Clutha District Council was proud to honour Hans Van Der Linden with a community services award for ‘‘his incredible contribution to the West Otago community’’.
‘‘Hans’ willingness to roll up his sleeves and contribute physically, whether it be painting, cleaning, or any other necessary task, reflects his dedication and commitment to the community. Hans is loyal, jovial, passionate and committed to his community, ensuring the ongoing success of not just one, but multiple organisations in the community of West Otago,’’ a council spokesperson said.
Mr Van Der Linden’s dedication to the West Otago Theatrical Society (WOTS) dates back to 1989 and he remains an active member, having held key positions including chairman and treasurer — his dedication and leadership having undoubtedly played a pivotal role in the ongoing success of WOTS.
He has also has been an indispensable member of the West Otago Community Centre since 2007 where his attention to detail has contributed significantly to the centre’s smooth operation and ability to serve the needs of residents in West Otago.
Mr Van Der Linden’s work with the West Otago Health Trust has been described as ‘‘exemplary’’.
Joining as a trustee in 2010, he took on the roles of treasurer and chairman until 2020, playing a vital role in the planning and financial management of the trust.
His diligence and astute financial stewardship were instrumental in the successful realisation of the George and Caroline Edgar Memorial Building, a state-of-the-art healthcare facility and rest-home in Tapanui and he now holds the position of director following the trust’s transition into West Otago Health Limited.
‘‘It’s quite humbling and a bit awkward being the one in the spotlight when there’s so many other people and organisations working hard for the whole district,’’ he said.
‘‘So much within communities only happens because of volunteers . . . [For example], applications for funding and grants take so long and need close attention to detail . . . so whether it’s helping fix a roof or having the time to look at some paperwork, everyone has a skill or something they can contribute, and the respect and gratitude that comes out of doing what you can to help is really something.’’