The Board was pleased to present the ‘Eastbournes’ 2021 to Gail Abel, Judy Lawrence, Joanna and Richard Ponder and David Cheyne

Gail Abel – for many decades caring for Eastbourne’s forests and lakes

for the many years of energy and love with which she has cared for the environment of Eastbourne and the Bays. Ms Abel was unable to attend the award ceremony due to a prior commitment. Her award will be presented at the meeting of the Board on Tuesday 8 February 2022.

Judy Lawrence – for helping community groups in Eastbourne and other communities in New Zealand and the world to better understand the impacts of sea level rise and the ways we can plan for a different future.

Judy Lawrence: For supporting community groups in Eastbourne and other communities in New Zealand and the world to better understand the impacts of sea level rise and how we can plan for a different future A Senior Research Fellow at the New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute, Victoria University of Wellington, Dr Lawrence has been involved for many years in climate change poliryand practice and is a Coordinating Lead Author with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and a member of New Zealand’s Climate Change Commission. Judy has played a major role in many local environmental issues over the years. She became involved with EHEA in the late 1970s working on key local planning issues. She worked with an engineer from Point Howard, John Wood, to develop plans for a walkway around the Bays. A project that is now, in 2021, about to become a reality. As Chair of Point Howard Association when the LPG depot was mooted at Seaview Judy led a team of engineers and supportive community members to successfully thwart this project. Judy was elected to represent Eastbourne on the Regional Council in the mid -1980s she focused on cleaning up the harbour and eliminating several discharges including the one at Point Howard and other Bays. Dr Lawrence’s work on climate change has given her the knowledge and experience to help the communities of Eastbourne and Petone and elsewhere in New Zealand to learn about the threat of rising sea levels and about possible mitigation. This is the work Judy is most proud of as she has been able to work with international colleagues, especially in the Netherlands and USA, in building new tools to help local authorities and councils to prepare for the coastal impacts of sea level rise and flooding from increased heavy rainfall. The completion of the Hutt River flood risk management plan from Melling to the sea was the first application in New Zealand where her team used a dynamic adaptive pathways planning approach developed in the Netherlands. This has since been used by other councils in New Zealand which has led to international interest and her role as Coordinating Lead Author for the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report on climate change impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. Mayor Campbell Barry said this work reminded him of “how far we’ve come, but how far we’ve got to go, as well.”

Joanna and Richard Ponder – for sharing their love of books and art the residents of Eastbourne and their generous contribution to the cultural life of the community.

Joanna and Richard Ponder; For more than twenty years Joanna and Richard have shared their love of books and art with the residents of Eastbourne and been generous contributors to the cultural life of our community It all began in 1999 at 17 Rimu street when Rona Gallery was acquired from Mark and Anna Jacobsen in exchange for a couple of paintings. Joanna and Richard were supported in this venture by their son James who had a keen interest in art. Caterina joined the business shortly after opening and her artistic eye was much appreciated. Richard and James planned a gallery with one bookcase but Joanna insisted Richard’. gallery should have a book area of her favourite children’s books. Joanna had a lot of favourite books and that one bookcase grew rapidly as she started to add her favourite novels. In the early 2000s it was agreed that they needed a specialised shop so that Joanna could stock a more complete range of literature, history and a burgeoning collection of children’s stories, including picture books and novels from New Zealand and the world’s best authors. Thus the business moved into the 2nd premises on Rimu Street. In 2009 it was decided that the business would operate under one roof, so Richard and Joanna moved the location to the hardware store at 151 Muritai Road. When moving out of Rimu Street to the current site, Joanna and Richard inherited the post office. Mick Louden, Rhyna Cottrell and Sally Grandy brought their professional skills to managing this part of the business. In 2014, the gallery was once again overhauled, an apartment built above it, and so the Post Office at Rona Gallery was closed. The new venue, Rona Gallery, has proved perfect for book launches and numerous local authors and others have benefited from the Ponders generosity in sharing their lovely space with book lovers from Eastbourne and beyond.

David Cheyne – for his crucial role in preserving the safety of our sailors in more than 20 years service as starter and judge for the Muritai Yacht Club.

David Cheyne: For more than two decades the Eastbourne sailing community has benefited from David Cherie’sconstant presence around the Muritai Yacht Club as a volunteer Judge and Starter for local yacht races. David’s link to the yacht club goes back to when he learned to sail as a child living in Eastbourne. In 2000, when the club found itself without a judge and starter, David was approached to take on the role even though he no longer lived in Eastbourne. His commitment is such that during the yachting season he leaves his home in Hataitai early every Saturday and catches two buses to Eastbourne. Rain or shine, too much or too little wind, David has to make his journey before a call can be made on whether to race if the conditions are 

marginal. No matter how many times David has arrived to find a race cancelled he has always insisted he does not mind, he enjoys the trip out to Eastbourne. David is a valuable asset to the yachting community as his role is not particularly popular. It is a sometimes thankless task spending many hours scoring competitors and sifting in what can be a very confined space in very hot and windy conditions. Thanks to his position in the tower acting as an all-seeing eye in the sky no one, club leadership or top sailors, are safe from David’s quick wit as a teller of tales and good-natured jokes as the end-of-day results are announced. Sailing has always been a much loved activity in Eastbourne. Hundreds of sailors. young and old, have been supported by David’s enthusiasm and generosity with his time. The community thanks David for this and hopes the association will continue for many more years.