The Takanini Gurdwara Sikh Temple has again been recognised by Papakura Local Board for its ongoing community efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Board chair Brent Catchpole says the temple and its volunteers have given countless hours to the community at vaccination drives and through their food distribution efforts.
The Supreme Sikh Society has been at the forefront of community initiatives throughout the long lockdown, mirroring its tireless efforts during the first lockdown.
“It is impossible to know how many people have been touched by the kindness of the Sikh community, how many meals have been prepared using the contents of the thousands upon thousands of food packages distributed, or how many people have been vaccinated because of their campaigns run from the temple.”
The Takanini Gurdwara Sri Kalgidhar Sahib Temple was not the only organisation officially recognised for its work during the pandemic, with Dr Matire Harwood, Dr Jason Tuhoe and other staff of Papakura Marae Health Clinic recognised for their work treating COVID-19 positive patients.
“Tony Kake and the Papakura Marae team have been outstanding since day one, looking for every possible way to serve the community.
“Health clinic staff have done an astonishing amount of work to keep people safe, including taking to the streets to encourage vaccinations, while others at the marae have continued to feed some of the most vulnerable people in our community under very difficult conditions, including making visits to patients isolating at home,” Catchpole says.
And the efforts of the Ngāti Tamaoho Trust in distributing care and kai packages during Alert Level 4 and 3 were also acknowledged.
“The trust’s Chief Executive Officer Matekino Marshall and four of his staff have lived on-site throughout the lockdowns to keep whānau safe while preparing care packages.
“That is quite a sacrifice not only for all those involved but for the families they left at home in trying circumstances so that they could be of service to others.”
Catchpole says many others in the community stepped up to perform roles encouraging vaccinations and testing and volunteered for roles ensuring community access to medical care and other services.
“We saw quite a number of our rangatahi advocating for other young people to join the vaccinated, we saw Papakura and Rosehill high schools opening their facilities to host pop-up clinics and sites and heard of many small gestures of kindness to neighbours unable to go about their daily lives.
“While it was, and continues to be, a difficult time for many, we also witnessed how a community can come together, and we should never underestimate the power of that.”