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Selwyn Times: July 25, 2017

16 Tuesday

16 Tuesday July 25 2017 Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi Our People SELWYN TIMES Don Watson Don of Lincoln earns recognition Don Watson, 85, was recently recognised for 50 years of service on the Greenpark Memorial Community Centre Committee. He spoke to Georgia O’Connor-Harding How does it feel to get recognised for 50 years of service? It is a privilege to be thought of in that way as far as the district council is concerned. I was pleased to accept a nice trophy. I wasn’t expecting anything like that. You don’t do these things to be rewarded, you do it because you like it. Pretty big deal isn’t it? I suppose it is. It is one of those things when you live in a small community you do your part to play along and put something back into the community. That is one of the reasons I did that. In 2012, when I moved to the Lincoln township, I volunteered to retire from the committee and they said ‘no don’t do that’. We were in the throws of getting our replacement hall after it was damaged in the February 22, 2011, earthquake. I stayed on until it became a reality. What was it like going through the whole process of the earthquake, losing and replacing the hall? It was a big deal, we had good insurance. The hall was a brick building and it disintegrated badly in the earthquake. With the help of the district council and our little committee, we pushed ahead and eventually got what we have. The new hall is a great asset to the district and is being very well-used. Do you have any key memories of the old hall over your 50 years? In the early years of the committee, we were responsible for the entire hall ourselves. We were responsible for the fundraising and keeping it maintained. That all came at a cost. We used to run functions at the hall for the hall committee to raise funds – dances, balls and all those things in the 1960s. We used to do an annual collection around the district and ask for donations towards the maintenance of the hall. It wasn’t easy for members to have to do, but we had to make sure we did it. The district council took over from the fundraising in about 1995. That took away the problem we had with fundraising, which was a big help. Is there a story behind why you decided to go on the committee? At the time, the present hall committee had been on there for a considerable amount of years and they were all getting a bit elderly. The hall committee sent a letter out to all who held meetings and used the hall. They wanted to set up a new committee and were going to retire if there wasn’t enough members showing up. At the time, I was secretary of the Tai Tapu district’s Federated Farmers. I along with a few others got voted on to where I’ve remained ever since. Tell me about your life as a farmer? We were on 90-100ha block dairy farm on Davidsons Rd. Regrettably, it was sold off in 2007 after it was in the family for more than 90 years. It gradually grew from a small unit to a large. We started off in the 1950s with 20 cows, now there are more than 1000. When we retired, we were milking more than 370 cows. We did contract with harvesting to add to our outcome. As the years progressed, we gave up our harvesting and turned it into a more straight forward dairy farm. Was there a time where you wanted to give farming up and do something else? No, I didn’t have that appeal at all. I was keen on my farming. I became a director of the local farming company, Canterbury Dairy Farmers, which processed and distributed our milk. I was FREE installation* SALE We’ll keep you warm this winter. Fully rated heating right down to -15°C...guaranteed. DEDICATION: Don Watson received a 50-year service award for the time he has dedicated to the Greenpark Memorial Community Centre Committee. 15 years on the board of directors of that company. I saw it grow from being a Canterburybased company to merging to be the sole representative of South Island dairy farmers. I was pleased to be part of that. What school did you go to? I went to Christchurch Boys’ High School. It was great – I was involved in the sports side. I learned to play tennis while at high school. I was part of the rugby teams. I played rugby for the Waihora Rugby Club and the Greenpark Tennis Club. I was the first secretary of the Greenpark Tennis Club. It was formed in about 1950 and I was there for about 12 years. After I finished playing rugby, I became PHOTO: GILBERT WEALLEANS Indiecita Chainette Yarn 84% Baby Alpaca 16% Merino $13.99 per 50gm ball a member of the Waihora committee and was the president of the club for a year. Do you have any significant achievements that stood out for you when you were playing rugby or tennis? Nothing in the tennis line, but I played representative rugby for the Ellesmere Rugby Sub Union for several years. It was pretty competitive in those days. I was a hooker – I partially blame that for having a bad back. Tell me about your family? My wife and I have been married for 61 years. We both lived in Greenpark and you didn’t have to go far in those days – I only had a bike for a while. We met through NZ Young Farmers, netball, basketball clubs and joined up at a lot of dances. There were six of us in a little group and they all finished up by marrying each other. Our eldest son is in the world of banking. Our daughter is now living in Lincoln as a registered nurse. Our youngest son was a very keen sportsman as far as rugby and tennis went. He came home to assist on the farm when he left school. He took over until he gave up in 2007 and set up a cafe business. Now he has a manufacturing polythene pipe business in Rolleston. You have been involved in a lot of organisations. Is there anything else we don’t know about? I was involved in the Lincoln Anglican Parish in a large way during my farming days. I was a member through St Mark’s Anglican Church. I still attend services where we have been for more than 60 years. I was a lay reader for 30 years. The vicar twisted my arm. I was also people’s warden, meaning I was the main go to person – if someone wanted to talk to somebody instead of talking to the vicar, they passed it on to me. I was also the chairman of the rebuild committee that rebuilt the St Stephen’s Anglican Church. The church was completed in 1992. It was rebuilt because the old one was falling a part and had been there about 120 years. Anything else? I also played indoor bowls for Greenpark. It did eventually go into recess so I went to Ladbrooks, which I am still a member and secretary of at the moment. We have managed to get by. I also play outdoor bowls here in Lincoln. I have been a member of the club for 15 years or more. When I was a few weeks off 80, it wasn’t long until I was elected president of the club. I was an 80-year-old president for a couple of years. I look back and wonder how I had time to farm and the answer was a very capable and suitable wife. AMY ADAMS MP FOR SELWYN CONTACT P E W 03 344 0418 selwynoffice@parliament.govt.nz amyadams.national.org.nz facebook.com/MPAmyAdams @amyadamsMP $3,299 HIGH WALL HEAT PUMP FH50 6.0kW *Conditions apply Back-to-back basic installation PRESENT THIS AD FOR A FURTHER 10% OFF www.dcis.co.nz Book your FREE in-home quote TODAY! 0800 324 678 PFAFF SEWING CENTRE Shands Rd Carmen Rd Russley 9 Witham St, Hornby 9 Springs Rd Phone 349 7867 Prebbleton - Lincoln Riccarton - City A my es Rd Main South Rd Authorised by Amy Adams, 829 Main South Road, Templeton, Christchurch

SELWYN TIMES Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi Tuesday July 25 2017 17