Lifetime of service to St John recognised

Mid Canterbury St John Area chairperson Michael Rushton, left, presenting a life membership certificate to Paul Thomas.

Paul Thomas has dedicated more than 40 years service to St John and has just been awarded a Mid Canterbury area committee life membership.

Mr Thomas, who is the outgoing chairperson of the committee, has had a long association with St John in the district.

He was an Ashburton area committee member from 2002, until the committee was disestablished in 2019.

His involvement then included five years as chairperson (from 2014 to 2019) and six years at the helm of the welfare sub-committee.

He then continued as interim-chairperson for the newly-renamed Mid Canterbury area committee from 2019 until 2021. He has recently been elected to the committee as the portfolio holder.

Mr Thomas joined St John in 1981 as an events volunteer, becoming the divisional manager in 1993.

He was a member of the events team until 2004.

He was also an ambulance volunteer in Ashburton for many years.

The life membership citation says Mr Thomas became a St John chaplain in 2011 and is always there for people – he has an outstanding ability to listen and support.

“We are so privileged to have him on our team. He was recognised for 40 years’ service to St John in 2021.

“We were also thrilled that he was admitted to the Order in 2010 and promoted to Officer in 2018.

“Paul is one of those unassuming people who works quietly and with empathy to support everyone in St John.

“He has been a most hands-on chairperson (and chaplain) and has picked up so many extra tasks that no one else does.

“The area committee is proud to bestow area life membership.”