Honours for Gap Filler, SPCA, food-bank volunteers

Coralie Winn, QSM for services to the arts. Co-founder and creative director of Gap Filler.
Stacy Squires

Coralie Winn, QSM for services to the arts. Co-founder and creative director of Gap Filler.

Cantabrians giving back to their community or going beyond the call of duty are among those honoured in the New Year honours list.

Acknowledged for their contribution are:

Mary Corbett, Queen's Service Medal for services to the community

Cashmere opera singer Anna Midgley is given a QSM for services to the arts and commmunity.
Jane Wyles

Cashmere opera singer Anna Midgley is given a QSM for services to the arts and commmunity.

Halswell resident Mary Corbett has been involved with the Hornby Rotary Club since 1998. She has assisted with various projects including the Hornby Work Project Trust and the Hornby Day Care Centre for the Elderly.

Leonie Corry, Queen's Service Medal for services to the community

Leeston resident Leonie Corry helped establish the Ellesmere Food Bank in 1995 and has volunteered there for 19 years.

Lewis (Lou) Sanson, honoured for services to Antarctic science and conservation.
CAMERON BURNELL/FAIRFAX NZ

Lewis (Lou) Sanson, honoured for services to Antarctic science and conservation.

Work and Income New Zealand, the Selwyn District Council and other organisations rely solely on the Ellesmere Food Bank to meet the emergency needs of people in the Selwyn district and regularly refer people to Corry and her team.

Heather Gladstone, Queen's Service Medal for services to music

Burnside resident Heather Gladstone has been involved in music for more than 50 years. She started the Christchurch Star Children's Choir in 1965 and for 12 years ran the Children's Choir Christchurch. She set up her own music school in 1978 and organised regular student concerts.

Keith Norton, QSM, for services to the NZ Fire Service and Urban Search and Rescue.
Kirk Hargreaves

Keith Norton, QSM, for services to the NZ Fire Service and Urban Search and Rescue.

Alexandra (Anna) Midgley, Queen's Service Medal for services to the arts and the community

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Cashmere resident Anna Midgley was an opera singer in the United Kingdom for 30 years. She returned to New Zealand in 1998 and became involved in the Dame Malvina Major Foundation, raising up to $250,000 each year for young people in Canterbury involved in the performing arts. She started foundation golf tournaments and initiated the Catch A Rising Star and Arts Excellence Awards in conjunction with the Canterbury Community Trust.

Keith Norton, Queen's Service Medal for services to the New Zealand Fire Service and Urban Search and Rescue

Avonhead resident Keith Norton has been a firefighter in Christchurch for more than 38 years and has been a member of the Urban Search and Rescue (Usar) Taskforce since 2001. He was one of six Usar technicians from Christchurch deployed to assist with recovery work after the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

David (Neil) Sinclair, Queen's Service Medal for services to philanthropy and the community

Ashburton resident Neil Sinclair founded the Advance Ashburton Community Foundation in 2003. Under his leadership the foundation ran a series of academic scholarship programmes, a local child literacy programme, a welfare programme for rural firefighters, and other community projects, including raising $1.5 million to rebuild the quake-damaged Ashburton Hospital.

Coralie Winn, Queen's Service Medal for services to the arts

Addington resident Coralie Winn is the co-founder and creative director of Gap Filler, which works with local community groups, artists, designers and engineers to transform demolition sites left vacant after the February 2011 earthquake.

Major Michael Nochete, the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration for services to the New Zealand Defence Force

Burnham-based Major Michael Nochete served as a military liaison officer with the United Nations Mission (UNMISS) in the Republic of South Sudan. Nochete was one of the few UN staffers who volunteered to return to the town of Bor during heavy fighting and, in the absence of trained UN staff, oversaw the evacuation of hundreds of personnel, including critical casualties, UN staff, and refugees.

Emmet O'Sullivan, a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to polo

A life dedicated to polo has paid off for Ashburton's Emmet O'Sullivan. O'Sullivan took up polo in the early 1960s. During his playing days he captained the Ashburton team that won the first Gould Cup in 1965. While captain of the Ashburton Polo Club for almost 10 years from 1974, his team won most of the South Island competitions and he led a South Island team to Western Australia in 1981. He is a life member of the New Zealand Polo Association.

Ross Trevor Blanks, an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to animal welfare

Ross Trevor Blanks, of Yaldhurst, began his voluntary work with the SPCA in the 1980s. He held executive and board roles from 1995 to 2014 and was instrumental the introduction of early puppy socialisation programmes to New Zealand. In 2013 Blanks was awarded with the Henry Schein Cares (HSC) international veterinary community service award for his work after the 2011 Canterbury earthquakes..

John Gary Clarke (Gary), Queen's Service Medal for his services to sport and philanthropy

Linwood resident Gary Clarke has played, coached and selected rugby league teams for Canterbury and the South Island for more than 40 years. He played two test matches in the 1968 World Cup. He has a public display of historic rugby memorabilia in his factory and in recent years has donated more than $20,000 to organisations, such as Camp Quality that organises activities for children with cancer.

Major Barbara June Sampson, Queen's Service Medal for her services to the community

Major Barbara June Sampson has contributed to the Salvation Army for 29 years. Sampson entered training in 1973 and in 1975 she and her husband were appointed to Chikankata Secondary School in Zambia. After their return Sampson became the first married female officer from New Zealand to attend to Salvation Army's international college for officers in London.

Lewis Vernon Sanson, New Zealand Antarctic Medal for his services to Antarctic science and conservation

Lou Sanson was chief executive of Antarctica New Zealand in Christchurch for seven years.

He was responsible for overseeing the deepest ever multinational sedimentary science drilling project in Antarctica and also led the development of Antarctica's largest wind turbine project at McMurdo Station and Scott Base. Sanson was conservator for Southland Conservancy and also led the establishment of Rakiura National Park and marine reserves in Fiordland.

He is now the Director-General of the Department of Conservation and lives in Wellington.

 - The Press

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