Eketahuna a privilege to support, says new QSM
A long-time resident of Eketahuna says his Queen's Birthday Honour is a reflection on the can-do attitude of the small Tararua town.
John Harman, who marks 50 years in Eketahuna next year, has received the Queen's Service Medal.
A dairy farmer by trade, and still running stock today, Harman has been a member of multiple community groups in the town and wider district.
He has served on the Wairarapa Drought Committee, Pleckville Water Scheme Committee and Eketahuna Promotions Committee.
He has also been the chairman of the Eketahuna Community Board and Eketahuna Charitable Trust.
Harman said when he moved to the town there were multiple grocery stores, stock agents and even a bootmaker.
But the migration of people to cities has seen the town's population dwindle.
The town has also battled challenges like having the owner of the last grocery store shut up shop in the 1980s and its only petrol station burn down in 2001.
Harman said his work with the Eketahuna Charitable Trust, set up to provide assets for the town, was the most important. The trust issued debentures to residents, using the money to get a Four Square and rebuild the petrol station.
"The community rallied around and we were the instrument to take the money and pay everyone back."
Both businesses are still thriving. Money made from leases is used to pay back the community and raise more money.
Harman said he was honoured to receive his medal, but credited it to the town he lives in.
"It has been a privilege working for the district and the community of Eketahuna, because they are a small community that really has a ‘can-do' attitude.
"The support they have given on projects has been absolutely tremendous."
Harman keeps himself busy these days by farming and playing outdoor bowls. He is also the chairman of the Eketahuna Bowling Club.