Congratulations Patrick Curtis!
Sure, Patrick Curtis didn't save lives like many brave men and women did in Christchurch. But by helping four Argentinean guests through Coromandel flooding in January so they could catch their flight home he saved them thousands of dollars and has won life-long admiration.
Victor Medvedeff nominated Patrick for a KiaOraMai Awesome Service Award after arriving home in Buenos Aires:
"We are an Argentinean family, and my wife and our two teenage boys visited New Zealand for the first time in January, 2011. During our trip we planned a visit to Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove on the Coromandel, and decided to stay at the Cathedral Cove Bed and Breakfast in Hahei, and we enjoyed a delightful stay with owners Patrick Curtis and Rachael Lloyd. Everything was perfect...until our last night (January 29) when Cyclone Wilma shook Hahei and petrified us. Our BIG problem was that on the following morning the road out to Auckland was flooded and we HAD TO be there since we had already scheduled our flight back home and our air tickets were non refundable and non changeable!! We had arranged that our transportation (Go Kiwi) would pick us up that morning in Hahei, but they called us to say that because of the flood they couldn't pick us up!!! We were in a panic. Our hero Patrick told us not to worry, and that we wouldn't miss our flight. He drove me to the flooded road, and right there decided to check personally the depth of the waters where dozens of cars and people were standing in line completely blocked up. And like Moses in the Red Sea, he plunged into the river, walking through it to measure the depth and decided he could help us to go through, with his TRACTOR!!!!!!!!! In short: our hero returned to his B&B, put his tractor in motion and drove the four of us (and luggage) through the flooded river, leaving us on the other side where Go Kiwi was waiting for us. Fortunately, we got to Auckland in time, where we finally could take our plane, safe and sound! Thanks Pat so much! We'll never forget what you did for us! You really deserve an awesome service award. Yours truly, THE MEDVEDEFF FAMILY."
A post script from the KiaOraMai Awesome Service Award organisers: A retired builder, Patrick mentioned when we were talking to him that he and Cathedral Cove B&B co-owner Rachael Lloyd plan to take their motor home to Christchurch in the Coromandel winter off-season so they can spend time helping Christchurch people.
Congratulations Patrick Curtis, Cathedral Cove Bed and Breakfast: http://www.cathedralcovebandb.co.nz