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At the end of our public talk in June, the Waitaki Whitestone Geopark Trust presented a Geopark Life Membership to Fergus Power, who recently retired from his position as CE of the Waitaki District Council.

The Life Membership was awarded in recognition and appreciation of his outstanding dedication, passion and support in the development of the Waitaki Whitestone aspiring UNESCO Global Geopark. It recognises the commitment Fergus demonstrated towards the values, ideals and activities of the organisation.

The Geopark's manager Gerard Quinn delivered some words from the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO saying they were struck by Fergus's energy and determination and that like all great visionaries he could see what might be.

Fergus thanked the Trust and has been amazed by the rich assemblage of stories the Waitaki has to offer. Whether its millions of year-old stories, Ngāi Tahu's stories or European stories. He also acknowledged the hard work from the Duntroon community, especially Vanished World, who established the foundations for the district wide Geopark. He said: "Thank you for this [life membership], this is really special to my heart."

The Geopark team wish him and his wife Tri a wonderful retirement in Thailand and hope we can welcome them both back into a UNESCO endorsed Geopark in the future.

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