2019 Community Service Award Recipients

Alex Gordon

It takes someone like Alex Gordon to keep a small community alive.

Alex is a quiet community stalwart, a forward thinker and hard worker who has made a sustained commitment to his community in governance and as a hands-on volunteer.

Since 1963 Alex has been an active member of the Roxburgh Combined Division of St John Ambulance, serving as an ambulance officer, combined division superintendent, and as Roxburgh Area ambulance manager for several years. Now retired as an ambulance officer, Alex is still on the Roxburgh Area Committee. Alex has been recognised for his service to St John with the award of Commander of the Order.

In 1967 he was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship for service above self as a member of the Roxburgh Rotary Club.

Alex continues to play in the Roxburgh Brass Band, something he has enjoyed for over 60 years, including holding band office positions over that time.

Alex has always been instrumental in the development and operation of the Teviot Valley Rest Home, having been elected to the inaugural rest home committee. He is committee chair and a director of Teviot Valley Rest Home Ltd. Alex coordinates fundraising, including a recent debate that raised $21,000 towards additional rooms.

Over many decades and in limitless ways, Alex has made a huge, heartfelt contribution to the benefit of his local community.

Barry Becker

It’s the spirit of locals like Barry Becker that keeps the Oturehua community in good heart.

Barry is a true Central Otago country bloke—his word goes a long way. Genuine and practical, he’s a community leader who steps in to make things happen.

Whether it’s sport, local government, farming, rural services or education, Barry has the best interests of his community at heart, willingly giving his time, skills and energy for the place and people he loves.

His long and selfless community service is reflected in many ways. He’s led many local sporting and community organisations as chair, manager or president.

When the Oturehua water supply needed an upgrade, Barry led the community in the creation of a new water scheme in 2007. He continues to chair the Oturehua Water Company and read the water meters. For decades he’s chaired the Oturehua Saleyards Company and Gilchrists Oturehua Store Ltd. He’s also served as Maniototo Association president.

Cricket is one of Barry’s passions. He’s held many local and regional leadership roles both in cricket and cricket umpiring. The Oturehua School and Oturehua Winter Sports Club have also benefited from his input.

Barry is described as having an easy way with a keen but practical mind; as a resolute, versatile, devoted and respected community man, who has made an enormous contribution to Oturehua and Central Otago.

Brigette Paterson

She’s an inspirational ideas person with vision and a passion for her place—a `go to’ person in the Teviot Valley.

Whether it’s Cherry Chaos or an iconic public toilet façade, Brigette Paterson has the ideas and drive that foster a sense of community and put the Teviot Valley on the map.

For the past nine years, Brigette has served on Teviot Prospects (formerly the Roxburgh and District Community Plan Trust) including as a trustee and more recently as treasurer. Brigette creates and works alongside others to activate projects that benefit the Roxburgh community.

In 2011, Brigette led a committee to organise the beautification of Roxburgh’s public toilets as a drawcard for visitors, driving the fundraising effort of $130,000.

Brigette was responsible for initiating and implementing the novel idea of Cherry Chaos; an annual event which brings seasonal workers and the community together for fun times, including running an obstacle course while being pelted with reject cherries.

As a member of the Teviot Valley Community Development Scheme’s governance group, Brigette has been heavily involved in their project to create a street mural celebrating the region’s heritage values and unique stories.

Whatever she does Brigette adds real value—new ideas, inventing and promoting events, fundraising, shoulder tapping volunteers or helping at the A & P Show—innovating and partnering with others to achieve the best for her community.

Rose Jefcoate

Rose Jefcoate is a lifesaver with a big, kind heart who `goes above and beyond’ for vulnerable people in her community.

Rose manages the Central Otago Living Options activity centre in Alexandra that supports people with complex intellectual, physical and sensory disabilities.

For Rose it’s much more than a 9-5 role. She generously gives her own time for the wellbeing of Living Options members—offering them new, empowering experiences in the wider community.

Once a week for many years in her own time, Rose took participants to bone carving classes to make jewellery and to carpentry classes.

Every Thursday she organises a training café where members practice their hospitality skills with friends and family. Many have gained café work in the community because of the skills they’ve learned.

Rose annually organises a huge community Christmas party and the Living Options `Stars in their Eyes’ show. She always celebrates occasions, including making birthday cakes for members and encouraging the smallest of achievements. Often in her own time, she organises regular holidays to Queenstown for Living Options members.

Twice each week Rose goes to the centre early to bake scones that are then sold to local businesses to raise funds for extra activities.

Rose’s inspirational and caring spirit, tireless service and natural gift to empower people is exceptional. She is an outstanding community role model who gives selflessly to support people to achieve their goals and potential.