Hazel O’Brien’s years of hard work volunteering and helping out in the community have been rewarded with the Girls’ Brigade Queen’s Award.
Miss O’Brien was presented with a Queen’s Award certificate at Government House in Wellington by Lady Janine Mateparae, as one of four Girls’ Brigade members in the country to receive the award.
“I was quite proud and pleased because it had been quite a long journey getting there.”
A dinner function afterwards saw Miss O’Brien, along with the other recipients, presented a Queen’s Award badge by Girls’ Brigade national commissioner Glenda Wederall.
Miss O’Brien said the award was given to girls who completed two years of service to Girls’ Brigade and undertook various initiatives in the community.
She hosted an Italian-themed dinner as well as a beach clean-up, Miss O’Brien said.
Miss O’Brien said she ended up doing three years of service, due to her work with Girls’ Brigade being postponed, and at times she considered throwing in the towel.
“At one stage I was beginning to question whether or not I should finish it . . . but then I committed myself to finishing it.
“It was quite hard but with the support of family and other girls’ brigaders . . . it was worth it.”
It was “very, very satisfying” to complete the Queen’s Award programme, Miss O’Brien said.
Girls’ Brigade administrative director Elizabeth Dickens said it took years of commitment to be eligible for the Queen’s Award.
“Commitment to themselves, commitment to doing the award and commitment to Girls’ Brigade” was needed,” Mrs Dickens said.
“They really need to be true to themselves.”
Girls needed to manage their time well and commit to volunteering and helping their community.
Mrs Dickens said the award recipients should be praised for the effort, time and commitment they put in.
The awards ceremony was a joint effort, with members of Boys’ Brigade receiving awards as well, she said.
The Girls’ Brigade Queen’s Award is a two-year programme of demanding work which includes six months’ voluntary community service, brigade and church involvement, two initiative tasks, an assignment and attending a national assessment weekend.
By DAVID DE LOREAN