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St John Mascot “Primo” Turns Ten

St John Mascot “Primo” Turns Ten

He is tall, conservatively dressed in a monochromatic colour scheme and all about being a good New Zealand citizen.

The St John Penguin Programme’s mascot “Primo”, the Yellow-Eyed Penguin, turns ten on September 15, representing a decade of the youth programme – aimed at six to eight year olds - in New Zealand.

To celebrate, the St John Penguins return to their original launch venue – Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World in Auckland.

St John Northern Region Community Programmes Manager Sarah Manley says the Penguins are the first building block in the organisation’s youth programme.

“Our youth programme has a long history of providing inspiration and leadership skills to New Zealand’s young citizens up to the age of 18. While we have offered a youth movement for older children for 85 years in New Zealand, our Penguin programme – at just ten years old - is relatively young,” she says.

The programme currently has 1239 active members in New Zealand and over the past decade more than 7700 children have been through the programme.

Children meet once a week during the school term to learn basic first aid and other practical life skills. The programme encourages common sense, honesty, self-control, courage and a sense of fair-play.

During the two year programme children work towards obtaining their Super Penguin Award. To gain this award a child must follow a course and obtain nine badges. The badges are for caring, hobbies, resourcefulness, communication, safety, health, games, first aid and St John history.

Since its inception 999 Super Penguin Awards have been achieved.

For more information about the Penguin Programme and St John youth visit

About St John

All around New Zealand, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – St John members care for communities, help people in medical and accident emergencies, and relieve sickness and injury.

In 2011 St John attended over 336,000 emergency incidents and treated and transported more than 396,000 patients – 6.6% more than in the previous year.

St John is a charity relying on support from the community to help fund services to improve the health and well-being of New Zealanders - including Youth programmes, Friends of the Emergency Department, Caring Caller and St John Safe Kids.


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