Life Education Trust stalwart honoured
Man didn't even tell family about QSMKELSEY WILKIE
Harold the Giraffe made the New Year's Honours list this year, kind of.
George Bruce Darvill of Paeroa has a Harold the Giraffe costume in his spare room - he dresses as him every year when Life Education Trust visits Paeroa schools.
This is just one of the many contributions that Mr Darvill makes to his community and is the reason for the honour.
A few months ago Mr Darvill received a letter from Governor-General Jerry Mateparae congratulating him on receiving the award for services to the community.
"It was a complete surprise," Mr Darvill said. "I still don't know who nominated me."
This isn't the first time Mr Darvill has been honoured for his community work, he keeps a drawer full of his numerous medals and awards.
He is humble about his accomplishments - he had not told a soul about receiving a QSM, not even his family.
"I've been tossing up whether to tell them or not and I really don't want to. It's embarrassing, there's plenty of other people who deserve this more than me.
"I don't know what reaction I'll get. I should imagine they'll be proud, be pleased for me."
Not a lot of people have been part of Paeroa Community Support Trust, worked with Life Education Trust and been a committee member and champion of the "It's Not OK In Paeroa" family violence campaign.
Mr Darvill said his upbringing played a huge part in influencing his work.
"My mother probably had a big influence on me because when we were younger she used to take in children that needed care overnight.
"Also the other thing I think that influenced me a lot was that I had a cousin that was a spastic boy and I admired the way his brother and sister used to look after him."
Mr Darvill first got involved with community work after a teacher at Goldfields School asked if some students could do work experience at his coffee lounge.
"It was so good for me as well as them and I think that's the beauty, you get your reward out of it, the joy you get out of all the kids."
- Waikato Times