Lois Livingston awarded Queen's Service Medal
Lois Livingston fought hard for performing arts, public transport in Hamilton and preservation of the environment and heritage in the Waikato.
She died on November 20 after ongoing health problems. She was diagnosed with multiple myeloma - a cancer of the plasma cells - in 2013.
Her daughter Adrienne Livingston said that while growing up, she thought what her mum did and achieved was "kind of normal".
But Adrienne realised at the memorial service that other people thought Lois was anything but normal.
"Growing up, she was always on the phone to the media, at meetings, writing funding applications - which she hated doing, but did because she knew she had to - and dragging us and our friends in to help set up fund-raising events.
"That was her life. She walked the talk."
In September this year, Lois received a letter saying she had been nominated for the Queen's Service Medal in recognition of her services to local government and the arts. The Queen approved her medal on November 10.
"Mum was happy, excited and instantly texted my sister, Taran, in the UK saying, 'How about that?' "
Her list of achievements runs long: a qualified teacher with post-graduate diplomas in drama and broadcasting from the University of Auckland; time spent with acting and theatre groups; radio announcer; and involvement in theatre companies, projects, stage shows and producing.
She chaired committees, trusts and was on boards - Waikato Conservation Board, Lottery Environment and Heritage Committee, was chairwoman for the Riverlea Theatre Board for five years, and chair of the Hamilton East Community Trust (HECT) for nine years, just to name a few.
She was a regional councillor for 21 years, apart from 2007-2010, Waikato's longest-serving councillor.
But the medal nomination didn't compare with the recent election results, Adrienne said.
"I'd like to thank the 16,494 people who voted for Mum. When she top-polled, I believe she felt valued and appreciated.
"What a gift. Thank you."