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Financial acumen serves the community well

Terry Blacktop. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Lisa Urbani

For Terry Blacktop, being given a Rotary Club of South Wairarapa Pride of Workmanship and Community Service Award 2020, was a “pleasant surprise.”

Born in Auckland in 1942, Terry attended Marist Convent, and St Peters College, and later studied accountancy part time through Auckland University.

In 1960, he joined the ANZ Bank in Auckland and this was to be life-long association, as his banking career took him to several towns around New Zealand, before he ended up at head office in Wellington, in 1976, working in the property division – taking care of premises that the bank either owned or leased.

From 1982, he served as the ANZ bank manager in Martinborough, an exciting time for the then fledgling wineries and the growth of this small town.

Terry said that he “admired the vision” of those early pioneers in the vineyards, as Martinborough grew from a sleepy little farming village to a trendy tourist attraction with fashionable cafes and shops, and, a flourishing boutique wine industry.

After five years, Terry returned to the ANZ in Wellington, once again to the property division, but then in his last four years he worked as the security manager – which included making sure ANZ buildings were safe and secure for staff, training staff in security measures and also leading investigations into internal fraud matters.

Finally, in 1998, he settled in Martinborough permanently, after retiring from a 38-year career in banking.

The knowledge and skills he acquired during this time were immediately recognised when he joined the Lions Club and was duly elected as their treasurer, a position he still holds.

Later, in 2002, he took over as treasurer of the St John branch in Martinborough, and again his background and financial experience resulted in him ending up as treasurer and adviser to the district in 2005.

Gradually, he became the treasurer for the St John branches of Carterton, Featherston, and Pahiatua as well, and in 2017 was elected to the St John Central Regional Trust Board, as the representative of Wairarapa and Wellington.

Added to his list of credits, was his involvement with the Martinborough Youth Trust, and the Ruamahanga Health Trust – which was formed to set up a new medical centre in Martinborough .

He served both as trustee, and treasurer.

“It was a lot of fun deciding where it [the medical centre] should be located, then, raising the necessary funds to build it.

“Originally, it did not have a pharmacy, but due to some sound analysis, this was later achieved.”

It is a wonder that he found the time to indulge in his favourite leisure pastime of golf, and Terry is particularly proud to have been acknowledged as a life member and patron of the golf club.

Modestly, he said that due to his long financial background in banking, he was “only too pleased to give back my time to the community in any way that can assist future development, as well as ensuring that the administration side is maintained”.

Considering his many years of service to the community of Martinborough, his award was richly deserved.

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