The Board was pleased to present the ‘Eastbournes’ 2014 to the Brian Heath, the Eastbourne Historical Society, Hugh Walcott and Derek Wilshere.

Brian Heath in recognition of services to Eastbourne Community and Youth
Brian Heath has been actively involved in emergency management in Eastbourne since 1979. From the beginning he was responsible for all radio communications and networks and for many of those years he coordinated civil defence planning for Eastbourne and the Bays. In the heart of Eastbourne, in his kingdom above the library, Brian set up and still runs an emergency civil defence centre complete with food and water supplies, first aid, maps, generators, radios and an active wireless network. After 34 years, keen to hand over to a new generation, he is training new recruits with the support of the Eastbourne Community Board.

Brian brought to this service an unquestioned expertise and enthusiasm, expertly and quietly conducting the monthly call-up practice that ensures there is a trained group ready to spring into action if the need arises. The network of nine wireless operators covers the Eastbourne bays and Eastbourne itself with each operator being linked into residents’ associations or neighbourhood groups where these exist. The network is also part of the Red Cross network and plays an important role in the Eastbourne and Bays Emergency Response Plan.

Brian’s wireless network is of great value to the Eastbourne community as the world moves into an era of increasing numbers of extreme weather events or possible earthquakes where electricity and mobile networks are likely to be interrupted.

The Eastbourne Historical Society for saving and telling our stories.
Started in 1981, the Eastbourne Historical Society is now flourishing with about 200 members in 2014
Aiming to foster interest in historical matters, particularly in the history of the Eastbourne area, members tirelessly search out the stories of Eastbourne people which they share with the community through meetings with guest speakers, displays, exhibitions, newsletters, publications, newspaper articles, film shows and field trips.
The Society has built up a wonderful collection of photographs, publications, documents, maps and other items relating to the history of the area. Visitors are welcome at their rooms above the Eastbourne Library which are open to the public on Monday afternoons and at other times by appointment.
The Society also responds to requests, from Eastbourne residents and from further afield, for information about many aspects of our local history.
Some highlights from the Society’s many activities in the past 33 years:

  • 1988 Excavating the ss Paiaka, which was wrecked in Fitzroy Bay in 1906, and moving it to higher ground.
  • 1990 Erecting a Wahine Memorial at Burdan’s Gate (Korohiwa), to honour those who died during the terrible storm of 10 April 1968.
  • 2001 Publishing Eastbourne: A History of the Eastern Bays of Wellington Harbour, by Ann Beaglehole with Alison Carew.
  • 2006 Publishing Eastbourne: 100 Years: The Borough of Eastbourne 1906 – 1989 and Beyond, by Alison Carew and Mary McCallum, to mark the centenary of Eastbourne becoming an independent borough
  • 2008 Creating an online catalogue of the Society’s collection (accessible via the Hutt City Libraries website), with a grant from Hutt City Council’s Heritage Fund.
  • 2010 Commissioning the film “Sunshine Sands” from the Film Archive in Wellington, using extracts from old newsreels etc.
  • 2011 Digitising the Society’s existing collection of oral history audio-tapes (the earliest dating from 1979), and resuming the programme of interviews to capture the memories of long-time residents.

Hugh Walcott in recognition of services to the Eastbourne Community Games
Awarded to Hugh Walcott, in recognition for his gift to Eastbourne of the 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2014 Eastbourne Community Games.

Hugh Walcott was raised here in Eastbourne, but spent his twenties and thirties living overseas. When he returned to raise his family in 2007, he recognised a significant change in the community — it had become more international and there were more families with young children like his.

Inspired by the Greenwich Games in Australia, Hugh approached the Eastbourne Community Board in 2007 suggesting something similar could be run here to help introduce people to one another and foster a strong community spirit. His idea backfired spectacularly when the Board told him; “It’s a great idea; now you go for it.”

After nine months of planning, organising, making phone calls and holding meetings, the first Eastbourne Games took place in 2008. Close to two thousand people turned up that day to “try and beat the hell out of their neighbours”. Hugh and his team of volunteers had hit on a winning formula that brought the community together like nothing else.

Four Games on and no one has died. In fact, 2014 have been widely described as the best Games yet. Artemisia Walcott, Hugh’s daughter, describes it as “the best day of her life”.

What inspires him? Hugh loves this place and wants to see it thrive. He also wants to give our kids an iconic experience of childhood here in Eastbourne, one they’ll never forget. And it’s a secret we’re happy to share; — Eastbourne is one of the best places in the world to be a kid.

Derek Wilshere in recognition of services to the Eastbourne Community Board and Youth Sports Coordinator for Eastbourne Hockey
Derek is a modest man and a reluctant recipient of this ‘Eastbourne’.

He is a very passionate man and apart from this wife and family, the three great passions in his life are:

  • Eastbourne – he served on the Eastbourne Community Board for nine years (the last three as Chairman).
  • Fishing – and in particular spearfishing, Derek has represented New Zealand at spearfishing.
  • The sport of hockey – Derek’s enthusiasm and love for hockey coupled with his great organising abilities has been recognised with life membership of the following hockey identities:
    • Victoria University Hockey Club
    • Wellington Hockey Association
    • New Zealand Hockey
    • Oceania Hockey Federation
    • Derek has also been awarded the ‘Order of Merit’ by the International Hockey Federation, which is their equivalent to life membership.

However in this citation we will just concentrate on his services to our community as a youth sports coordinator, mentor and coach.

Several years ago Derek, along with others, was instrumental in getting sporting mats and nets fitted to the inside of the Eastbourne Community Hall. Derek has invented his own game of ‘EHock’ – Eastbourne Hockey, a version of hockey especially designed for our community hall, and twice a week for the last four years 10 – 20 children aged between 7 – 15 years enthusiastically turn up for two hours of sport and coaching and the ‘Wilshere magic’, advice which instils in them the virtues of fair play, responsibility, and commitment. Parents tell me their children are ‘changed beings’ under the ‘Wilshere spell’ and although Derek is quick to discipline when needed, he always has a word of advice and encouragement. Derek has never asked for any payment for these activities, he gives up his time freely. Derek also runs holiday programmes and at the end of each year organises as prize giving in which every child receives a certificate of achievement.

Well Derek your community has decided that you deserve your own certificate of achievement so I would ask you to accept this ‘Eastbourne’ as a token of our appreciation of the great work you have done for the youth of our community.