In today’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List, primarily headed up by Knighthoods for people involved with sausages, rugby, and giant wetas, there is just one solitary award for Architecture.
Maurice Edward Mahoney, long time work partner of the long-since gonged Miles Warren, has been awarded an ONZM (Officer of the Order), which is a well deserved recognition of the years of hard labour he has put into the WAM office. Congratulations Maurice – thoroughly well-deserved. As far as I understand, Maurice has always been the back room grunt behind the power and might of WAM, and so while he hasn’t got the front row attention of Sir Miles himself (a national living treasure, seeing as he has reached the highest level in the NZ honours system), we know how much Maurice has been a key part of WAM’s success.
A similarly ranked recognition of ONZM (Officer of the Order) also goes to Richard Collingwood Fenwick, Christchurch, for services to engineering (an Officer award is made for a distinguished regional or national role in any field); and there are other awards, to vaguely related professions, such as The Queen’s Service Order (QSO) Companion of the Order for Kura Wahirangi Kaa, Tikitiki, for services to the restoration of historic places; and The Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) for Frances Sheila Robinson, Gisborne, for services to historic places. We have noted some other previous awards at this post here. It is however, always disappointing how little attention architecture gets on the radar of fickle government attention. There is much more chance of getting recognition if you play rugby for your country, rather than build up your country for the future.
While I’m madly, widely supportive of the Knighthood for Richard Taylor, and Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for Jeanette Fitzsimons, I’m less excited about the award for rugby referee Tom Doocey, and possibly the only person less excited about the award for the reasonably obnoxious “Mad Butcher” Peter Leitch is the man himself, who the Press quotes as saying:
“Mate, mate, don’t be stupid. Do you think I have me head up me arse, mate? I won’t be using it, it’s just there,” said the man who started the Mad Butcher chain more than 40 years ago in Mangere, South Auckland.
Lovely, just lovely. I’m sure the Queen will be well pleased she’s gone to all that bother then.