Snells Beach couple John and Carol Morgan have been presented with $5000 from ASB’s Good as Gold competition.
The money was presented to them as a surprise at the Mahurangi Fire Station last month.
In 2011, Carol’s daughter Paula died from breast cancer age 36, leaving behind Bronwyne, Joshua and Emma, then aged 14, 12 and three.
Paula had been training to be an ambulance officer and had only just passed her certificate days before she died.
John and Carol took in the children and have made sure they never went without.
Raising two teenagers and a toddler would never be considered easy, but the Morgans did it in their 70s.
The couple have spent their lives looking after their own children, nieces and nephews and then their grandkids. They also care for Carol’s mother.
John is 83 and hasn’t had a holiday in decades. Now age 12, Emma-Jayne decided to nominate her grandparents for the Good as Gold awards so they could take a break.
“Grandpa has had a hernia operation and is in bed, and I have never seen him so sick before so I thought it would make him happier,” she wrote.
Emma is an honorary member of the Mahurangi East Fire Brigade.
Children are not ordinarily allowed to join the fire service, but her family have a long history with the brigade and her brother Josh, now 21, is a volunteer there.
She works at the station on the third Sunday of each month helping to clean the station and the gear. Emma is also a St John’s cadet.
To make sure Emma didn’t have the burden of keeping a secret, ASB did not include her in the planning to present the Good as Gold award, so she was just as surprised.
John and Carol thought they were visiting the station for an award to be presented to Emma for her services while Emma thought she was going there to clean.
The award was presented by TVNZ’s Hillary Barry along with the whole brigade.
John and Carol are mad about country music and belong to local country music clubs and are thinking about using the money to attend the Golden Guitar Country Music awards in Gore.
ASB has also provided $5000 to be put aside for Emma-Jayne’s future education costs.