Video: Busy volunteer receives award


Elizabeth Van Til gets up at 5am for a run, completes half marathons, works and still manages to fit in a lot of volunteer work.

The 69-year-old Papanui resident loves giving back to her community.

So much so that she has just been recognised for her volunteer work by the Papanui-Innes Community Board.

MrsVanTil was surprised to receive the honour.

“You don’t really expect to be nominated for something just from going to church.”

She was one of 35 recipients of the community service award. She volunteers at St Paul’s Anglican Church, the SPCA, the Northside Toastmasters, St Albans Community Choir and the Dove Bookshop.

Mrs Van Til has lived in New Zealand for 50 years, after moving from London with her parents.

She enjoys running and swimming and cycles 5km to work at R J Preston farming accountants three days a week.

When she isn’t working,Mrs Van Til spends time volunteering in the community.

She cares for rabbits at the SPCA, and also fostered two. She said she didn’t intend on keeping them both, but didn’t have the heart to separate them.

“They fell in love with each other and we couldn’t part them.”

Mrs Van Til has been involved with St Paul’s for 10years, and is the bishop’s warden.

It was her involvement with the church that led her to take singing lessons and from there she was invited to join the choir.

“I came home (from church) and said I think I’ll have singing lessons otherwise people will look at me.”

During the weekend, Mrs Van Til can be found volunteering at the Dove Bookstore in Papanui.

She also enjoys keeping active with husband Hank.

The pair are planning to run the Buller Gorge half marathon.

Individual recipients

•Stephen Parkin – Christchurch North Community Patrol.

•David Alsford – Papanui Youth Development Trust, Youth @ Papanui, and Papanui Baptist Church.

•Mark Baker –CasebrookIntermediate.

•Graham Cook –WesleyCare, Papanui.

•Donella Duff – Golden ConnectionsProgramme,Neighbourhood Trust, St Albans.

•Brian Gardner – St Albans Swimming Club.

•Joanna Hampton – Citizens Advice Bureau.

•Trish Le Comte – Feline Friends Charitable Trust Cat Rescue, and the ‘Knit and Knatter’ group.

•Bill and Sue McEwan – Belfast Community Network.

•Peter McGregor –KaingaResidents Association.

•Joan Peck – Golden ConnectionsProgramme, the Neighbourhood Trust, St Albans.

•Garry Raymond Plaskett – Christchurch North Community Patrol.

•Gordon and Margaret Shields – Rotary Club of Papanui.

•Graham Stewart – Christchurch North Community Patrol.

•Jack Taylor – St Albans Park Bowls.

Emma Twaddell – St Albans Residents Association.

Group recipients

•St Albans Community Centre Working Party – Doug Jack, Paul Somerville, Chris Wallace, Malcolm Pearce and Renee Walker.

•Styx Flooding Issue Working Party – Jan Burney, Kathryn Snook, Vyvyan Treleaven, Barry Robertson, Carolyn Richards and one further community representative.

•Community Pride Garden Awards judging team –

Lyn Smith, Jan Claxton, Margaret Kingsley and Ron Andrew.