Double honour for Ian

IAN'S DEDICATION HONOURED: Ian Pole, pictured with a St John first aid unit, has had his community work with St John and Mission to Seafarers honoured.
IAN'S DEDICATION HONOURED: Ian Pole, pictured with a St John first aid unit, has had his community work with St John and Mission to Seafarers honoured.

This year will be a year of double honours for hard-working community volunteer Ian Pole, being recognised for two of the biggest involvements in his life -- St John and Mission to Seafarers.

Mr Pole's involvement with the two organisations stretches back decades and his two accolades are highly esteemed.

One is an international honour, being a finalist for the Secretary General of the Mission to Seafarers award. The other will be bestowed upon him by the Governor later this year, recognising his 52 years' service to St John.

While both organisations are different in the services they provide, they have a few inextricable links -- care and faith.

It was his faith that led him to the Missions to Seafarers, a society of the Anglican communion, in 1977.

For St John, it was his family that partly brought about his involvement in the group in 1967.

"I felt that I had a very strong conviction that I need to serve others in the community," he said.

"They both have a very strong ethos of respecting others, treating others equally regardless of their race, colour or position in society. It's very similar."

His work in the community sees him assist seafarers coming into our port, then on the other hand, he is highly visible with his wife, Lynette, providing first-aid.

Technological advancements have changed his work with the Mission enormously over the years, from helping people contact loved ones via phone to the digital age today where people are more self-reliant and can communicate online.

"Contact with family is absolutely paramount," he said.

Both groups have opened his eyes, The Mission in a worldly and cultural sense and then differently in St John as a first-aid responder.

While honoured to have his service and work acknowledged, he said the two accolades were also a reflection on those he works with in the two organisations.

"It's a reflection on those who have made the journey with me," he said.

"I couldn't do what I do with the Mission to Seafarers without the strong support of the other volunteers. And there's the strong support of family."