Clutha District Council (CDC) was proud to honour Graham Walker in this year’s Community Services Award for his ‘‘exceptional dedication and long-term involvement in numerous organisations in West Otago’’, a council spokesman said.

New Zealand’s vital rural food production industry is promoted and represented at community level by local A&P societies and Mr Walker was a devoted member of the West Otago (WO) A&P Society for an impressive duration of 1976 to 2008.

He served as WO A&P president in 1990 and was awarded a life membership in 2008, highlighting his enduring dedication to the society and the value it placed on his contribution.

Farmer and dog have been indispensable to the survival and prosperity of southern farming and the skill of the shepherd is continually honed and celebrated at sheepdog trials across the country.

Mr Walker’s involvement with the Heriot Collie Club is exemplary, having served as a committee member since the mid 1970s, and earning a life membership in 2003.

Mr Walker became a committee member on the Parkhill Recreation Reserve Board 1979 has been its chairman since 1986, and has been a Moa Flat Rural Water Scheme committee member since 1990.

Where public projects require organising and fundraising, local Lions Clubs are often at work, and Mr Walker’s determination to actively improve his area led to his membership with West Otago Lions beginning in 1991.

He served as treasurer from 1998 to 2016 and his involvement has positively impacted the lives of many through various charitable initiatives.

Mr Walker’s extensive tenure as a committee member of West Otago St John Ambulance Service for over 32 years demonstrates his ‘‘unwavering dedication to providing essential medical services to the community.‘‘

‘‘His involvement as a St John member was instrumental in completing the new West Otago St John Building, which opened in February 2023, exemplify his commitment to the welfare and wellbeing of others,’’ CDC’s spokesman said.

Mr Walker’s lifelong willingness to actively participate at a clerical, organisational and hands-in-the-dirt level during working bees, shows his ‘‘exceptional level of commitment to these organisations and their respective causes’’.