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Pride of Te Awamutu

Pride of Te Awamutu Awards

The Pride of Te Awamutu Awards were established by Te Awamutu Alive to acknowledge the success of people from Te Awamutu. The inaugural annual ceremony was held on Friday evening, 4th April 2003 at the Te Awamutu College Hall.

Te Awamutu Alive

The main event was the unveiling of the first pavement stone in the new "Walk of Fame". Mayor Alan Livingston explained the concept of the walk, which will be constructed at Selwyn Park as part of the planned upgrade later this year. Like the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the walk will feature a series of personalised stones inscribed with celebrity names and their field of achievement.

Video Clip - Neil Finn In what was hardly a major upset, the first stone was awarded to Tim and Neil Finn for their outstanding musical success. The large crowd in attendance was treated to an acceptance speech by Neil in which he said "When you're born in Te Awamutu, you're always from Te Awamutu. You never lose that".

The audience wasn't about to let him get away without a free performance, so Neil offered a wonderful unaccompanied rendition of Van Morrison's "Irish Heartbeat". Explaining that the Finns sing this song at family gatherings, Neil described it as being "about going back to where you're from".

Mike and Doug Tamaki The standard of entertainment continued with guest speakers Mike and Doug Tamaki, founders of the hugely successful Tamaki Tours. Mike and Doug spoke about the road their business has traveled from difficult beginnings to national acclaim. Affirming the general theme of pride in Te Awamutu, the brothers also emphasised the importance of retaining their original values and personalities in the face of pressure to conform to "business" standards.

Master of ceremonies Steve Sauders kept up the pace throughout the full programme and contributed greatly with his energetic humour.

Local historian Bill Neill made an excellent job of providing a concise overview of early European history in Te Awamutu, aided by a slideshow of historical photographs.

Perhaps the most notable part of the evening, however, was the sheer number of impressive achievements by local people. The list below includes those who received awards for success in their chosen field. Recipients were given a certificate commemorating the event and their names are to be recorded in a book which will reside at the Te Awamutu Museum.

Pride of Te Awamutu Awards
Joey Allen High Achievement in the sport of Yachting
Paul & Sue Bardoul High Achievement in Dairy Farming
Peter Betschart High Academic Achievement
Kelly Brill High Achievement in the sport of Junior Boxing
Rushlee Buchanan High Achievement in the sport of Cycling
Graeme Bunn High Achievement as a Cycling Coach
Luke Cowley High Academic Achievement
Helen Davies High Achievement in Sport for the Blind
Tim Gudsell High Achievement in the Sport of Cycling
Te Reo Hughes High Achievement in Music
Laurel Hungerford High Achievement in Music
Lea Hunt High Achievement in Guiding
Welbi Ings High Achievement in the Arts
Nic Jordan High Achievement in the Sport of Motor Racing
Peter Latham High Achievement in the Sport of Cycling
Michelle McMonagle High Academic Achievement
Jamie Neal High Academic Achievement
Karl Moore High Achievement in the Sport of Cycling
Jordan Newlands High Achievement in the Sport of Cycling
Katherine O'Regan High Achievement in Public Service
Justin Port High Achievement in Industry
Rachel Powell High Achievement in the Sport of Cycling
Bruce Reihana High Achievement in the Sport of Rugby
Gail Ryan Valuable Service to the Guiding Movement
Brad Shilton High Achievement in the Sport of Golf
Phillip Tataurangi High Achievement in the Sport of Golf
Te Awamutu College Band High Achievement in Music
Robin Tervit High Achievement in Science
Clive Tucker High Achievement in the Sport of Croquet
Barbara Wheadon High Achievement in the Sport of Basketball
Michael Williams High Achievement in the Arts
Service to the Community Awards
Altrusa Club Service to the Community
Alison Beamish Service to the Community
Tuffy Burchell Service to the Community
Tim & Neil Finn Outstanding Musicians
Jean Gatton Service to the Kihikihi Community
Jackie Grinder Service to the Community
Phyllis Henderson Service to the Community
Cathy Heys Service to the Community
Margaret Knight Service to the Community
Zilda Liddington Service to the Community
Ruth Lucas Service to the Community
Brian Richardson Service to the Community
Keith Storey Service to the Community
Murray Walter Service to the Pirongia Community
Te Wananga o Aotearoa Service to the Community
Allan Webb Service to the Cinema