QUEEN'S BIRTHDAY HONOURS: Helping the community

By Amy Shanks

Mark von Dadelszen - QSM Services to the community.

When Mark von Dadelszen received a call asking him to accept a Queen's Service Medal, his initial inclination was to decline.

"I was very surprised," he said. "My first thought was to consider not accepting it because I felt my wife deserves the award as much as me.

"I decided to say yes because it is a recognition, not just of what I have done, but of my wife and the organisations I have been involved with."

Mr von Dadelszen has worked with many different community-focused groups over the years, but he does not play favourites.

"It's hard to choose just one. I have been involved with a lot of organisations and I have to say I have gained as much from being involved as I have contributed. It's a mutual relationship."

An affair with volunteering in the community service and arts arena's stemmed from a desire to share knowledge and lend a hand.

"I have some skills which find an outlet in certain organisations, for instance I got involved with a choir, which needs a committee to run." Although some of his legal projects were inherited.

"My father was honorary solicitor for a number of organisations, so I took over a lot of them from him."

Other bonds were made through friends or family ties.

"You spend time with family and that leads to something, perhaps being involved with a school committee or board.

"Pleroma Trust in Central Hawke's Bay was something I got into through friends and have been involved since it was set up in 1975."

The list of services he has dedicated time to is long and varied.

He was the chairman of the Pleroma (Charitable) Trust board, St Joseph's School board of trustees and the Havelock North Community Centre. Has been a trustee of the Whakatu Afforestation Trust board since 1994 and chair since 1996.

Mr von Dadelszen was a Havelock North Borough Councillor, Hawke's Bay Regional Development Councillor, trustee of the Community Foundation of Hawke's Bay and a volunteer with the Spirit of Adventure Trust.

As well as being president of the National Association of Woodworkers and board member then president of the Prostate Cancer Foundation of New Zealand.

His legal work is also substantial. He is honorary solicitor for a number of not-for-profit organisations, including the NZ Singing School Trust, Tauhara Centre Trust, National Association of Woodworkers and the Napier Civic Choir. A humble man, Mr von Dadelszen did not see helping others as a chore, more a responsibility which he took on willingly.

"I think if you live in a community, you owe something to that community. I get a lot of satisfaction from it, not one of them has been a real burden."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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