I just think it’s better to give than receive. –Doug Dixey
Volunteering for 57 years might seem like a chore for some, but for Doug Dixey it is second nature.
Mr Dixey, of Gore, has dedicated his life to helping organisations including sports clubs, St John, Grey Power, churches, schools, garden clubs and the Gore Pakeke Lions.
Putting his hand up to help in the community was just part of who he is, he said.
“I just think it’s better to give than receive.”
Mr Dixey began volunteering as a 16-year-old at the New Brighton Olympic Athletics Club, in Christchurch.
From there he caught the bug for helping his community and became a St John cadet.
He soon moved south to Gore where he was a primary school teacher for 42 years, finishing up at Tapanui School in 2000.
“I helped out relieving around Gore and volunteering where they needed afterwards for a bit.”
His passion still lay with athletics and he volunteered to create both the Southland and Eastern Southland schools cross-country event.
“The kids can blame me for that one.”
He helped with the administration and various activities at Athletics Gore, where he had been made a life member.
For the past 16 years, Mr Dixey had been a member of the Pakeke Lions where he had been vice-president, president and now secretary.
“The Lions invited me and I just worked my way through all the ranks.”
Five days a week he was at the Lions recycling factory, working with a team of 18 people.
“It’s a wonderful group working for the community.”
He was proud the group raised money to help with the new lift at the SBS St James Theatre.
“We helped a couple of years ago with better access for wheelchairs at the theatre, too,” Mr Dixey said.
Every year he spends hours sorting through books with his team as the convener of the Lions annual book sale.
Mr Dixey puts his hand up to help on the show gates year after year at the Gore A&P Show as well.
As a member of the Gore Garden Club, Mr Dixey helped with organising the flower shows and harvest shows.
He volunteers with the St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church and Grey Power, and is never far away to lend a helping hand.