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.
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.
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".
|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|