Western Leader : January 11th 2011
www.westernleader.co.nz Tuesday, January 11, 2011 Our office is now open for 2011, wishing you a prosperous New Year Consultants a advice on pr ss locally & Ralph Hendricks 836 9310 Our Advertising C Avondale New Lynn Green Bay Blockhouse Bay are here to offer you any a promoting your busines &Aucklandwide. Te Atatu Swanson/Ranui Hobsonville Massey Shannon Jones 836 9300 Glendene Henderson Central Motoring Charles Pierard 836 9302 Education & Features Consultant Titirangi Glen Eden Katrina Larsen 836 9306 3412332AA For service to the west By VANITA PRASAD Solid service: Glen Eden politician Janet Clews has been recognised on the New Year's Honours list. Photo: VANITA PRASAD HER ACCURACY when reporting on council meetings for the Waitakere Gazette saw Janet Clews launch a career in local government that has spanned five decades. Her service is so note- worthy that the Glen Eden politician has gained one of New Zealand's top honours. She is one of 13 Kiwis appointed as a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year Honours list. Mrs Clews says as a reporter on the former news- paper she was encouraged to stand for the Glen Eden Borough Council. They reckoned it was the best writing they had seen in the paper. It was because I was so interested that I was so factual,'' she says. In 1963 Mrs Clews became the Glen Eden Borough's first female councillor. Since then she has served on local gov- ernment in west Auckland for 46 years and is now deputy chairwoman of the Waitakere Ranges Local Board. The former Glen Eden mayor says she is honoured to make the New Year list. Nobody ever expects these things. It's been a delightful end to what was a bad year.'' Mrs Clews was sad to see the Waitakere City Council dissolved last year after help- ing create it in 1989. She says the former council made positive changes for west Auckland. We set up libraries and made significant develop- ments in New Lynn, Massey and Westgate. We were just starting to see the benefits of our hard work when the council became undone.'' Through her years in local government, Mrs Clews held a variety of positions. In 1987, she took the helm as president of the Portage Licensing Trust to sort out its financial situation. She says west Auckland would not have progressed without the trusts' funding. Without them there would not be the millions of dollars that have been put back into the community such as Olym- pic Park, the stadiums and all the money that has been invested into schools over the years. If we had lost the Port- age Trust we wouldn't have had that,'' she says. Mrs Clews says her success in local government was made possible by the people she has worked with. I have worked with some tremendous people who have a genuine interest in improv- ing the community. I have also been very for- tunate to have worked with some incredibly talented staff members. Those are the people who make politicians look good or bad.'' Mrs Clews and her hus- band Ernie had three sons and five grandchildren. Their late son David Clews was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2007 for services to paediatrics. He worked to separate conjoined twins at Waikato Hospital in 2007. It was the first time a procedure of that kind had been performed in Australasia. He knew of his honour but died of cancer before it was presented. When Mrs Clews isn't working she enjoys reading, painting, playing music and travelling. One of her paintings hangs in front of the Glen Eden library. After many years in local government, she says her interest in community issues remains strong. If you have that genuine interest it's something that stays with you while you have breath to do something about it.'' Three other west Auck- landers were recognised on the New Year Honours list. See P3.
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