Invercargill’s Colourful Mayor Has A Lot To Smile About.
It might come as a surprise to learn that for once in his life, Sir Timothy Richard Shadbolt was actually left speechless the moment he learned he had been made a knight in the 2019 New Year Honours list.
“It was stunned silence,” confesses the normally talkative Invercargill mayor. “I’ve had a colourful past and I didn’t think I would fit into their criteria.” But given the decades devoted to local government – at 71, he’s New Zealand’s longest-serving mayor, with a remarkable 10 terms in two different cities over four decades – Sir Tim’s bursting with pride at the being handed the title.
“I’ve joined a very special club – I feel very privileged and lucky,” he says, adding he’s been inundated with messages of congratulations including from fellow knights Sir Don McKinnon and Mad Butcher Sir Peter Leitch.
And while he admits to having republican leanings in his 20s, he’s a little astonished he hasn’t come in for some flak from his old university friends.
“They seem to be very pleased for me, which I found very surprising. I thought I would have at least one ring up and call me a traitor!”
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January 28, 2019