Two named in New Year Honours

George Chan of Sunnyhills and Harjit Singh of Flat Bush have been recognised in the 2020 New Year Honours.

Mr Chan, of Fisher Parade, has been appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to philanthropy and the community.

Mr Singh, of Gracechurch Drive, was awarded the Queen’s Service Medal for services to the Indian community and seniors.

George Chan. Photo Stuff

Mr Chan’s honours list citation says he has donated to a range of charitable causes across New Zealand and has been a leader within the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation, a charitable organisation that provides material and spiritual relief to those in need, since 2004. Tzu Chi provides free health check-ups, blood donation, education programmes, financial assistance scholarships, environmental conservation, disaster relief and other services to the community.

Mr Chan has held a variety of voluntary leadership positions within the organisation including secretary and CEO.

He raised almost $3 million for the organisation including a personal donation of $400,000, to build an Auckland headquarters which has allowed the organisation to expand to more than 800 members. Tzu Chi distributed hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of cash cards to low-income families after the Christchurch and Kaikoura earthquakes and Edgecumbe floods.

He has been an active supporter of St John and has promoted the importance of their ambulance service to the Chinese and East Asian community. He has personally donated three ambulance vehicles to St John in recent years.

Mr Chan also volunteers at the City Mission and the Auckland South Correctional Facility.

Harjit Singh.

Mr Singh has contributed to the Sikh and wider communities in Auckland since 2007.

He has volunteered with a range of community organisations. He became involved with Age Concern Counties Manukau in 2008 as a member of the accredited visiting services team and was appointed to the Board in 2013. He is currently on the executive of the Manukau East Council of Social Services under Age Concern Counties Manukau.

He is an English home tutor with English Language Partners South Auckland through which he teaches migrants with limited English language skills on a voluntary basis.

He has been involved with New Zealand Guru Ravidas Sabha for the past 11 years. He is also involved with the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO), the Auckland Sikh Society, the Punjabi Cultural Society, the Manukau Indian Association and the New Zealand Indian Central Association.

Mr Singh has been an ethnic consultant with the Howick Local Board.

He is the chair of the Indian Kiwi Positive Ageing Group. He is also a White Ribbon Ambassador and fundraises for the Cancer Society and the Heart Foundation and has been a Community Panel Member of the Care and Protection Resource Panel for Oranga Tamariki since 2012.

His awards include Global Organization of People of Indian Origin Oceania Award of Honour, 2017 and Kiwibank Local Hero of the Year, 2016.