The July Issue

Omarama has a new fire chief

Dedication to duty sometimes forces a change in life's direction, Omarama's fire service leaders say. The role of FENZ Omarama Volunteer Fire Brigade chief fire officer has changed hands. Terry Walsh has stepped down and is leaving the fire brigade. Deputy chief fire officer Greg Harper has been appointed as Omarama’s new fire chief. The ceremonial handover of helmets will take place shortly, almost exactly three action-packed years since Terry took over the job from Howard Williams. During this time, he has overseen the introduction of the new amalgamated Fire and Emergency New Zealand and fundamental changes to the way the fire brigade's first response and St John co-ordinate their roles. “I’m really, really proud of that” - the way the crews worked through that trial process and now all work in together, Terry said. The Omarama brigade led the way in that process and its procedures have been adopted by services throughout New Zealand, he said. Terry joined the fire service in Clyde, in 2002. Being appointed fire chief of the Omarama brigade had been the highlight of that career and "the personal growth that came with that". And watching brigade members “train and grow themselves”. On a more personal note, a high point was marching in Omarama’s Anzac parade led by daughter Dani, who is in the navy, he said. ... >>> continue reading... <<<



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Long-time advocate for Ahuriri stands down

To look at him you’d never guess they call him "the Rottweiler". “Ooh, you better not put that bit in …but that’s what they call me, down there…it’s ‘cause I won’t ever let things go.” 'Down there' is the Waitaki District Council chambers and offices in Oamaru. Otematata's Graham Sullivan sees it as a complement, and he’s laughing. The 82-year-old Ahuriri Community Board chairman has not been letting matters go for the past 12 years. But come the October local body elections the Ahuriri Ward will lose this committed community advocate as Graham steps down from the role to spend a little more time actively retired. He was 70 years young when he was first elected to the board. At the time he lived in Waimate but spent as much, if not more, time in Otematata. He and his wife Shirley bought their Otematata crib about 40 years ago, 10 years after first making the trip up the valley with their caravan to Omarama for holidays. About a year ago Graham... >>> continue reading... <<<