For most people, August 1 this year was just a normal day, however for Oamaru teenager Samuel Evans and his family, it is a day they will remember for the rest of their lives.
Samuel received a special award for his heroic efforts on October 26 last year, when he helped his best mate Hamish Gregory-Hunt to safety after a boulder landed on him, breaking his ankle and dislocating his hip.
The two were climbing in a deep gully at Raupo Creek when the accident occurred.
Samuel said receiving the award was unexpected.
“I totally didn’t think I would receive anything like this for helping Hamish.”
He said the award was now one of his most prized possessions.
“It will go with me when I leave home and I’m sure we’ll find a place to hang it at home, and it will be great to be able to have it on my CV,” he said.
While Hamish was seriously injured, Sam also suffered a laceration to his back and a broken wrist, but still managed to lift the boulder off his friend and carry him to a rock nearby while he went to find help.
“I just did what any other good mate would and helped my friend. All the adrenaline that was running through my body made me unaware that I had suffered my injuries,”
Hamish was flown to Dunedin Hospital by helicopter, while Sam went to Oamaru Hospital and was later discharged.
Seventeen-year-old Samuel met Hamish at St Kevin’s in year 9 and they have become great mates since then, despite Hamish now working in the Chatham Islands.
“We still talk about the day and what happened when we see each other.”
Hamish was unable to attend the ceremony, but his mother Eva Gregory-Hunt was there on his behalf.
“Hamish is gutted he couldn’t be here. He would’ve loved to have seen one of his best mates getting recognised for his good deeds,” she said.
Southern District Commander Superintendent Andrew Coster praised Samuel for his quick thinking.
“He did incredibly well and we want to show our appreciation of that and we hope one day he may consider a career with the police or ambulance.”
Peter and Susan Evans are incredibly proud of their son.
“He did a fantastic job and we are so proud of him. He has always been that kind of person who would stop and help and to see him recognised for what he did is awesome,” Mr Evans said.
St Kevin’s College principal Paul Olsen said they were very proud of their year 12 pupil.
“Sam’s commendation acknowledges his strength of character and maturity of decision-making. He is not only a wonderful role model for students at the college but also our young people within the wider community. We are all very proud of him.”
By BRAYDEN LINDSAY
PHOTO: BRAYDEN LINDSAY
PROUD: Samuel Evans with his parents Peter and Susan Evans at the ceremony at the Oamaru Police Station on Friday.