A director, performer and singing teacher, an advocate for the environment and seniors, a rugby leader and a community champion are the recipients of this year’s Napier Civic Awards.

The award ceremony, which was held at the Napier War Memorial Centre, took place before an audience of family, friends and colleagues, and was hosted by Napier Mayor Kirsten Wise.

Margaret Atkins, June Graham and Gary Macdonald all accepted Citizens’ Civic Awards, with the same award also posthumously bestowed on the late Michelle (Minnie) Ratima.

All the recipients have volunteered in a variety of ways over decades for many different organisations and causes.

Margaret Atkins has been involved with the performing arts in Hawke’s Bay for 65 years. She has been performing since 1955, directing since 1980 and teaching since 1993.

June Graham has been an active member of the Napier community for many years. From her work defending the environment to her commitment to advocating for the elderly, she has been a force to be reckoned with at many city and regional council meetings.

Gary MacDonald has provided a lifelong service to rugby in Napier for his club, sub-union and Hawke’s Bay. Garry was a loyal stalwart of firstly the Napier Old Boys and then latterly of the Napier Old Boys Marist Rugby Clubs.

The late Michelle (Minnie) Ratima touched the lives of many families and individuals in Napier.

With around 56 years spent living here off and on, Minnie’s involvement in so many aspects of the community — Maori Wardens, Napier Pilot City Trust, and Tu Tangata Maraenui Trust — alongside her nurturing of so many individuals and whenau, was nothing short of astounding. She was HB Today’s Person of the Year in 2017.

Lead photo: Minnie Ratima
2nd photo (from left): Soraya Longtime (Minnie’s daughter), Mayor Wise, Margaret Atkins, June Graham, Gary Macdonald

More on the Civic Awards here.

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