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The recently completed renovations at Shantytown are a great example of what a dedicated team of volunteers can achieve.
Tony Kokshoorn, Grey District Mayor

The Awards were announced and presented on Tuesday 13 August at a function at the Kingsgate Hotel. 

For winning the Supreme Award, the West Coast Historical Society received a framed certificate, a trophy and $1,500 prize money. The West Coast Historical Society now has the opportunity to represent the district at the 2013 TrustPower National Community Awards, which are being held in the Invercargill and Southland region in March 2014. 

In total, TrustPower has given away over $5,000 to various community groups through tonight’s Awards. 

Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn says the recently completed renovations at Shantytown are a great example of what a dedicated team of volunteers can achieve. 

“Thanks to the foresight, research and extensive fundraising by the West Coast Historical Society, Shantytown is now able to offer a more engaging and interactive experience that stays true to this region’s history. I congratulate them on this epic journey and for receiving this Award”, says Mayor Kokshoorn. 

TrustPower Community Relations Representative Jess Somerville agrees that the recent renovations at Shantytown has meant that the Heritage Park has remained relevant and exciting. 

“Shantytown is a recreated gold-rush town that tells stories of fortitude and pioneering spirit through a fascinating mix of displays and it has recently undergone a $3 million dollar upgrade thanks to the volunteers of the West Coast Historical Society. 

“In order to meet traveller’s enhanced expectations of interactive displays, seven years ago this team of 6 volunteers began an extensive fundraising campaign, community consultation, and research. With the help of many other volunteers they cleaned, painted, shovelled, cooked, BBQ’d, carted and guided in order to help see this project through to completion. 

“Thanks to their efforts new interactive and engaging displays highlight the West Coast’s history, and concentrate on the industries of Gold, Steam, Coal and Timber. There is now a time line walk also and an innovative Holographic theatre has been installed – the only one of its kind in the country.

“Other projects saw a roof extended and reclad, interpretation panels translated, a complete restoration of the railway station and they supported regular staff in their operations by volunteering at events,” says Miss Somerville. 

The competition for this year’s TrustPower Grey District Community Awards was strong with a record 41 group’s entered for the Awards.

Other winners at tonight’s TrustPower Grey District Community Awards were: 

Heritage and Environment
Runner-Up: Karoro Learning Alternative Education
Winner: West Coast Blue Penguin Trust  

Health and Well Being
Commendation: West Coast Federation of Women’s Institute
Runner-Up: Greymouth Land SAR
Winner: West Coast @ Heart 

Arts and Culture
Runner-Up: Quilt West
Winner: Multiple Sclerosis West Coast 

Sport and Leisure
Commendation: West Coast Speedway Association
Runner- up: Kotuku Junior Surf Life Saving
Winner: Ahaura Hunting and Fishing Competition  

Education and Child/Youth Development
Commendation: Life Education Trust
Runner-Up: Greymouth St John Youth
Winner: Grey District Young Persons Development Trust 

Supreme Winner
West Coast Historical Society Inc 

Youth Spirit
Winner: Maria Southorn
Runner-up: Sam Kenny