University of Waikato Honorary Doctor Bernie Crosby and wife Kaye, University of Waikato Trustee Ken Williamson, and Friend of the University of Waikato Foundation Dr Richard (Peter) Rothwell were among 15 of Hamilton’s finest celebrated at this year’s Hamilton City Council Civic Awards.
The awards were presented at a special ceremony in the Council Chamber on Friday 8 December. The annual event acknowledges residents who have made an outstanding contribution to Hamilton. Recipients are nominated by members of the community, with nominations assessed by the City Council.
Bernie and Kaye Crosby founded Prolife Foods in the 1980s and have grown the business into one of New Zealand’s largest food importers and manufacturers. Their positive impact on the Hamilton community is evident in their continuous fundraising efforts and generous investment in life-changing health research. The couple set up and continue to fund the Community and Enterprise Leadership programme (CELF) at the University of Waikato Management School. In 2013 Bernie received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Waikato, in recognition of his commercial acumen and his services to business and the community.
Ken Williamson was honoured for his services to education and the community, including taking on governance and philanthropy across a wide range of organisations. Having been an ambulance officer, he got a first taste for governance on the Order of St John Central Region’s trust board, where he has served for decades. As a University of Waikato Foundation trustee, Ken is committed to creating opportunities for partnerships with local organisations to further embrace the University's contribution to the city.
Helping people is central to the medical profession, and Dr Richard (Peter) Rothwell, who was honoured for his services to medicine, has given thirty years to medical research, supporting local health workers and advancing medical practice. He’s also been a driving force in recording the Waikato’s medical history. Now the Patron of the Waikato Medical Research Foundation and Friend of the University of Waikato Foundation, Peter is retired, but continues as a trustee, fundraiser and medical advisor.
Mayor Andrew King, who presented each of the fifteen recipients with a framed certificate and a lapel pin, said: “It’s great that the Civic Awards recognise grassroots achievers in our community. These people are committed to building a better Hamilton, giving up their own time over many years to support a variety of communities and causes. I applaud them all.”