Wayne (Jimmy) Vallendar

Wayne (Jimmy) Vallendar and family

Citation Speech for Wayne (Jimmy) Vallendar

Now, many of you here who know Jimmy are maybe a bit surprised to find out that his given name is Wayne. But I’m sure that none of you are surprised to see that Jimmy is receiving a community honour here tonight. He simply loves helping people out.

Jimmy is born and bred in the Manawatū, and apart from a brief stint as a cabinet maker, he’s spent the majority of his life as a farmer, now as a beef and crop farmer. He proudly says that he’s a Te Kawau man, having held every job imaginable at the rugby club when he started playing in 1972. He the current president and bar manager of the club, which means that Jimmy is always present when the bar is needed, be it for after matches, community events or birthday parties.

He has also served on the Rongotea Lions for 29 years and is a former president of the club, but now serves as the Club Almoner, supporting elderly and ill members of the community and reports on their wellbeing. When speaking to Jimmy you can tell that he really advocates for making sure that the elderly population are looked after and he’s puts in the effort to ensure that they are.

But Jimmy is also passionate about having a positive impact on young people to. He’s reluctant to call himself a role model, but that is what he is to many of the young men who play footy for Te Kawau. As the manager of the Colts team a few years ago, Jimmy identified a group of players that could have easily headed down the wrong path. But he galvanised the team and made sure that they had the right support around them to ensure that the kids stayed on the right path and became contributing members of the community.

He also recounts a tale of doing some fundraising for a young man who had been selected for Outward Bound and asked for help to fundraise for the trip. Jimmy says that when the man was selected, he noticed that he started going through small changes to get himself prepared. He was a bit of a couch potato in all honesty, but to see him transform following his trip into a completely different person, was incredibly rewarding for Jimmy, and made the fundraising efforts that he and others went to all worthwhile.

Jimmy is someone who puts others before himself, and sometimes he takes too much on board his shoulders, but it’s also for his own benefit as well. When you see his face when talking about helping an elderly lady with firewood, organising dinners, fundraising for causes, or just being behind the bar after a match, you can see how much helping people really makes him happy. Knowing that he’s done a good turn for someone else is what he lives for, and our community is a better place for having the likes of Jimmy in it.

You are thoroughly deserving of this honour, Jimmy and we’re incredibly grateful for the service that you have provided over the years and continue to provide now.