Golden moments

Recognised . . . Gore Country Music Club members Julie Mitchell and Phil Geary standing outside the club’s hands of fame monument received the Otago Daily Times and The Ensign Gore District Civic Award at the district’s community awards on Friday night. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Two Gore Country Music Club life members have been recognised for their contributions to the Gore district.

Julie Mitchell and Phil Geary received the Otago Daily Times and The Ensign Gore District Civic Award at the district’s community awards on Friday night.

Her first introduction to the club was in 1981, when she won Miss Gold Guitar as part of the New Zealand Gold Guitar Awards, Mrs Mitchell said.

‘‘I met all these wonderful people in the country music fraternity.

‘‘That made quite an impression on me.’’

After she married Ron in 1987 her involvement with the country music club increased as he started performing.

‘‘I was the supportive wife in the early days for Ron’s singing.

‘‘I travelled everywhere with him competing.’’

In 1997 she became part of the gold guitars committee.

Later she became the president of the country music club.

She was ‘‘humbled’’ and ‘‘surprised’’ to receive the award, Mrs Mitchell said.

‘‘I’m grateful to Tracy Hicks for nominating me for it because it was in his time of being mayor.’’

She had enjoyed being part of the club.

‘‘I’ve been with the club since they’ve knitted booties for me [until] right now the girls are leaving school, receiving awards.

‘‘They’ve always been supportive.’’

One of the satisfying aspects of the club for her was the number of gold guitar winners the club had, she said.

Mr Geary and Mrs Mitchell have been involved with many aspects of the club’s activities and both were Tussock Country Music Festival Trust founding members. Mr Geary has been part of the club since he and wife Jackie came to Gore in the 1980s.

He has been the convener of the Gold Guitar committee since 1997.

He viewed receiving the civic award as the result of being part of a team, Mr Geary said.

‘‘I think it reflects the whole committee because we’ve got a long serving committee and we work well together as ateam so that iswhat gives us success.’’

It was also recognition the Gold Guitar Awards were well-established in the Gore community as a major event, Mr Geary said.

His wife had always been supportive and involved in the awards too, he said.

‘‘It’s a team effort all round.’’

He was not ‘‘musical’’ but country music had been his favourite genre of music since he was a teenager.

He enjoyed his involvement in the club.

‘‘I would certainly stop doing it if I didn’t enjoy it.’’

It had been satisfying the way the Gold Guitar Awards had grown throughout the years, he said.

‘‘It just keeps evolving.’’

One of the biggest challenges facing the committee was finding new recruits to join the committee, and the day might come when someone would need to be paid to organise the awards, he said.