Life honour for Anstiss

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Russell Anstiss had to wipe his eyes when the news came.
He joined the Ashburton Hearing Association in 1986 – and on Friday was granted life membership at a ceremony at the Ashburton Seniors’ Centre, a facility the association was instrumental in creating.
The award was presented by vice-president Aine Whiting after a welcome by Bernard Egan, who joked that it had not been framed because the ‘‘expense has not been approved’’.
Mr Anstiss said he was overwhelmed and the life membership was his first. Over the years, he had been involved in 31 organisations.
Mr Egan said Mr Anstiss had an understanding of and empathy for those with a hearing impairment and he became a committee member and was elected president in 1999 – and remained in that position.
He said Mr Anstiss was instrumental in the association becoming a partner in the Seniors’ Centre, and that decision had helped all partners and the community.
‘‘As well as leading the local branch, Russell has also represented it at regional and national level where his input is highly valued.
‘‘Russell’s efforts have helped maintain the branch’s enviable reputation in our community and wider afield and his guidance has ensured that the Ashburton Hearing Association is well placed to face the future,’’ Mr Egan said.
Mr Anstiss is only the sixth person to become a life member of the association, and the only one alive.