Raetihi kaumātua Jim Turuhia Edmonds has been named the 2017 Waimarino-Waiouru Citizens Award recipient in recognition of his many years of service to the community.
In a letter to Uenuku Charitable Trust, Ruapehu Mayor Don Cameron said its nomination of Uncle Jim was considered by the Waimarino-Waiouru Community Board and was successful.
In its nomination, Uenuku Charitable Trust described Uncle Jim as an unsung hero whose dedication, involvement and contribution to his people and his community has been unwavering.
Now retired, the past Golden Shears recipient worked for many years in shearing, fencing, logging and sustainable farming. He has served as chairman of Raetihi Marae, and on the Board of Atihau-Whanganui Incorporation and the Morikaunui Incorporation. He is an Executive Committee member of FOMA (Federation of Māori Authorities), served as a cultural adviser to Winstone Afforestation (Tangata Whenua Working Group), and is a former Waimarino/Ruapehu District councillor.
In addition to these official roles, he was nominated for decades of behind-the-scenes work that demonstrates his love and commitment to his community.
“He is still seen around the town mowing the lawns of the Raetihi Māori cemetery, or – for the elderly or families who need help – dropping off firewood or food, fixing fences, being the handyman, or just visiting,” the Uenuku nomination said.
Uncle Jim and his late wife Patsy have five children, 13 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. Additionally, they raised many other children and supported families who needed safety and love.
“He has been a role model to his family and those families he has influenced over the years with his positive can-do attitude,” Uenuku Charitable Trust said.
“There are probably many things he is involved with that we don’t even know about, but we do know that Jim has a strong commitment to helping with collaborative community initiatives. He really represents the spirit of our community in all his endeavours. He is a true believer in the value of community service through voluntary practices.”