Royal honour for Gibbston stalwart


Gibbston community stalwart Susan Stevens has been awarded the Queen’s Service Medal.

Stevens was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List today (Monday) for services to the community.

Chairman of the Gibbston Community Association since 2006, Stevens was instrumental in construction of the Gibbston River Trail.

Members raised $1.4 million towards the trail, which opened in 2010 on the banks of the Kawarau River.

The voluntary association’s members have donated more than 20,000 hours a year under her stewardship and Gibbston was named NZ Community of the Year in 2011.

Stevens said at the time: “It is truly a remarkable achievement by, let’s face it, a tiny community.”

Other projects included helping to restore the historic Rum Currie Reserve, rescuing a 150-year-old orchard, creating a rubbish and recycling depot, a cricket oval and rest areas in the highway.

Stevens, who joined the valley of the vines’ association in 2000 as its secretary, also oversees Gibbston Harvest Festival. She is currently holidaying in Noosa, Australia.