Country music duo receive Civic Awards
Two people who have been driving forces behind Gore’s country music scene for decades have been presented with civic awards.
MLT New Zealand Gold Guitar Awards convener for 23 years Philip Geary, and long-time president of the Gore Country Music Club Julie Mitchell were each recognised for their voluntary work at this year’s Gore District Community Awards.
Ten awards were presented at the gala event, held in the Gore Town and Country Club stadium tonight (4 November) before about 450 people.
Started 16 years ago, the community awards have become the Council’s flagship event. They are a way of saying ‘thank you’ to those who have made an impact on the community or applaud the achievements of those who have excelled in their chosen field.
Mitchell and Geary were popular recipients of the civic award. Over the years they have shown passion and tireless commitment to all things country music, whether it was promoting events, as administrators, or encouraging young performers.
They are both life members of the country music club and are founding board members of Tussock Country. Spread over almost two weeks, Tussock Country has become New Zealand’s premier country music event, attracting thousands to the town.
Gore District Events Coordinator Jessica Swan said she had been blown away by community support for the awards and the enthusiasm of those helping out, such as the Gore Musical Theatre.
“We were almost sold out, which is a testament to everyone involved.”
This year is the first time the awards have been held as a biennial event. Swan believed this contributed to the high calibre of nominees and ticket sales.
“The quality of nominees has been excellent and made judging quite difficult.”
Swan said she was grateful for the support of the awards’ sponsors – “without them, we wouldn't have an event”.
This year’s award winners were:
- Mataura Valley Milk Business Excellence – Robbies Pickles and Preserves
- Anderson Lloyd Contribution to Arts and Culture – Scott Anderson
- Gore Musical Theatre Emerging Performing Artist – Maegan & Nicola Mitchell
- Ian and Annette Tulloch Junior Sportsperson of the Year – Saffron Hare
- Active Southland Services to Sport – Erin & Peter Howes
- Community Impact Award – Southern Indoor Charity Dog Trials Committee
- Hokonui Rūnanga Te Anamata Award – Ira Deans
- Soroptimist International of Gore Woman of the Year – Dorothy Mullen
- JD Souness Young Achiever – Olivia Crawford
- Otago Daily Times and the Ensign Gore District Civic Award – Julie Mitchell & Philip Geary