On Friday 14 December, SOLGM President Phil Wilson presented the '2018 President's Award for Distinguished Contribution to SOLGM' to Pam's mother Betty and brother Barry in recognition of Pam's unwavering service to SOLGM. We would all of course, have wished that she was there in person to receive it, and we grieve her loss from the SOLGM family.
This is not the first time that SOLGM has recognised the significant contribution that Pam has made to the Society and her local government colleagues.
Last century, despite all her sterling work on behalf of SOLGM and her interest in SOLGM's activities, Pam's then Committee Secretary position at Dunedin City did not enable her to qualify for full SOLGM membership. So, in December 1998 the Executive Committee approved her Honorary Membership as "a person, who in the opinion of the Executive has given or is giving exceptional service to the advancement of local government, or the Society".
Pam had been involved with SOLGM since the early 1990's when Dunedin City provided SOLGM with administrative and secretarial services. Pam's contribution during those early years was integral to the development of the Society's administrative, membership and financial systems, and the implementation of the Executive Committee's decisions. Pam very capably fulfilled the role of Secretary at several meetings. Her advice on procedures and practices was well respected as were her meeting organisational arrangements. Pam was also involved in the organisation and running of SOLGM conferences, in particular the 1998 conference in Dunedin.
From her knowledge and experience of how SOLGM worked, Pam also assisted the first Executive Director's transition into his position and remained a fountain of knowledge for him to draw upon. That Executive Director was David Smith, whose designation was later changed to Chief Executive. Upon his resignation in 2011, Karen Thomas succeeded him. In essence, Pam was like the first chief executive of the Society.
All this time, Pam was also the very busy Committee Secretary at Dunedin City. So, at the turn of the century, when Pam became a SOLGM Honorary Member, if you thought Pam just sat back to have a cup of tea, you are gravely mistaken.
Pam continued over the next twenty years to be a significant player in SOLGM's Electoral Working Party, which prepares guidance for and develops the competence of the sector to be able to deliver local elections every three years. Sadly, she resigned on 6 September this year. In her letter she told us "I am firmly of the view that the Electoral Subcommittee's work has been essential for the smooth running of elections within the sector and we should all be proud of the resources we have produced over the years, the training we have organised, the submissions made, and the industry-good contracts negotiated, which have all benefited Electoral Officers and their employers. Long may the good work continue. All the best for the lead up to the next election".
I would like to thank Betty and Barry, and Sue Bidrose as her employer, for allowing SOLGM to benefit from Pam's practice, excellence and generosity of spirit.
This certificate is a small token to mark the contribution of this remarkable woman.