Friday, January 11, 2013

Dynamic businessman receives QSM

George Sue - Levin businessman, justice of the peace and staunch supporter of Horowhenua - has capped off a busy year with another gong. Mr Sue, who was inducted into the Kapiti-Horowhenua Business Hall of Fame in October, has been awarded a Queen's Service Medal for services to the community in the New Year honours. He is the only person from Horowhenua included on the honours list. "There's been a few surprises this year," he said. "It just blows you away. You just don't expect these things." Born and bred in Horowhenua, he made his money in the market gardening business. But not content with growing vegetables, he set about growing the industry. He established a Chinese Language Growsafe course to ensure Chinese growers in New Zealand were qualified in the safe use of agricultural chemicals, was the inaugural president of the Horowhenua Growers' Association, and has been a member of the Horowhenua Kapiti Business Development Board for 13 years. Mr Sue said it was all just what he had to do as a member of the community. "I've been brought up here and it has given me a good life, so I always like to return things to the area. I can't just grab a couple million dollars and put it in there. You help in your own little way, even though a lot do it in a big way." He has also put considerable time into the Horowhenua Library Trust, and helped organise the development of the Koha and Kete software systems. The free Koha library management system was developed by the trust in 1999, and has since gone on to be one of the most popular management systems for libraries across the world. Mr Sue said he had met plenty of people from poorer countries who were using the programme, which was only possible because it was free. "It is most rewarding to hear these things." While he helped organise the software development, he said the true heroes were the staff who actually pulled it all together. "They were the brains behind it. I'm not that computer literate at all." Mr Sue also helped with fundraising for the Te Takere community centre and library upgrade in Levin. JONO GALUSZKA Last updated 11:30 31/12/2012

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