A lifelong volunteer for more than 60 years has been announced as the winner of the Lifetime Service Award in the TECT Community Awards.
Lex Spencer freely shares his time and knowledge of cycling with the community.
Fixing bikes for Waipuna Hospice, Travel Safe, Salvation Army and others across the community at no cost, has earned him the monikers ‘Mr Fix It’ and the ‘crazy bike guy’.
Lex first got into fixing bikes for students in the Kids Can Ride Cycle programme in 2013. Since then he has had around 65 bikes passed onto him which he has repaired and donated to schools as part of the programme.
Along with checking and repairing about 85 bikes a year for Waipuna Hospice shops, he also runs cycling maintenance workshops and has designed many wacky bikes for family-friendly community events.
In addition to his unassuming but engaging voluntary involvement in cycling activities, he is passionate about environmental conservation matters, providing ongoing maintenance and ecological restoration of Hammond Street Walkway Esplanade.
He also creates sculptures for the community to enjoy, which can be found along the walkway.
Lex says a lifetime of volunteering has been built on the help others provided him over the years.
“I volunteer because I can. I’ve always enjoyed doing these things for the community because over the years there have been times in my life where people have helped me, and as a result, it gives me great pleasure to help other people. It doesn’t matter what it is – it could be anything.
“You’ve got to have a reason to get up in the morning, and I think if these things are in front of me, I’ll do it.
“I enjoy meeting so many people along the way, and you feel most appreciated for what you do. As long as the council are happy for me to carry on my work on the walkway, and the Waipuna Hospice and other charities still want me to fix bikes, I’ll carry on doing it.”
Karen Smith worked closely with Lex while a Travel Safe Team Leader at Tauranga City Council, putting his name forward for the awards as the community’s cycling gem.
“Lex is a very humble person who has a passion for cycling. He freely shares his time and knowledge of cycling with the community – people of all ages and abilities, and from a diverse range of backgrounds, enjoy and benefit from time spent with Lex,” says Karen.
“He is our community gem. Whenever we would ring him up for a community event to bring his crazy bikes along, do a maintenance workshop, or help with any of our children or adult programmes, he has always been willing to go the extra mile and come out and help.
“Travel Safe congratulate Lex on his award, he is a worthy recipient, and we know his community appreciate the time and effort he gives to volunteering.”