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By ESTHER TAUNTON - Taranaki Daily News

31 December 2009

Bev Raine is used to dealing with unexpected events but was still stopped in her tracks by some surprising news.

Mrs Raine has been awarded the Queen's Service Medal for services to emergency management and the community and was moved to tears by a letter saying she was in line for the honour.

"I got a letter from the Governor-General last week saying I'd been awarded the medal," she said, "but before that you get a letter to say it's been recommended your name go on to the Queen for her to tick or whatever it is she does.

"I just stood there and cried."

Originally from Southland, Mrs Raine moved to Taranaki about 40 years ago and worked in emergency management in the region from 1982 to 2008.

During that time, everything from cyclones to tornadoes hit the province.

Cyclone Bola, which lashed the North Island in 1988, was an eye-opener for Mrs Raine who began working part-time with Civil Defence when her children were at primary school.

"That's when it really hit home for me how Mother Nature could hit so hard," she said.

"Having to dry off cows cost some farmers all their milk for the season."

The cyclone's impact on people and industries outside farming was also difficult to come to terms with, she said.

"Obviously, the wind took out orchards and tunnel houses but there was a massive downstream effect.

"People who had jobs making the boxes to put the apples in and things like that suddenly had no work, no income."

As well as Cyclone Bola, Mrs Raine was involved in the management of Cyclone Hilda (1990), the Waitotara flooding (2004) and a spate of tornadoes that hit Taranaki in 2007.

The New Year's award also recognises her work as a trustee for Neighbourhood Support and the Taranaki Jazz Club and as the current chairwoman of Taranaki Women's Refuge.

Mrs Raine also held management roles with the New Plymouth District Council, the Taranaki United Council and the Taranaki District Health Board.

She has been a member of Netball Taranaki for 36 years, Sport Taranaki for 16 years and Soroptomists International for eight years.

In 1993, she received the Taranaki Businesswoman of the Year special achiever award.


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