Someone has to say 'pick me'

00:21, Sep 27 2013
Pat Veltkamp Smith
Columnist Pat Veltkamp Smith was Southland Times women's editor until 1997 and is a former president of the Southland Justices of the Peace Association.

Only very small children wanting to be in a team, a group, cry "pick me, please" ... and at the other end of life, only mature adults have the cool to put themselves forward for political office, saying the same thing, writes Pat Veltkamp Smith in And Another Thing.

Good on them: it takes bottle.

Right through all the in-between times, it would be good if anyone actually said "pick me, please"

They sit through many annual meetings as the guy at the top begs someone to take over, be the secretary, treasurer, tea-maker, bottle washer - whatever.

These appeals usually fall on deaf ears so the same-old, same-old prevails, with no-one really pleased.

No-one cries "Pick me" when dirty dishes await, the vacuum cleaner is tugged out, the house needs a clean, lawns cut or garden weeded.


Those same little people who put their hand up and cried "pick me" to be in the team grow into strangely quiet teens, adults who look dispassionately at the scene before them - and say nothing.

But then they reach 40 and see nothing but need around them - for help in trade unions, professional bodies, local gardening groups, political parties, and territorial bodies like the city and district councils holding elections here soon.

Everyone standing deserves our respect. It is hard graft and, bless 'em, they are open to all sorts of abuse.

But the lass who wins hearts is former Auckland osteopath Jan, who bought a pad in Janet St (where else?), saw the south of Invercargill needed a freshen up and said "pick me".

They did.

She started small, picking up rubbish around her block, and then the next and another and, along with others in the team, is gradually making south Invercargill come alive with tree planting, community gardens,

"Pick me" has been the byword when the call goes out for someone to do something.

Without big money, professional direction, indecision and endless arguments, South Alive is going ahead.

A similar project is developing in Glengarry.

It is the "Pick Me" people who make it happen.

The Southland Times