The trio from Auckland who made us proud

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.

Knighted Personalities

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.

The New Zealand Order

The Order of New Zealand, New Zealand’s highest honour, was instituted by Royal Warrant of February 6, 1987, to recognise outstanding service to the Crown and people of New Zealand in a civil or military capacity.

It is a single first level Order, modelled on the British dynastic Order of Merit (OM) founded in 1902, and the Order of the Companions of Honour (CH), founded in 1917.

It was instituted to fill a need for regular access to a high or first level non-titular honour (i.e. one that did not confer a title on the holder).

The Order comprises The Queen as Sovereign and Ordinary, Additional and Honorary Members. The Ordinary Membership is limited to 20 living at any time.

Additional members may be appointed in commemoration of important royal, state or national occasions. Additional appointments were made in 1990 for the 150th anniversary of the Treaty of Waitangi and in 2002 for The Queen’s Golden Jubilee.

Honorary membership includes citizens of Commonwealth nations of which The Queen is not Head of State and of foreign nations.

Ordinary Members

Dr Clifford Whiting; Sir Donald McKinnon; Helen Clark; James Bolger; Jonathan Hunt; Lady June Daphne Blundell; Kenneth Douglas; Sir Kenneth Keith; Dame Kiri Janette Te Kanawa; Professor Sir Lloyd Geering; Margaret Mahy; Michael Moore; Sir Miles Warren; Dame Miriam Dell; Sir Murray Halberg; Sir Robert James Charles; Cardinal Thomas Williams; Tini Whetu Marama; Tirikatene Sullivan

Additional Members

Sir Arthur Woodhouse; Sir Brian Lochore; Dame Catherine Tizard; Professor Christian Stead; Michael Duffy; Sir Paul Reeves

Honorary Member

Sir Shridath Surendranath Ramphal (Former Commonwealth Secretary)

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