Kaikoura Star - Award recognises dedicated energy

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

It was fantastic to see Kaikoura man Melville Syme named in the Queens Birthday Honours list this year for services to the community.

Melville has been volunteering his time for countless projects and causes for the betterment of the Kaikoura community for around 40 years: He is a very worthy recipient of this award indeed.

There is evidence all over town of projects Melville has been involved in over the years.

To name just a few: The 50 public seating benches at scenic spots and on walking tracks, the 5,000 native trees planted as part of the He Timatanga Hou walkway project, the upgrades of the Kaikoura Memorial Hall and the Mayfair Community Theatre.

All of these are a credit to Melville and to the many other community-minded volunteers who, like him, offered their time and expertise.

The annual Queens Birthday Honours are a chance for all of us to recognise the hard work of people like Melville, who quite often operate out of - in fact sometimes avoid - the limelight.

These individuals have dedicated energy, drive and years of their lives in a manner that benefits others, whether it be within their chosen profession or, as in Melville's and his wife Julie's case, in purely communitybased voluntary positions.

As I mentioned, Melville was closely involved with the He Timatanga Hou walkway and forest regeneration project, for which he acted as treasurer. He has been project manager for the restoration of the Kaikoura Mayfair Community Theatre since 2012 - a project he was particularly proud of - and led fundraising with the Memorial Hall Committee for the upgrade of the facility.

He has been involved with the Lions Club of Kaikoura since 1968 and initiated a Lions project to establish the public benches around the district; He has contributed to the development of the Kaikoura Coastal and Seal Colony Walkway and Boardwalk; He has served the Kaikoura St Paul's Presbyterian Church, where he is currently an elder and treasurer there and has been convenor of Works and Maintenance since 1981.

Melville has also been active with the Kaikoura Agricultural and Pastoral Society.

I have met Melville on many occasions and feel privileged to know him. It is people like him who bring out the best in a community - and keep the community spirit alive - through generosity, dedication and a passion for the place they live in.

Congratulations Melville: Kaikoura is lucky to have you.

Queens Birthday Honours recipients are nominated by members of the public. If you know a person worthy of an honour, please contact my office to begin the nomination process: Phone 579 3204, visit 22 Scott Street Blenheim, or email stuart.smithmp@parliament.govt .nz - Stuart Smith is the Kaikoura MP