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Whitianga man receives Queen's Birthday honours

Whitianga man receives Queen's Birthday honours

Walter Russell photo: Mercury Bay Informer

Whitianga JP, Walter Russell was presented with a Queen’s Service medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List released yesterday morning.

Mr Russell was bestowed the honour for his service to the New Zealand Fire Service. He has been a member of the Whitianga Volunteer Fire Brigade for the past 30 years.

Volunteer service is part and parcel of Mr Russell’s life. He was involved in Land Search and Rescue for more than 50 years, was a member of the Order of St John during its early days in Whitianga and was, when there was only one police officer covering the northern Coromandel, a member of the Civil Defence Police. He is at the moment chairman of the Coromandel Rescue Helicopter Trust.

The Coromandel Rescue Helicopter Trust flew 267 missions between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2014, which was an increase of 39% compared with the previous year. The highest numbers of missions were recorded at Whitianga and Whangamata.
Thames-Coromandel District Council Mayor Glenn Leach was thrilled with Mr Russell's award saying, "Congratulations to Walter for his service to the Coromandel community and we thank him and Coromandel Chopper for all the good work they're doing."

The Coromandel Rescue Helicopter relies on funding and donations. During the 2013/14 year the shortfall per mission was in excess of $2000. The Coromandel Rescue Helicopter gives the communities of the Coromandel the security of a search and rescue service available to them anytime. They can't do this without your support.

You can make a donation by heading to the website. http://rescuehelicopter.org.nz/ or at any Wespac Bank branch.


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