• Media release

06 May 2024


Thornbury hall custodians Lynley and Stuart Shaw have received a rare Recognition of Service Award after 33 years of working for their community.

Ōraka Aparima Community Board chair Michael Weusten said the board was proud to present the award for only the second time in Southland’s history. The first was in 2019, when a Recognition of Service Award was presented to Isobel Pearson who worked as an amenities cleaner in Otautau for 32 years.
Lynley and Stuart Shaw took over from Fay Conlon as custodians of the Thornbury Centennial Hall in 1991.

As custodians they took hall bookings, arranged payments, ensured the hall key was available to users, made sure hall equipment was available, cleaned the hall, stocked up supplies, carried out maintenance and groundskeeping, were in charge of security and responded to emergencies.
Mr Weusten said their cleaning of the hall was “exemplary”.

As local community members, Mr and Mrs Shaw were always helping at hall working bees, whether it was painting or planting rhododendrons.

Former Thornbury Community Development Area subcommittee chair Annette Horrell said the Shaws were very conscientious and provided a wonderful service for the local area. “The key was always available in the mailbox if they were not at home and now they are spending time with family.”
Southland District Mayor Rob Scott said the Shaws’ voluntary service should not be underestimated, as halls were the lifeblood of many small communities, providing many happy memories. They had done a “fantastic job” for Thornbury.

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