WITH this weekend being the Queen's Birthday honours list, I thought I would get in early and announce the Good on You Good Sorts Awards.
These awards are dedicated to the ordinary, grassroots, 'give it a go for nothing more than making others happy' people. These winners make up the social capital of our community here in Tauranga and often fly under the recognition radar.
And the winners are ...
Top Shop: Waipuna Hospice shop in Greerton Village. Like all of our hokohoko (op shops), this top shop is a winner where everyone gets much more than a bargain - they get a blessing as well.
Top Cop: Nga Utanga - for the best bro in blue. Nga and his tumeke team have taken a co-papa approach to their kaupapa of policing. This is done by connecting offenders back to their whanau and families and steering them away from the slippery slope of becoming a career criminal.
Top Doc: Dr Tony Farrell - for his dedication to delivering the real deal on drug addiction by putting booze at the top of the list of dangerous drugs.
Top Jock: Locally, it's Takiri on Moana Radio. Do your taringa a favour every morning and tune into Tarks on 1440 AM. She will teach you and reach you in ways that will make your morning hotter than a hangi stone. Nationally, there is none better than afternoons with Jim Mora.
The Awesome Aunty award goes to Aunty Puti from Whetu Marae. A true "Awhi Angel", Puti carries big bags of happiness in her pockets and sprinkles them over each and every manuhiri (visitor) who arrives at Whetu or at her whare.
The Top Talent award goes to Stan the Man Walker from Tamapahore Marae in Te Manga. Stan is cooler than a South Island snow storm and as judge of the hit show X Factor he is fast becoming the biggest 'A-lister' since Elvis left the building.
Best band goes to the brilliant Brilleaux and the finest female voice belongs to Torch songstress Carol Storey.
Top Team award has to be the Chiefs especially after Friday night's gladiatorial clean-out of the Crusaders. For me, the player of the day was Wayne Smith, who masterminded the perfect game plan.
The silent sports team success story is what is happening on the Wairoa River with rowing.
Top Tumuaki (headmaster) now that Hugh Smith has retired and Neil Towersey is a Te Puna toanga, has to be Bruce Jepsen - the headmaster of Ti Akau ki Papamoa School. If you want to see the future face of mainstream schooling success, take a look at what Bruce is doing at Te Akau Ki.
When it comes to community coolness the Top Tonsils award goes to Frank 'The Voice' Vosper, who fronts fundraisers, such as the Mad Butcher on a mission. Because of Frank's vocal ability to empty out punters' pockets quicker than a plumber's plunger, we as a community all benefit.
The Top Tucker award goes to Bobby Palmer's Fresh Market down on Dive Crescent as it does each and every year. Coolest little cafe goes to Kofistop at Bethlehem.
The Top Couple award goes to Max and Helen Mason. Not only are they a picture of health and happiness but perfect parents to head boy and 1st XV captain of Tauranga Boys' College Mungo Mason.
The top tag award goes to the creator of "Tauranga - The silver lining of the long white cloud". This tag is worthy of a shoulder tap by Lizzie's sword!
Good on you good sorts, you are indeed the silver lining of this bay that has plenty of everything for everyone.