Snub to benefactor angers friend

Man who donated $5m isn't honoured in awards

EVAN HARDING
Last updated 05:00 04/09/2013
Mary Ward
EVAN HARDING/ Fairfax NZ
NOT HAPPY: Invercargill woman Mary Ward says she is disgusted philanthropist Louis Crimp has missed out on a civic award.
Louis Crimp
LOUIS CRIMP
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Poll: Invercargill philanthropist Louis Crimp, who has given more than $5 million to organisations in the south, has been snubbed in the Invercargill City Council 2013 civic honours awards.

City resident Mary Ward, who has known 80-year-old Mr Crimp since childhood and counts him as a friend, said she nominated him because of the more than $5 million he had given to charitable organisations since 2007.

However, late last month she received a letter from the city council saying her nomination was unsuccessful.

The lettersays the selection panel was faced with a difficult task in determining the recipients because of the number of outstanding nominations.

"Unfortunately, the nomination you forwarded was unsuccessful on this occasion."

Mrs Ward said she was disgusted Mr Crimp had missed out on the award.

"I nominated him for what he has done for so many people. He has put so much back into this province with his philanthropy."

She argued Mr Crimp had done much more for the community than some other people who had received awards in the past.

"I am damn disgusted, quite frankly.

"People are quick to criticise but they aren't very quick to hand out bouquets, and I think he is worthy of a bouquet."

The council received eight nominations for the civic awards and the two judges, Mayor Tim Shadbolt and council chief executive Richard King, selected the six successful applicants. Their decision was endorsed by the full council.

Mr King said yesterday that Mr Crimp was worthy of recognition for his philanthropy in the community, but his generosity did not fit the criteria of the civic awards.

The guidelines were that nominees had to have carried out meritorious voluntary service in the Invercargill city district.

When it was suggested Mr Crimp's philanthropy was a voluntary service, Mr King agreed it was, "in a sense".

But he said giving away lots of money was a different thing to giving 35 years of voluntary work to a cancer organisation.

Though the council was not giving Mr Crimp a civic award, Mr King said the council would be presenting Mr Crimp with a certificate recognising his contribution to the city at its meeting on September 17.

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Mr Crimp was unavailable for comment, but his personal assistant, Amy Nicol, said he did not care about such things and was unaware he had been nominated.

"That's not why he gives the money."

The civic awards winners will be announced on October 4.

DONATIONS TO DATE

Louis Crimp's donations to Southland organisations –

2007: $1 million to a hospice fundraising project.

2008: $100,000 to SPCA.

2010: $100,000 to SPCA.

2011: $2m towards the rebuild of Stadium Southland. $1m to the Southland branch of St John. South Invercargill residential section to Habitat for Humanity.

2012: $1m towards a new SPCA animal shelter in Invercargill.

2013: $100,000 to Age Concern Southland

Total: $5.3 million 

- The Southland Times

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