When PP Ken Huberts read the following article (abridged) in the Gisborne Herald, he decided to do something about it.
“It was supposed to be the beginning of a perfect week for an extended family as they filtered into Gisborne for a wedding. But instead it turned into a nightmare for the Ennis family – just 20 minutes after the bride’s sister and her partner landed at Gisborne Airport, their car was stripped of their belongings.
Jacqui Ennis and her British partner Rob Jennings were met by the bride-to-be, Kelly Ennis, following a 24-hour trip from Japan. Before heading home to unpack, they drove to the headland between Okitu and Makorori, where the wedding ceremony was to take place. After taking in the scenery on top of the hill, they returned to their car, only to find it – and the car beside it – had been ransacked.
New Zealand and British passports, credit cards, new clothes bought for the big day, a new watch, a camera filled with memories of an OE in Japan, three cell phones and duty-free alcohol bought to celebrate the big day… all gone! For Rob and Jacqui, it was a terrible start to their much-anticipated visit to Gisborne.
“Because the immediate family all live apart, there was plenty of emotion at the airport,” said Jacqui. “We were just so happy to have landed and to be close to my sister before the wedding… that was special. But everything just turned upside down before we knew it.”
“I always knew I would have a pretty stressful week ahead of the wedding, but nothing like this,” said Kelly. “On Friday the carpark will be packed with cars, and we need to know that it won’t be a green ticket for thieves to cut loose.”
“Ken was concerned about the disappointment for those people caused by some yobbos, and also about the reputation of our friendly city," PDG Hans Kwok reports. “So, a quick word with President Pete who sent an email around; and guests to the wedding on the Friday were able to enjoy the festivities without worrying about their cars being tempered with, thanks to members, Ken, David Henderson, myself and Jason McLean keeping a secure eye on the parked cars.
“On the day of the wedding everything – the venue, the view and the weather - was beautiful; and after the ceremony we received thanks from many of the guests as they came back to their cars.
Once again as Lions we were able to show that we take the motto “We Serve” seriously.