It's not uncommon for the recipient of a Queen's Birthday honour to be surprised.
But Dannevirke's Suresh Patel had extra reason to be startled - the email telling him he was receiving a Queen's Service Medal sat in his inbox for a week before he opened it.
It arrived during the second week of level 4 lockdown.
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Patel had other things on his mind - mainly getting the family business running again.
When he got around to checking his emails, Patel discovered he had been awarded a QSM for his services to the community and sport.
Like many recipients, Patel also contemplated whether he was deserving.
The mere fact a recipient ponders this, tends to indicate they are a deserving recipient.
For Hawke's Bay hockey legend Emily Gaddum, her New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) is the icing on the cake when it comes to her stellar sporting career.
Gaddum played 274 times for the women's Black Sticks hockey team, and represented her country at Olympic and Commonwealth Games.
"I feel extremely honoured to be recognised for my service to hockey and receive this special award," she said.
"Hockey has been a huge part of my life since I was a young girl and being involved with Hockey New Zealand and the Black Sticks for 12 years was a really special time in my life."
Gaddum added: "I loved my time playing for New Zealand, all the amazing people I met and places I travelled to.
QSM recipient Marie Taylor wondered whether her honour was a hoax.
Taylor's work may not be as high profile as, say, Gaddum's international sporting career, but it is no less important and her recognition no less deserving.
She is a passionate advocate of native horticulture, and well respected in New Zealand for her work in this field.
Taylor started native plant nursery Plant Hawke's Bay, supplying the region's revegetation market with eco-sourced, wholesale native plants.
Those in the know say her work has contributed to the survival of rare native species.
Congratulations to all three of our region's recipients, for having their respective excellence and ongoing commitment to their communities and fields recognised.