Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 53, September 2009
Apart for the first three years of his life, Homer Stubbs has lived for the last 71 years in Waikino and he given countless hours' service to that community and also to neighbouring Waihi. For these achievements he was justifiably awarded the Queen's Service Medal for Service to the Community when the New Year Honours were announced.
Homer arrived in Waikino as a three-year-old with his family in 1937 and did his schooling at Waikino and also the Waihi District High School. He still lives in their first family pioneer farmhouse and works the farm he grew up on.
During his early years the Victoria Battery was still operating processing the ore from the Martha Mine in Waihi. Waikino was a very busy village and had all the amenities to meet the needs of its residents, most of who worked in the battery.
Homer served 28 years on the Waikino Domain Board, the home for the districts sporting events, until it was made defunct in 1989 with the amalgamation of the local authorities to form the Hauraki District Council. He gave the Waikino School countless hours of his time and was always at the forefront of discussions to ensure the school was not closed and then getting a new complex in 1987.
In 1973 Homer was appointed a Justice of the Peace and in more recent times a Judicial Justice, who serves in the Waihi Magistrate's Court. He spent several years as chairman of the Waikino Liaison Committee which liaised with the mining company working the Golden Cross mine in the upper Waitekauri Valley, to ensure the local community was not adversely affected by these operations.
He helped to establish and then resurrect the Waikino Tennis Club, was a leading member of the Waikino Cricket Club and also played many seasons for the Thames Valley representative side.
He represents the Waikino District on the Waihi Community Vision Committee and has been a member of the Waihi Rotary Club for over 15 years.
Homer claims that his involvement in the community has always been motivated by a love of the district and people within it and also by the excellent support he receives from his wife Bev.
Lynne Maxwell, affectionately known as "Aunty Lynne", has been entertaining Thames Valley audiences for over 50 years and her reward came in the New Year's Honours when she was awarded the Queen's Service Medal for services to music.
Music ran in Lynne's family home and it did not take long for her to learn the piano and then become very proficient. It was then she turned her talents to teaching music to a countless number of children during her half-century of years at the keyboard.
She taught music in a number of schools, formed choirs, helped children with disabilities to learn music skills. One of her major achievements was the formation of the Kereru Kids, a music group of children from various local schools.
In the adult theatre Mrs Maxwell has been very involved in the Paeroa Music Club, the Thames Musical Theatre and Thames Operatic Society. She willingly plays at a countless number of functions, such as weddings, 21st parties and social evenings.
Each Saturday she can be found with her keyboard busking at the Thames Markets receiving many complimentary comments.
Robyn Ruka of Paeroa has received the prestigious Zena Gray Award from the New Zealand Basketball Association in recognition of her notable contribution to women's basketball in New Zealand. Robyn became involved in the sport some 12 years ago, when she coached her daughter's junior team at the Paeroa College. From there her involvement expanded as coach and administrator, first in the Paeroa College Basketball Club and the forming the Paeroa Basketball Association. From here it was onto Thames Valley and Basketball Waikato. At national level she is manager of a national development scheme that involved young players going overseas and manager of the Emerging Junior Tall Ferns. Robyn will also be remembered for her devotion to both athletics and netball while her children moved through the local schools.