science; Janet Mary Clews, (Auckland) for local body affairs and community service; Johannes La Grouw (Rotorua) for business and community service; Letitia June Clifford (Napier) for music and community service; Miriam Rose Dean QC (Auckland) for law and business
Murray Allan Sherwin (Wellington) for Agriculture and Forestry Ministry as Chief Executive; Peter George Bush (Wellington) for photography; Ricki Lloyd Herbert (Wellington) for football; Professor Emeritus Roy Patrick Kerr (Christchurch) for astrophysics; Semisi Ma’ia’i (Wellington) for Samoan community service; Yvette Winifred Corlett (Auckland) for athletics
Officers of the Order of New Zealand Merit (ONZM)
Andrew Forbes Davidson (Christchurch) for services to the timber industry; Dr Barbara Lynn Disley (Auckland) for health; Brian Francis Evans (Auckland) for women’s rugby; David William Mace (Auckland) for community service; Derek Andrew Anderson (Christchurch) for community service; Associate Professor Jean-Claude Theis (Dunedin) for medicine; Jeanette Robyn Richardson (Opua) for community service; Associate Professor John Andrew Ormiston (Auckland) for medicine; John William Holdsworth (Wellington) for business and community service; Dr Keith Ian Desmond Maslen (Dunedin) for literature and bibliography; Professor Lesley Margaret Elizabeth McCowan (Auckland) for health; Professor Lewis Tudor Evans (Porirua) for education; Michael Francis Barnett (Auckland) for business; Nicolas Calavrias (Wellington) for business; Paul Anthony Honiss (Hamilton) for community service; Peter James Egan (Hamilton) for meat industry; Phillip John Leishman (Auckland) for media and community service; Rangimarie Naida Glavish (Auckland) for Maori and community service; Richard Arthur Long (Wellington) for journalism; Roger Morrison Sowry (Paraparaumu), Member of Parliament; Ryan Nelsen (Cheshire, UK) for football; Professor Samuel Stuart McNaughton (Auckland) for education
Thomas David Henshaw (Hamilton) for services as a cartoonist; Vicki Suzanne Reid (Nelson) for community service; Dr Warren Johnston Bell (Auckland) for forensic science; William Paul Studholme (Banks Peninsula) for forestry and community service
Indian Newslink congratulates all those appointed to various orders and merits in the New Year Honours List.