• Patrick McBride

QSM for Blackball stalwart

The Queen has been pleased, on the occasion of the celebration of Her Majesty's Birthday, to announce awards of The Queen's Service Medal today which included Blackball man Alan Cox.

COX, Mr Allan John of Blackball

For services to the community:

Mr Allan Cox has given more than 40 years of service to the Blackball community through several organisations.

Mr Cox is a current member of the Blackball Swimming Club, having volunteered for the club since 1980. He has helped fundraise and implement three separate pool upgrades and committed many weeks of service each season to have the pool ready for use.

He was a member of the West Coast Kennel Association from 1982 to 2015, including serving as President for 22 years and as a delegate to the national annual conference for six years.

Alan was made a Life Member of the Swimming Club in 1991 and the Kennel Association in 2012.

He was a volunteer with the Blackball Fire Brigade from 1974 to 2015, where he rose to the rank of Station Officer and was made a Life Member. Alan was also Chairman of the Blackball School Committee from 1984, during which time he helped lift the school out of financial difficulty and oversaw the construction of a new Blackball School in 1986.

He has been a key contributor to a number of general community projects in Blackball, including the construction of 22 picnic tables and the fencing of the Blackball cemetery. Mr Cox was also a volunteer for the Order of St John from 1990 to 2015.

Speaking to McBride Vision this morning Cox said he was blindsided with the honor.

"When I found out I thought, is this a bloody hoax"

The humbled Blackball identity was awarded a Civic Award from the Grey District Council for outstanding voluntary service to the community and a Kiwi Bank local Hero medal last year.

"I certainly don't do things for this, I'm blown away with the latest award."

It is not the first QSM bestowed upon the household with Kathryn having been awarded the honor in 2002.

SCADDEN, Mr Richard Alexander of Granity

For services to the community:

Mr Richard Scadden has been involved with a range of community organisations in Granity and the wide Buller area.

Mr Scadden has been an active member of Freemasons New Zealand since 1972, being appointed to multiple high offices throughout this time. He initiated a support programme for the West Coast Helicopter Rescue Service. He volunteered for the Scout Association of New Zealand for 20 years and was District Commissioner for Wellington East for three years. He has been a member of the Northern Buller Communities Society Inc. for 26 years, including time as Deputy Chairman, and remains an executive member. He was a member of the Granity Beautification Committee for 19 years, Chairman of South Granity Water Board for seven years, and a volunteer with the Buller Citizen’s Advice Bureau for 23 years. He has been involved with Westport RSA for 24 years, where he is sub-Branch Secretary and organises and runs both the Granity Dawn Parade and the Waimangaroa Community Service. He has been involved with the Granity Reserve Board for 10 years and was Treasurer and Chairman. Mr Scadden has been an active fundraiser for several other organisations in the community.

BRERETON, Ms Kay Michelle of Murchison.

For services to the welfare of beneficiaries:

Ms Kay Brereton is the manager of the Beneficiaries and Unwaged Workers Trust in Nelson and is an experienced advocate for people within the welfare system.

Since 2007, Ms Brereton has been a member of the National Beneficiary Advocacy Consultative Group (NBACG), which meets with the Ministry of Social Development to discuss ongoing issues in the welfare system.

She is currently Co-Convenor of NBACG for the Wellington Peoples Centre. She is a member of several working groups with the Ministry of Social Development and other Government Ministries, including the Alignment Programme Working Group and the Ethics Working Group. She was a member of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group in 2018.

Ms Brereton was contracted by Southland Beneficiaries and Community Rights Centre to deliver benefit advocacy training to existing and new groups around New Zealand, and to deliver a Remote Advocacy Service Trial from December 2014 to May 2015 for trespassed clients.