Colin Jones' service to his community spanned decades, covering a wide range of areas, from school to sports committees, to the Young Farmers Club as well as local charities and the fire brigade.
Colin passed away on June 27 this year, just a few days after he had received a letter from Stratford district mayor Neil Volzke telling him he was to receive a 2022 Stratford District Citizen Award in recognition of his many years of service to the community and district. Colin's family will accept the award on his behalf at the awards evening in August.
Colin gave years of service to a wide range of groups and clubs over the years, taking on many voluntary roles in his community.
While farming in Toko, Colin was a member of the Toko Domain Board for 26 years as well as serving 14 years on the Toko Hall Committee, six of which he was the chairperson. He was elected to the Toko School Committee in 1975, chairing it for four years and he was also an integral part of the organising committee for the last two jubilee celebrations of the school.
In 1955, Colin joined the Young Farmers Club, remaining a member until 1972. Over the years he served in a variety of roles within the club. Colin represented Stratford on the original veterinary services committee, which was set up by members of the Stratford, Cardiff and Midhirst dairy companies. He was chairperson of the group when the dairy companies amalgamated, and played a vital role in leading the group through the changes until it became the Taranaki Veterinary Centre.
In 1974, Colin and his wife Trish were successfully nominated by the then Department of Agriculture to receive the A.C. Cameron Memorial Award. Colin also served as a volunteer firefighter with the Toko Fire Brigade for three years in the late 1990s.
It wasn't all farmwork and no play for Colin, who was a keen sportsman and equestrian. He played rugby for many years, and was a member of the Stratford Senior side that won the Taranaki title for three years under coach Don Carlson. He was also a member of the Douglas Cricket Club for just under 20 years, serving on the club's committee and serving as chair at one point.
Originally a member of the Stratford Pony Club, Colin later followed his father and uncles in the Stratford Harness Racing Club where he held a variety of roles over the years, including treasurer, vice-president and president. Colin was made a life member in 2013, and was formally acknowledged for his contribution to the Stratford Trotting Club over many years.
Colin was also a member of the Toko Bowling Club, joining it in 1974 and remaining a member until it closed in 1999. He served as president, treasurer and secretary on the committee over the years, and was made a life member of the club in 1998. Colin didn't let the closure of the club stop him from playing the sport however, becoming an active club and committee member of the Stratford Avon Bowling Club.
Colin always looked for ways to serve his community, and in 1980 he was inducted as a Justice of the Peace, at one point serving as chairperson of the Stratford sub-branch. In 2020 Colin marked 40 years as a JP, and is the third-longest serving member of the Stratford sub-branch to date.
Colin wasn't someone to see retirement as a time to sit back and relax, instead choosing to actively serve his community as a volunteer for the Stratford Hospice Shop, a role he began in 2016 and continued until ill-health meant he had to step down just a few months ago.
Stratford district mayor Neil Volzke says Colin spent his life serving others in the community.
"His track record of service makes him a deserving recipient of this award and we all wish we could celebrate with him."