Honoured. That was the main feeling for Peter Crawford after being awarded the Queen's Service Medal for services to the community and sport in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours.

Crawford said it was all a bit of a shock.

"I was really surprised to be honest but I was honoured more than anything," he said.

Crawford's involvement in the Northland community was far-reaching, varying from twilight cricket to helping set up the Marian Heights Residential Village.


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The Whangārei Twilight Cricket competition became one of the biggest in the country after Crawford started proceedings in 1978.

"I saw an opportunity to do something at night. There was a bit of twilight sport being played with the tennis going," he said.

"Gary Frew gave me a few ideas and suggested cricket would be a good idea. We kicked it off and had 86 teams within two years, which was fantastic.

"We had them playing all across town and it's been successful for 40 years.

"Cricket was just something to do. There was a lot of local kids playing in the park so it was something fun to take up."

Crawford had a strong love for and involvement in a lot of sport, also refereeing rugby for 15 years.

He helped found the Northland Charitable Cricket Trust in 1986, which administers the funds generated by the competition to benefit cricket in the region.

Crawford was also involved with the Whangārei Rugby Referees Association from the late 1960s until 1992, serving time as secretary, president, honorary auditor and referee assessor.

He served his community in other ways, too.

He was a member of the working group set up by the Whangārei Catholic Homes Trust to oversee the Marian Heights Residential Village.

"We got a lot done there," he said.

"We got it started and developed the site and moved it on. We bought a lot of units from the refinery and moved it to Marion Heights. We fixed them up and got them ready for the residential village."

Crawford oversaw the financing of the project and under his guidance, as the trust board's secretary, treasurer and financial adviser, Marian Heights has grown to 41 units and support buildings.

His involvement with the Northland Club, St Vincent de Paul Society, Whangārei Jazz Society and others has made him a Northland fixture.

But will he continue to take an active role or slip into the background?

"I'll be taking a bit of a step back from things now and let others get involved."