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Inspiring volunteer cops to every task

The Timaru Herald

21 August 2010

Graham Dellow knows a thing or two about hard battles.

Despite losing his right arm to cancer three years ago, Mr Dellow has devoted hours of his time giving back to the community.

Now he's one of two South Cantabrians nominated for the Morgan Foundation's inaugural Kiwi Battler award.

When the Timaru Herald tracked him down yesterday he was about to start cleaning cars in the Timaru police car fleet a task he voluntarily does up to three times a week.

News of his nomination had come as a surprise.

"I got a phone call and I thought it was someone trying to sell me something," Mr Dellow said.

Kiwi Battler, the brain child of philanthropists Gareth and Joanne Morgan, will award $1000 to 13 regional winners and $10,000 to the charity of their choice. A further $20,000 will be donated to the charity chosen by the overall national Kiwi Battler.

Regional winners will be decided by public internet vote and will be announced in September.

If he won, Mr Dellow said he would split the $10,000 between South Canterbury Neighbourhood Support and Timaru's Community Watch, two groups he has worked tirelessly for.

Mr Dellow's involvement with community groups goes back a number of years, but when he was diagnosed with cancer in 2006 and had his arm amputated about three years ago, he started doing more.

For a start, about three times a week Mr Dellow voluntarily cleans inside and out Timaru's police car fleet.

"I love it; I feel it gets my brain going."

Mr Dellow said the officers took pride in their vehicles but this winter has been "terrible" for keeping the fleet clean.

Those who know of Mr Dellow's work are keen for the community to get behind him.

Senior Constable Steve Wills who, along with Jill Pearce, nominated Mr Dellow for the competition, said he was an inspiration for young and old.

"Given the fact that he has lost an arm, I think it shows the courage of the individual."

Timaru Community Watch president Gary Foster said Mr Dellow had done a great job.

"He really exemplifies what it is to be a volunteer."

As well as his work with the cars at the police station, Mr Dellow does one a week with the North Town community patrol. He also helps out on the fundraising stand selling sausages outside The Warehouse.

He even paid $300 to have a community patrol car modified for his use.

SC Neighbourhood Support co-ordinator Denise Langrish, who has had her own health issues, said Mr Dellow always checked on her and was a street contact for the organisation.

"He's such an inspiration. I sometimes look at myself and feel a little bit sorry. Then I look at him and think, `well ..."'

Mr Dellow has had a long-term involvement with the Air Training Corp (ATC), for which he is now an honorary squadron leader.

Mr Dellow and fellow South Cantabrian Josh South are Canterbury regional finalists, and were selected from more than 400 nominations across New Zealand.

The men, who met two days ago, had much in common, Mr Dellow said.

"We are both passionate about Timaru."

Our other Kiwi Battler Josh South will feature on the Temuka page on Tuesday.

To vote go to


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