It seemed like it took a while, but Sinead Jenkins (19), of Balclutha, was finally presented with her St John Grand Prior Certificate on Saturday, September 14, at an awards ceremony in Dunedin.
The ceremony was followed by a reception at Larnach Castle where the 29 Grand Prior recipients from the various South Island regions were addressed by the Prior of St John in New Zealand, Governor-General Dame Patsy Reedy.
But the excitement of the day was tempered for Sinead when she later accompanied her mother to Dunedin Hospital for a major operation.
“It was an early start on the day – we had to leave home at 6.30am to be ready for the presentation at 8am.
“They arranged us in our seats at the Edgar Centre in Dunedin with all the others and then we waited for our turn to go up and receive our honours.
“We all went later out to Larnach Castle for the photo call with Dame Patsy Reedy and a small morning tea.
“After a long time spent standing around talking, they finally placed us on the steps for the photo and I got stuck behind a tall man, so I had to peek out from behind him just to be seen.”
A worker at the Silver Fern Farms Finegand plant’s freezer section, Miss Jenkins is the ninth cadet in Balclutha to be awarded her Grand Prior Award and she joins more than 3000 recipients in the South Island.
The Grand Prior’s Award was established in 1931 and was awarded for the first time in New Zealand in 1934.
Sinead’s mum is now safely home and resting.