Earlier this year, Balclutha woman Jackie Greenall was surprised when she received an official letter from St John priory secretary Peter Bradley CBE, of Auckland, which advised her that she had been considered (after nomination) for admission to the Order of St John as a member, in acknowledgement for her contribution to the work of St John in New Zealand in the South Otago region.
Then in mid-November another letter arrived informing her that ‘‘Her Majesty the Queen, Sovereign Head of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem, has sanctioned her admission to the Order at the grade of member’’.
“To say I was humbled is an understatement, I did, however, accept it very humbly and felt it was nice to be acknowledge for all my years of service, but I still believe I am just a small part of a large team of volunteers here in Balclutha,” Mrs Greenall said.
Mrs Greenall began with St John as a cadet leader in June 1999 and soon became the divisional manager of the youth in Balclutha; a position she held until December 2019.
During 2000, Jackie trained as an ambulance officer, eventually gaining her emergency medical technician certificate but this came to an end in 2015 due to health reasons.
The nomination offered to the St John head office, detailed how Mrs Greenall had given thousands of voluntary hours, with the support of her family, to support and expand the youth programme in the Clutha area and coastal Otago district.
That support has provided the youth of those areas many opportunities, which not only included weekly divisional meetings, but organising and attending weekend events, festivals and countless fundraising activities.
She said a huge highlight for her was recently helping a Balclutha cadet gain their Grand Prior award, the highest award given to cadets in New Zealand.
Mrs Greenall is still very active within the St John Youth movement and said she was extremely grateful for all the support and training she had received over the years.
St John, which has unbroken links back to the medieval Order of St John, is an independent part of the New Zealand Royal Honours System. St John consults on membership to the Order of St John for individuals who have acted noticeably in carrying out the mission of St John New Zealand.
Mrs Greenall will attend an official function and will be awarded her recognition by the Governor›General at a ceremony next year.