At the AGM of the Pukerua Bay Residents’ Association in October 2020, special acknowledgement was given to June Penhey. She was granted the Freedom of Pukerua Bay to acknowledge 55 years faithful service to the community and thanked for 41 years as the Association Treasurer. In the RA’s 2018 application for her Porirua Civic Award, we entered the following:
June Penhey is a beloved member of the Pukerua Bay community. This nomination is being made by the Pukerua Bay Residents Association on behalf of all residents of the community she has lived in, loved, and served for half a century.— Porirua Civic Awards application, 2018.
Few of us have memories that stretch back 50 years, but all of us know June as a constant and valued presence, always looking for what needs to be done and quietly getting on and doing it.
June and Mike raised four children in Pukerua Bay. They are a wonderful team, supporting each other in all that they do and through all life’s trials and tribulations.
As a young mother, June belonged to the Home and School Association and served for over five years as Team Section Leader for the local Boys Brigade. In this role, she planned fun weekly activities that developed boys’ skills while communicating the Christian values that June lives by.
June has a strong sense of fun and fellowship. She joined the Country Women’s Institute soon after she and Mike moved to Pukerua Bay. She held various positions in the years before it finally closed about six years ago, including treasurer and president. The CWI was important in the lives of many local women, providing a forum for social interaction, sharing skills, and service, including fundraising. Pukerua Bay’s CWI ran the second-hand clothing stall at the Pukerua Bay School Gala, with spectacular success. It also collated the Pukerua Bay Community Newsletter – and June is still the prime mover in organising volunteers for this task.
June doesn’t talk about her faith, but it’s central to her life. She is a parishioner at St Lukes, where she is the treasurer and has been Church Communion Steward for five years. She also organises the Friendship Group, which is held at St Marks once a month – an opportunity for people of all faiths to come together to worship and enjoy shared activities.
The Residents Association Committee has benefited from June’s membership since the 1970s. We believe that she has been our treasurer for all that time! One of the people we spoke to in preparing for this nomination said that June is “staunchly loyal to any organisation she belongs to.” We know this to be true.
June’s service goes beyond Pukerua Bay to impact on the wider community. She was a long-time member of the Porirua Community Guardians. In this role, she, Mike, and their long-time friend Kath Fowler patrolled the streets and the mall, keeping them safe through their kindly presence. To this day, June volunteers at the Kenepuru Hospital library.
June cares for the people in her place and also for the natural environment. She and Mike belonged to Keep Porirua Beautiful for many years. If ever there is a working bee, June is quietly there, doing what needs to be done.
The extent of June’s voluntary work suggests that there is no time for paid work, but she is a paid carer for people who are confined to home for various reasons. She was doing this long before this kind of work was formalised with subsidies … and when the subsidy was withdrawn from one of her clients, she continued to give loving care, unpaid, for over six months.
June’s nomination for this award is warmly endorsed, not just by the Committee, but by the rest of our community. Comments from fellow residents include: “She doesn’t just wait to be asked. She asks if she can help.” “She’s always been there, in the key positions that require ongoing work.” “Groups are held together by her loyalty.” Our favourite: “She is a true villager.”
Please give us this opportunity to communicate to June how very much she means to us all.