STRATFORD CITIZENS HONOURED
STRATFORD CITIZENS HONOURED
Every year, hard working locals are recognised by the district for their contribution to the community and their endless giving. It is no different in 2009.
The recipients for the 2009 Stratford District Citizens Awards are: Cliff Johns and James (Jim) Reed. The recipient of the 2009 Youth Citizens Award is Kylee Fredrickson.
Stratford District Mayor, John Edwards, said once again the nominations for Citizens awards have been of an extremely high quality. “The contribution that people make to our community is outstanding and heart warming. The committee’s decisions are difficult and are not made lightly. It is with pleasure and pride that we announce two inspirational community leaders to receive a Citizens Award, and one outstanding young person to receive a Youth Citizens Award in 2009.”
The presentation ceremony is to be held in the Stratford District Council Chambers on Wednesday 15 July 2009 at 5.30pm. Everyone in the community is welcome to attend.
Cliff was born and raised in the Stratford District, attending Midhirst School and Stratford High School. Since then he has been farming on Denbigh Road.
Cliff was one of the first to train as a Victim Support Volunteer Worker, when the Stratford group was established, and remained involved for 14 years. As part of Victim Support, Cliff was of invaluable help to many in central Taranaki.
Cliff was a member of the Acclimatisation Society, which is now known as Fish and Game. He became a life member after 20 years of service. “This was a great honour,” Cliff says. Cliff works as a voluntary Fish and Game Ranger, checking for licences and safety. His total involvement with this organisation is 39 years.
However, Cliff may be best known for his work with the Salvation Army. He has been a member for about 28 years, including 8 years as Corps Sergeant Major. Cliff has taught bible in schools, which helps children make wise value-based choices.
For over 20 years Cliff has been involved in Scouts. He was originally a Scout Leader in the 1970’s, and at one stage was District Scout Leader. He began Scouting again in 2000 when his son showed an interest, and has been Group Leader and Scout Troup Leader since then.
Cliff is very much a people person, who has dedicated his life to helping others.
“When I opened the letter from Council that said I had been nominated to receive a Citizens Award,” Jim says, “at first I was mystified. But I read it through a few times and started to become quite excited!”
Jim’s contagious energy is something that will be well-known by many in the Stratford district, especially those at the Stratford Runners and Walkers Club.
Jim joined in 1979, and over the years has held almost all positions within the club. Jim is especially proud of having completed his 200th marathon, one of only three athletes in New Zealand to have done so.
Jim has been a member of the Stratford Lion’s Club for 22 years. Over the past few years Jim ran ‘Meals of Wheels’ and Lion’s Mints Fundraiser. He is also a driving force in the Lion’s Firewood project, spending weeks cutting and splitting wood.
Jim has also been involved in Stratford Probus and Stratford Tramping Club, and has climbed Mt Taranaki 38 times. “I want to go up the mountain once more after I turn 75 in December,” Jim says.
“You only live once,” Kylee says, “so make the most of your opportunities.”
This is a motto Kylee has clearly lived by. Born and bred in Ngaere, Kylee quickly made a name for herself at school, where she was Head Girl at Stratford High School, won public speaking competitions, and was a peer supporter, student councillor, and on several student committees.
Having won a public speaking competition four years in a row, Kylee confesses to having the gift of the gab. “I think speechmaking runs in the family,” she says.
Kylee has played hockey for around 15 years, including for Taranaki under 18s, and was club captain of Stratford Women’s A team.
Kylee is now a full time farmer, but one of her goals is to achieve her senior judges ticket in cattle showing. “I think I went to my first show when I was six months old, and I’m sure I was carting calves around by the time I was four.” Kylee has won the western districts Young Handler Award five years out six.
“I never thought I’d be a recipient of the Youth Citizens Award,” Kylee says. “I’m honoured.”