Quake awards honour the brave and the good

Round two of the Christchurch Earthquake Awards will be presented Tuesday night.

As you'd expect, many awards commend bravery and clear thinking on February 22.

Maree Beswick, for example, evacuated more than 60 intellectually disabled people from a damaged building; John Haynes rescued 14 people from the Forsyth Barr building; Kathryn McDrury provided lifesaving CPR to a workmate.

But more than the first round of city awards (presented at the 1st anniversary commemorations in Hagley Park), this round reaches deep into badly-hit communities and honours residents  who organised quake relief and response weeks, months and (soon) years after the February quake.

These include people such as Mount Pleasant's Linda Rutland and Marty Anderson.

When the Mount Pleasant community was down, both stepped up and volunteered uncounted hours of emergency relief as well as leading the repair and rebuild of the hillside community.

Marty is unusually active as the chair of the Mount Pleasant School board of trustees and has involved the school - officially or not - in almost every community event and effort in Mt Pleasant since the big quake.

He was an early champion and stallholder of the Mt Pleasant farmers' market (Saturdays, 10am-1pm, McCormack's Bay Rd) and makes great T shirts

Linda was briefly a city councillor for the eastern suburbs and used that experience to lobby city council post-quake to improve the replacement of Ferrymead Bridge as well as the widening of Main Road along the Estuary.

She helped found the Coastal Cluster Network (a network of community groups), Insurance Watch (although she's since stepped back) and chairs the Christchurch Coastal Pathway group  (which proposes a pathway from Scarborough to Ferrymead).

Dedication to community are seemingly more important to Linda and Marty than food, drink and income.

If Christchurch City Council got it right for Mt Pleasant, then I'm satisfied council got it right for the other neighbourhoods - Sumner, Redcliffs, Heathcote, Lyttelton, Brooklands, Bexley, Woolston, Dallington, St Albans, Shirley-Papanui and so forth - where post-quake relief was provided by volunteers who were honoured today.

The word "heroic" gets used too much and doesn't describe the accomplishments of people such as Marty and Linda.

They gave themselves for the good of the wider community.

A word that applies better is ''good''.

A hill resident who has worked with them both prefers ''generous''.

Whatever, they and the other 170 recipients have been properly singled out.


The Press