Hero medals for six good people

00:23, Nov 27 2012

Six Marlborough people, including 17-year-old Sounds resident Leona Plaisier, will receive Local Heroes medals tonight.

The ceremony, part of Kiwibank's New Zealander of the Year Awards, will see Barry Archer, David John Gardiner, Jayne Glover, Raymond McKay, Anthony (Tony) Quirk, and Plaisier honoured at a ceremony at Brancott Estate Heritage Centre tonight.

Organisers said that there had been more than 260 nominations received in the "local heroes" category as part of this year's awards, and the judges had recognised 180 of these individuals nationwide to receive medals.

"The calibre and quality of the nominations was exceptional and, once again, we are amazed at those people in your region making such a difference in the lives of others who deserve to be rewarded for their contribution to the community," organisers said.

They said the medals were usually presented in March, but have been moved to November and December instead.

The top 10 finalists in each category of the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards will be announced this month, with winners announced in February.


The six Marlborough people who are to receive medals tonight are:

David Gardiner He has been a tireless volunteer worker for many years.

He has spent thousands of hours of his own time helping numerous sporting groups in Marlborough, including the Marlborough Horse Racing Club, Blenheim Swimming Club, Marlborough Boys' College Rugby, Marlborough Junior Rugby Association and the Harlequins Rugby Club.

Barry Archer He has a long association with firefighting.

He joined the Marton Volunteer Fire Brigade in 1959, as an enthusiastic 18-year-old. He served as a paid firefighter from 1966 to 1974, and joined the Picton Volunteer Fire Brigade in August 2000.

He is due his 25-year Gold Star medal next year.

Jayne Glover She has worked as a nurse, for CYFS, as well as chairing Victim Support in the past.

Leona Plaisier She was raised on a 42-hectare section of bush in the outer Pelorus Sound that was bought by her parents, Brian and Ellen, in 1994.

Her family has dedicated their time to restoring this land, known as the Tui Nature Reserve.

The reserve can only be accessed by boat, and 38ha of the land is legally protected as part of the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust.

Raymond McKay He has achieved 25 years' service as a volunteer firefighter with the Picton Volunteer Fire Brigade.

He has a long family association with firefighting, his grandfather and great-grandfather were both volunteer fire fighters.

Anthony (Tony) Quirk He has organised and run the Blenheim Gymnastic Club competitions for more than 26 years.

He became more involved with higher achievers and became the coach for those who wanted to compete at a national level, training a strong team of gymnasts, achieving good results on both junior and senior grades in national competitions.

The Marlborough Express