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Hawke’s Bay’s Captain Tom Legs It For Lifesaving Charities

Hamilton legs it for local lifesaving charities, from his home in Havelock North (Photo Supplied)

New Zealand’s own Captain Tom is stretching his legs and his limits, aiming to walk 100 kilometres in his 100th year to help give those who need it, a second chance at life.

Hawke’s Bay farming identity Hamilton Logan has kickstarted his very own ‘Second Chance at Life’ Fund with Hawke’s Bay Foundation, in the hope of creating a perpetually sustainable funding stream for three of his chosen charities. Hamilton has selected: Hawke’s Bay’s Rescue Helicopter, St John Ambulance and the Rural Support Trust for his own personal reasons – they relate closely to the community in which he has worked, operate not just locally but also outside of his home region and save lives everyday, both young and old.

He’s inviting other community-minded locals to safeguard their lifesaving services by donating to the fund, and to join him on his walks at the Village Green in Havelock North.

“I was inspired by Captain Tom Moore and what he did in raising a huge sum of money for charity in England on his 100th birthday. New Zealand is a small place and I thought ‘If I can still walk and think at 99, I can do that too’.

Hamilton chose Hawke’s Bay Foundation because donor’s funds not only serve the community but have the opportunity to grow over time. Like him, the model is ‘built to last’. Only the income gained on donations is used to support charities year on year, leaving donor’s original gifts left to grow, untouched.

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“The benefits of utilising Hawke’s Bay Foundation’s: sector knowledge, marketing and investment model are greater than I ever imagined. It’s wonderful that it’s acting as an umbrella for so many Hawke’s Bay organisations as so many don’t have the capacity to look after their own entities.”

As a sheep, beef and cropping farmer, meat industry leader and Hawke’s Bay’s oldest living Magpie, Hamilton recalls some instances over the years that he himself has required the assistance of St. John Ambulance. One when a member of his staff was electrocuted and the other when his own nose was broken in a game of rugby only to be straightened on the sideline and sent back out onto the field.

Hamilton, or ‘Hammie’ as he’s affectionately known, wants to ensure that that help continues. Already past the halfway mark, Hamilton has clocked over 50 kilometres since January the 1st, and aims to ‘knock the rest off his bucketlist’ before turning 100 in November. He admits he has no idea what day he will complete it, it’ll be weather and health permitting.

“I’ve been walking around the streets near where I live but I hope to have the odd walk in the Village Green in Havelock so that other people can join me.”

Hamilton laughs at the analogy of being a ‘Provincial Pied Piper’ but admits he does have a few pearls of wisdom to share.

“When I was six, Hawke’s Bay endured a trifecta of disasters; a world depression, the worst drought in a century and a devastating earthquake. A bit like Cyclone Gabrielle, these things were an enormous leveler, the days of luxury and overindulgence disappeared overnight.

“But keeping an attitude of always concentrating on the positives, not the negatives has helped me through, along with what I call a ‘pause button’. If I’m blindsided or feeling lost I pause, and I think and I reason the answer instead of walking around in circles. I encourage people to pause when they feel overwhelmed, and to discard anything that doesn’t serve them well. It may even save your life or prompt a different direction.”

As for how he plans to see in his 100th, Hamilton’s keen to keep it low-key.

“I don’t believe in getting ahead of myself but if I do get to a hundred, I will certainly enjoy it!”

For many, the idea of being philanthropic is achievable only through their wills once they’re gone, but choosing to give while he lives has been a great source of joy for Hamilton.

“Life is for the living. It’s the most precious possession we have. I get such a kick out of seeing people get some relief or benefit out of something I’ve done for them, and I want to be around to celebrate that with them. If what I’m doing only saves one life then it’s all been worthwhile.”

To find out how you can donate to Hamilton’s ‘Second Chance at Life’ Fund, please head to: www.hawkesbayfoundation.org.nz/our-funds/

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