Servant to seafarers decorated with QSM
A love for the community and maintaining a family tradition motivate Bluff woman Brenda Donovan's community spirit.
Most week nights when ships are in port, she can be found helping out at the Bluff Seafarers' Centre, a role she loves and has held for many years.
That involvement has now been recognised with a Queen's Service Medal, for services to seafarers.
She said she was honoured but surprised to receive the medal.
Her lengthy service to the seafaring community was shaped by her mother, who was an ardent supporter of the Southland merchant navy. Her father and husband were also seamen.
Donovan joined the Southland Merchant Navy Centre in 1963, and was president of the Ladies Guild until it disbanded in 1981.
Since then, she has served as a board member of the Bluff Seafarers' Centre, which provides welfare services to seafarers, including drop-in centres, chaplaincy and referrals to other agencies.
"I enjoy meeting people. A lot of them are seamen that keep coming back ... it's like being part of a family," she said.
The Southland Times