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More than 60 years of community service celebrated by Council

Ninety-eight year old David Barnes has dedicated his life to serving the Tuakau community.

On Saturday, 16 September, Waikato District Council honoured Dave for all the work he has done. For over 60 years, Dave has been the custodian of the Tuakau Memorial Hall. As well as looking after the hall, Dave has worked tirelessly for his community. 

Well-known throughout the community, Dave is a life member of the Tuakau Rugby Club and a delegate of Counties Rugby. There is a building block at Tuakau College named after him and he was also on the Board of Trustees at Tuakau College. He was a delegate on the local community board, under Franklin District Council and was chairman of Keep Tuakau Beautiful, during the Tuakau Borough Council period. 

Most of Dave’s work has been voluntary. Dave and his wife used to get up early in the morning to pick up rubbish in the main street of Tuakau, and they also removed graffiti and patrolled the streets. He has also organised the Anzac Day parade for many years. 

Waikato District Council’s Community Venues Officer, Emah Lane, says it was great to have the opportunity to celebrate the dedication and commitment of Reverend Barnes. 

His tenure as the Caretaker of the Tuakau Memorial Hall, and the impact he’s had on the Tuakau community are impressive achievements, she says. 

“We at Waikato District Council are grateful for the time, effort and work Dave has contributed over the years.”

Dave was born in Wales and arrived in New Zealand in the 50s. Since arriving in Aotearoa, he has embraced New Zealand culture. Dave and his wife learnt Te Reo Maaori and he says it was a huge honour for him to be able to speak on the marae. He is a Reverend with the Maaori Anglican Church and received a New Zealand Order of Merit in 1999 for his services to the community. 

Council would like to acknowledge Dave, and thank him for all his hard work and dedication.