St John volunteers recognised

Recognised ... Erin Hurley and Martin Mackereth were invested into the Order of St John at the Christchurch Transitional Cathedral, earlier this month. PHOTO: JAMES MACKERETH

Two long-serving St John volunteers, Martin Mackereth and Erin Hurley, have been invested in the Order of St John.

The investiture, which required the signoff of King Charles III, was conducted at the Christchurch Transitional Cathedral earlier this month.

To be invested is to be to recognised for excellence, courage and exceptional dedication to the service.

The honour is equivalent to a Queen’s Service Medal.

St John Gore member Martin Mackereth said being invested was an emotional moment.

‘‘I wasn’t quite prepared for the emotion that I felt,’’ Mr Mackereth said.

‘‘You don’t often think of being nominated for these things because you’re not there for that reason.’’

He had held a variety of positions at St John.

He is an operational member, Hokonui area chairman and Southland board representative on the South Island Trust Board.

The chance to give back to the community had kept him volunteering, Mr Mackereth said.

‘‘It’s also been about the support of my family and workplace to allow me to do it.’’

After he was caught in the Kobe earthquake in Japan in 1995, he had decided to lend his time to help others.

‘‘I left Japan after the earthquake thinking I need to be able do something to help.’’

When an earthquake hit Christchurch in 2011 he travelled with St John to help in the recovery.

‘‘It was kind of full circle. ‘‘It was pleasing to know I could actually do something.’’

St John Riversdale first responder Erin Hurley had been humbled by the investiture.

‘‘It was a great honour,’’ Mrs Hurley said.

To have her name nominated by someone had been just as humbling, she said.

She had volunteered as a first responder for 23 years.

She said her love of being out there helping people had kept her doing it all these years and enjoyed ‘‘seeing the smile on their face when you arrive and they know you’re there to help and do your best’’.

‘‘I just thoroughly enjoy going out and helping people.’’

Twenty-five people from throughout New Zealand were invested at the event.