Helen Hay awarded Queen's Service Medal

December 31 2011 saw the announcement of Helen Hay as a recipient of a Queen's Service Medal in the new year's honours list.

Helen has been a selfless and tireless worker in the local church and community for over 50 years.

After settling in Johnsonville to raise a family in the late 1950s, Helen quickly took up a variety of roles of service, first in the Methodist Church and from 1969 in the Johnsonville Uniting Church.

Over the years she has held numerous roles including: Elder, Parish Councillor, Convenor of the Pastoral Committee and Convenor of the Mission and Community Committee.

She was involved as an inagural member of Care and Craft in 1975, a group she continues to work with. She also began a Drop in Centre for older people and other people with social needs, which ran for over ten years.

Helen also helped set up the Opportunity Shop, a highly successful interdemoninational venture which is run by four local churches.

Helen also assisted with the resettlement of Chilean, Cambodian and Assyrian refugees between the late 1970s and the early 1990s. She has also been a tower of strength to the wider church, serving as a Methodist Synod representative for 30 years and as a Member of the Methodist Women's Fellowship for over 50 years.

 Although a qualified bacteriologist, Helen has never worked in paid employment since coming to Johnsonville. Her considerable administrative skills, however, have been put to good use as an Assistant Secretary and Member of the Executive of the Wellington Synod. For over ten years she has also provided administrative support in the National Office of the Uniting Churches of Aotearoa.

Helen has not confined her service to church based activites. She has also been a stalwart of the Johnsonville Community Centre since 1993, including serving as a member of the Committee which runs the centre.

The Johnsonville Uniting Church is very proud to have such a talented and caring person as Helen Hay in our midst and the Parish Council and congregation are delighted that Helen has been given due recognition through the Honours List.