Queen’s Birthday Honors 2022: Community, historical, youth and rugby service recognized

Five people from Rotorua were among 16 Bay Area residents receiving Queen’s Birthday honors this year. Image / Maryana Garcia

A_310719annsomerville1.JPG Irene Ann Somerville, recipient of the Queen’s Service Medal, for community service and historical research. Photo/NZME

Eight people from the Bay of Plenty will be recognized by the Queen today for their service to the community and for their achievements in their fields.

The five recipients of Rotorua’s Queen’s Birthday Honors are:

Dr Margriet Theron, Member of the Order of New Zealand

For science and community services

Dr Margriet Theron, Member of the Order of New Zealand for service to science and the community.  Photo/Andrew Warner
Dr Margriet Theron, Member of the Order of New Zealand for service to science and the community. Photo/Andrew Warner

Dr Margriet Theron learned she was being honored on the Queen’s birthday when she opened her mail in the supermarket car park.

His first reaction was one of astonishment.

For Theron, who also celebrated his 80th birthday and 50th wedding anniversary this year, the moment felt like coming full circle.

“I’ve been a big royalist since I was five,” Theron said.

“I was living in Cape Town then and King George and his two daughters came to visit me.”

Theron said she listened to Princess Elizabeth’s 21st birthday speech live on the radio.

“I remember her promising to dedicate her life to serving communities.”

Since then, Theron has tried to follow the monarch’s example.

Theron’s leading role in New Zealand forestry science earned him a New Zealand Suffrage Centenary Medal in 1993.

She has held governance positions with the Rotorua Chamber of Commerce, Geyser Community Foundation, HortResearch, Rotary, Ngati Pikiao, Bay of Plenty Conservation Board and was the first female Dean of Forestry in Waiariki Institute of Technology.

But Theron said she was very grateful to have the chance to work with immigrant communities.

“I am grateful to work with communities, helping migrants settle and celebrating their own culture, food and language.

“Providing them with opportunities to do so also shows how migrants contribute to and enrich New Zealand culture.”

Tangihaere Gloria Harihari-Hughes, Member of the Order of New Zealand

For Maori and Youth Services

Tangihaere Gloria Harihari-Hughes, Member of the Order of New Zealand, for her services to Maori and youth.  Photo / Ben Fraser
Tangihaere Gloria Harihari-Hughes, Member of the Order of New Zealand, for her services to Maori and youth. Photo / Ben Fraser

Tangihaere Gloria Harihari-Hughes says she was surprised and moved by the news, and didn’t really believe it at first.

Harihari-Hughes served as president of the New Zealand Māori Wardens Association from 2006 to 2011, having joined the national executive in 2005.

Harihari-Hughes organized and led a team of 30 Maori guardians from across the motu to travel to help after the 2010 Christchurch earthquake, later organizing two more teams to rotate and continue this support.

She is the Regional Director of Maori Warden Districts in Tauranga Moana, Waiariki.

As a lay defender at Rotorua Juvenile Court since 2018, Harihari-Hughes has arranged for young people to complete community service hours to help Maori caretakers meet community needs.

For 11 years, she organized a team of Maori keepers to attend the secondary school’s annual Waka Ama competition.

In 2008, she helped establish a branch of Maori Guardians in Brisbane, Australia.

She has been a member of the Bay of Plenty and Rotorua Police Advisory Council since 2010.

She was involved in the Te Arawa land claim through Te Pumautanga O Te Arawa from 2000 to 2009 and chaired the Ngāti Rongomai Iwi Trust land claim during the same period.

Harihari-Hughes also served as Regional Director of the Waiariki Māori Women’s Welfare League from 2000 to 2004.

She said the most important part of her work experience has been “leading with honesty, integrity and sincere concern for people.”

Ross Everiss, Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit

For rugby services

Ross Everiss, Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for his services to rugby.  Photo/NZME
Ross Everiss, Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for his services to rugby. Photo/NZME

When All Blacks Sevens rugby manager Ross Everiss opened his emails in early April, one item in his inbox stood out from the rest.

“I was quite stunned, to be honest with you. It took me a while to read and re-read it.

Everiss has captained New Zealand’s first rugby sevens team since 2003.

Everiss said he was honored by the honor and grateful for the sacrifices of his wife and family who helped him along the way.

“It’s also a tribute to the team. There were a lot of cool moments during my long time with them.

“It was exciting to be part of the Olympics, Rugby World Cups and World Series tournaments, with some big wins.”

During his time with the team, the All Blacks Sevens have won four Commonwealth gold medals, a silver medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and 13 of the 21 events on the World Rugby Sevens World Series circuit.

Everiss’ support and mentorship has contributed to the team’s success and inspired the younger generation in the sport.

Everiss said he was proud to say he left the team in a better place than it was when he picked it up.

“There is a certain satisfaction in knowing that I have added to the legacy.”

Patrick Walsh, Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit

For educational services

Patrick Walsh, Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for Service to Education.  Photo/NZME
Patrick Walsh, Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for Service to Education. Photo/NZME

Former John Paul College Principal Patrick Walsh did not expect a letter from the Governor General in the mail.

“I was very humbled, because I know there are a lot of great educators out there.

“It’s an award you receive on behalf of all teachers and principals.”

Walsh expressed his gratitude to his wife, Pauline, and John Paul College who over the years have supported Walsh’s involvement in national education initiatives.

Walsh has played a key role in the leadership of the Secondary Principals’ Association of New Zealand and has been an executive member since 2005.

Recently, Walsh was chosen to be the New Zealand representative on the Education Advisory Board of the Australia Scholarship Group, where he will be responsible for reporting on industry trends, issues and initiatives. education in New Zealand.

Walsh was also the recipient of the Woolf-Fisher Fellowship at Harvard University in 2020.

Irene Ann Somerville, recipient of the Queen’s Service Medal

For community service and historical research

Irene Ann Somerville, recipient of the Queen's Service Medal for community service and historical research.  Photo/NZME
Irene Ann Somerville, recipient of the Queen’s Service Medal for community service and historical research. Photo/NZME

Ann Somerville described the experience of opening her official Queen’s Birthday Letters of Honor as “quite overwhelming”.

“At first I thought I was in trouble for something.”

Somerville still thinks the award came “from left field,” but she’s grateful.

“I just had so many opportunities. I’m blessed.”

Somerville’s community service included St Faith’s Anglican Church, Ōhinemutu and Rotorua Little Theater in the 1970s and 1980s.

Somerville worked at the Rotorua Museum Te Whare Taonga o Rotorua for over 20 years.

Since his retirement, Somerville has participated in television and film documentaries about the area and has consulted with the Friends of Rotorua museum on acquiring taonga and artwork for existing collections.

In 2017, she helped revive the Rotorua branch of the Māori Women’s Health League and has since taught canning classes, which are sold as fundraisers.

Somerville said she was the proudest of the people she had worked with.

“I am not alone. There are a whole bunch of people who support me, the people with whom and for whom I love to work.

“That’s what makes it magical.”

All Bay of Plenty QBHs:

MNZM Patrick Garratt

ONZM Mrs. Tangihaere Gloria Harihari-Hughes

QSM Heather Waldron

ONZM Dr. Margrietha Johanna Theron

QSM Craig McFarlane

MNZM Mr. Ross Duncan Everiss

NZAM Dr Ian Hawes

QSM Irene Ann Somerville

Former John Paul College Principal Patrick Walsh, who now lives in Auckland, was awarded the MNZM

What do the acronyms mean

ONZ: Member of the Order of New Zealand

GNZM: Dame or Knight Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit

DNZM/KMNZ: Dame or Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit

CNZM: Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit

QSO: Companion of the Queen’s Service Order

ONZML: Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit

QSM: Queen’s Service Medal

NZAM: New Zealand Antarctic Medal

DSD: The New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration

About Walter J. Leslie

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