Wily old fox that he is, Peter Knox succeeded in sniffing out what so many had been trying to keep secret last week.
Those involved in organising the September 4 presentation to Peter of a Cambridge Community Board (CCB) Community Service Award had gone to great lengths to make it a surprise. But, as he swiftly pointed out, he knew something was up.
“I’d been asked to put on a collared shirt, for one thing,” he told assembled CCB members, family, friend and fellow Lions. “But I knew something was up for sure when my girls were on time. They’re never on time, let me tell you.”
Peter was presented with the award as a mark of appreciation from the Cambridge community.
CCB chairman Mike Pettit described Peter as “the epitome of the Lion’s logo Kia Manaaki – We Serve, as he had served the community well for more than a decade.
“Peter is a vital member of the Cambridge community; his greatest impact has probably been as a member of the Cambridge Lions Club. Through that he has been involved in a number of fundraising efforts that have helped several major projects get off the ground and continue in good stead.”
He referenced Peter’s lead in the Lions raising $100,000 towards Cambridge’s new pool, and spoke of his 2013 efforts as Lions president in funding the building of the 18m tunnel for the model railway track in Leamington Domain.
“Peter has also been providing ongoing financial support to two Cambridge families and their young children, one with cerebral palsy and the other with a premature baby, who both require ongoing medical assistance,” said Mike. “He is also a marriage celebrant, has been a volunteer police officer, volunteer ambulance driver and is a life member of St John.
“In his many roles within the Lions, Peter is a district representative for the Lloyd Morgan Charitable Trust, which benefits sick, disabled or distressed people. He has been on the host committee for two Lions conventions … has been the grants chairperson for many years, with a particular focus on grants benefitting young people in the community. He has also presented at a number of Lions conventions, including the ANZI Forum [Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia] for Lions.”
In addition, the award recognised his involvement with the Cancer Society, helping raise funds for the Lions Lodge in Hamilton and the Cancer Relay for Life.
Peter, who has been battling his own health issues recently, said he had “loved every minute of what we have done”.
“I love the Cambridge community and have enjoyed my time here, and I plan to be here for the opening of the Cambridge pool.”
After being presented with a framed certificate and a potted kowhai tree, Peter said he would like to see the tree planted in the swimming pool grounds once it re-opens.