Two Waitaki heroes feted

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Two Waitaki residents were among 18 people from the Otago region recognised as part of the Kiwibank Local Hero of the Year awards last week.
The Otago region awards ceremony was held at the Mercure Leisure Lodge in Dunedin.
Gloria Hurst, of Papakaio, and Oamaru man Gordon Martin were honoured for their community service and presented with local hero medals.
Organisers praised Mrs Hurst for her commitment to making the community a better place, which included the establishment of the Waitaki Community Gardens and several education programmes for school children that took place there.
“Gloria continually reaches into every element of the community to resource and connect people who can contribute or benefit from this initiative.”
Mr Martin was lauded for more than five decades of community service, which had taken many forms over the years.
The 86-year-old was instrumental in the acquisition of Weston’s sports fields more than 40 years ago and the creation of the Valley Rugby Club.
He was one of the area’s first volunteer firefighters and has been a Rotarian for 53 years and a Justice of the Peace for 36 years.
Mr Martin previously served as chairman of the Wanaka Promotions Association, the Oamaru Licensing Trust and Kiwi Holiday Parks.
Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said both were among the most dedicated volunteers in the district.
“They’re both shining examples of volunteers in our community who have acted for many years for the benefit of others, so it’s really encouraging to see that acknowledgment.
“I think they’d both be people who would be very quick to acknowledge we are a community of volunteers and it’s something that so many people do just to make our place a better place.”
A total of 340 medals were presented nationwide.