Moustaches and men’s clothing marked Clive Callow’s last day as community relations manager at Community House in Timaru.
It was a fitting tribute for the man who has spent the past six and a-half years in a workplace staffed almost completely by women, and who described one of the highlights as “throwing hand grenades into the ladies’ conversations and then walking away”.
Those ladies donned trousers, ties and moustaches to farewell the popular Mr Callow as he celebrated his 65th birthday and his retirement from the role last week.
He has a new grandchild to welcome in June, and then some overseas travel may beckon.
“The body’s getting older, but I still see the world with young eyes, and I just want to take those young eyes a bit further around the world.”
Highlights of the role had included the connections he had made in the community, attending Diwali celebrations and women’s suffrage breakfasts, and meeting MPs and prime ministers, he said.
“It’s all part of the community trust work, creating links.”
His community role expanded when he was appointed a JP, and he had since helped 467 clients in that role.
Mr Callow was involved in commissioning a history of the Community Trust of Mid and South Canterbury when it marked its 25th anniversary in 2013.
He has also attended national community trust conferences, and Timaru hosted the national conference in Timaru in 2012.
He said he would miss the drive to work each morning, with the sun rising over the harbour and bay, and the camaraderie with Community House tenants and trustees.
“If you want to enjoy life, surround yourself with people with positive attitudes and warm hearts.”
Chief executive officer Liz Shea said it had been an honour working with Mr Callow.
“I have appreciated his hard work and dedication to the CRM role. We both came into new roles together, and made the roles what they are today.
“The trust is now a well-respected and highly sought-after funder, due in part to Clive’s commitment to meeting the goals and visions of the community trust.”
Mrs Shea said highlights of Mr Callow’s tenure had included setting up a new website, maintaining a social media presence for the community trust and Community House, and building up an extensive network of relationships.
He had also helped set up the trust’s new online donation database which would future-proof the trust in the coming years.