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Peggy Barriball has received a Queen’s Service Medal for services to the community. Photo: ALICE PARMINTER

Community treasurer treasures new honour

For years, Peggy Barriball has been the go-to treasurer for organisations in Waitakaruru and Thames. Now, the long-time Justice of the Peace (JP) and budget services advisor has a new set of initials to add after her name: QSM.
Peggy was awarded a Queen’s Service Medal in this year’s King’s Birthday honours for her services to the community. And there have been a lot of them.
Since moving to the Hauraki Plains in 1971, she has been involved with the NZ Plunket Society, Waitakaruru Playcentre Association, Western Firth Catchments Group Trust, Family Safety Services Trust, Seagull Centre Trust, Thames Valley Special Olympics, Waitakaruru Community Hall Committee, Waitakaruru School Calf Club, Hauraki Plains Agricultural Club Group Day, Treasury Research Centre and Archive, A Place at the Table Trust, and Trust Waikato. She is or was the treasurer for many of these groups.

She has also been a JP for 13 years and a budget financial advisor at Thames Budgetary Services for 16 years. There’s probably more, she said; over the years she’s been involved with many different areas of the community.
“As my aunt always said, ‘if you want something done, ask a busy person’,” Peggy said.
“And as my daughter says, ‘you’ve got to learn to say no’!”
Peggy said she has always loved numbers, as well as helping people.
“I find organisations have trouble getting treasurers, and so I’ve been able to help them out in that way,” she said.
“Funding’s always an issue. But your best asset in any organisation’s always your people.”
Each of the causes are something close to Peggy’s heart. Plunket and Playcentre were there for her when she was new to the area with a young family.
“The Plunket Society and supporting the young mums is very important. Especially around here in the rural areas,” she said.
“Young mums probably feel a bit of isolation, especially if they don’t have the support of their family around them.”
School groups came later on, as her own children and then grandchildren grew up. Even now, she’s remained involved with the school.
“Yeah, they keep calling me back to do things. Which is great! I’m the [calf club] chief recorder now.”
Peggy’s service with the JP Association was also instigated by someone asking her to join. She established a JP service desk in Ngatea to provide notary services to the rural community in Hauraki Plains.
“The JPs are a really good group of people to work with. You meet lots of different people with that too.

“We set up the service desk, and we’ve got one in Ngatea, one in Thames and I think Whitianga, Waihī. And that’s so that … there’s a regular date, a regular time a JP will be there.”
With her love of figures, working at Thames Budgeting Services was also a natural step.
“If you help somebody get out of the financial … it’s a real bonus. A lot of them you can’t but just the one every now and then will be a great success.”
And no matter what she was involved with, there was always something new to learn, and new people to help.
“My eight years on Trust Waikato … the communities that we went around to and seeing what they were doing and what they needed – yeah, I learnt a lot from that,” she said.
“Mind you, I’ve learnt a lot from every organisation. It’s continuous, you can never stop.
“You can’t be successful without a team of people around you. Any success you have is a team effort, it’s not just a personal one.”
Receiving the Queen’s Service Medal, Peggy said, was also a team effort, with her family heavily involved in community service as well.
“I wish to thank the person or persons who nominated me for this award. As you know I don’t get to find out who this is but to think they consider me worthy of the award is very humbling.”