Metlifecare residents scoop Queen’s Service Medals
A lifelong devotion to music has earned Bayswater resident Coreen Gray a Queen’s Service Medal (QSM).
The talented 95 year old has travelled the world for her art. She has sung at King’s College Cambridge in England, taught piano and singing in the Channel Islands, and toured Europe with the New Zealand Dorian Choir. Not only that, but Coreen has significantly enriched the lives of Bayswater village residents, teaching singing to those with dementia, accompanying the Phoenix Choir, performing numerous solo concerts, and helping stage the village’s highly anticipated musical productions.
Despite countless career highlights, she says receiving a QSM for her services to choral music has been among the most memorable.
“I was honoured and surprised to receive such an award as I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who do wonderful things,” says Coreen. “It’s great to be appreciated for everything I’ve done, I’m only sorry that my late husband is not here to enjoy it with me.”
The vibrant nonagenarian wasn’t the only Metlifecare resident to be recognised in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list. Hillsborough Heights village’s Mehar Singh was honoured with a QSM for services to seniors and the community, thanks to the decades she has spent volunteering for the aged care sector and other groups.
Mehar’s work has been far reaching – she collaborates with social services agencies to support those in need, runs a lunch delivery service for low-decile schools, and regularly organises charity fundraisers. She is also founder of the New Zealand Fijian Senior Citizens Association.
“I like volunteering in the community as it enables me to make a difference in people’s lives and connect with people from all walks of life,” says Mehar.
“Getting a Queen’s Service Medal was humbling, especially being recognised alongside fellow New Zealanders who do amazing work in the community.”