Garry Thompson is one to tell others to “keep up the good work”.
It is safe to say he practices what he preaches.
Mr Thompson is one of eight recipients nationally of the Gold Shield Award for his services to the Richmond and Districts Community Patrol over the past 13 years.
Garry said that he couldn’t believe that he was the recipient of the award, “when they started talking about Gold awards, I just about fell over, I couldn’t believe it, I didn’t feel worthy”.
“I’m retired but you always need something to get out of bed for,” he said
“That’s my calling card, I tell people to keep up the good work.”
Garry joined the Nelson Community Patrol in 2006 because he wanted to give back to his community and he knew the value of volunteering.
He transferred to Richmond in 2007 and became the first elected Tasman District representative to the National Community Patrols of New Zealand, a position he held until 2016.
Currently, he is the national statistics manager, a position he has held since 2008.
The Gold Shield award is the highest honour for Community Patrols in New Zealand and is generally reserved for police commissioners and long-serving chairpersons.
”My father (Lionel) got an MBE for services to the community and I was Area Commissioner in Scouts in the Top of the South for eight years, so I always wanted to give back.
”I believe in the concept and it’s gratifying to help the police and in turn help your community.
”It can be frustrating at times, but at other times good things happen.
”We may be volunteers but we like to think we’re professional volunteers, and even as a volunteer, you like to have job satisfaction.”
Garry said he enjoyed statistics because he saw it as a way to to interact with people and provide information which helped others.
“You need a reason to get out of bed and that can’t always be TV or a book.”