John (Blackie) Black

John (aka Blackie) Black has been a part of the family of Brave Hearts since its inception.

From the time of the Brave Hearts Calendar, John has been instrumental in promoting the cause of Brave Hearts on the Murray and has always been available to help out with any of the fundraising and promotional events held by Murray Inc. and Brave Hearts Dragon Boat Club.

He has an extremely competitive spirit and is a vital component of any dragon boat event or race; however, he goes about his sport in a quiet and disciplined manner.

Blackie’s cheerful disposition always shines through when speaking to or of his fellow Brave Hearts friends and their families.

His attention to detail in all that he sets out to do came to the forefront when he took up a managerial, yet conciliatory role when our dear dragon boat club hit rough waters. He steered the club through a most challenging time and brought sensibility and order to a chaotic situation.

Blackie’s dealings with Council and the Lake Users Group – advocating on behalf of our organisation – has always borne fruit and he has been relentless and unwavering in bettering the conditions at Gateway Lakes.

He played an important role in the building of our beloved Brave Hearts dragon boat. He continuously liaised with Rice Graphics, lent a hand whenever needed in sanding and towing the boat and quietly and thoughtfully kept us all in order.

Blackie has competed at world-class dragon boating level and is a regular paddler at the many regattas the club competes in. He is always willing to help with sweeping, training community teams for our Brave Hearts Regatta and steps forward to help out with just about anything that is asked of him.

He may be a past New Zealand All-Black but, to us, he is also a true-blue Brave Heart and always will be. He is highly thought of by all of our members and has gained the trust and admiration of all who meet him.

He always works tirelessly in the background, never seeking the limelight. He has, and always will be a tremendous support to his wife – our beloved President Jenny. It’s now Blackie’s turn to stand in the sunshine; to be recognised for his many years of dedication to Brave Hearts.

We sincerely congratulate you Blackie on receiving the 2016 Brave Hearts Silver Heart Award, which you so richly deserve.