Jacquie Webby | 5th August 2011
Oamaru stonemason Bill Dooley has been officially invested with his Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) at Government House.
Mr Dooley, who was accompanied by his wife Val, sons John and Kerry and granddaughters Georgina and Rebecca, told The Oamaru Mail he was very honoured.
“I am just blown away and we had a great day at Government House which is just an amazing place,” Mr Dooley said.
“The Governor-General and his wife are both lovely people and these are memories I will hold forever.”
Mr Dooley was awarded his MNZM for services to the restoration of historic buildings.
He has been associated with the construction and restoration of historic stone buildings in Oamaru and throughout Australasia for 60 years.
His family firm of stonemasons has developed machinery to shape Oamaru stone for carving parapets, intricate stone pillars and fireplaces. Mr Dooley originally worked on buildings with his father, and his sons have followed him into the business.
Some of the buildings he has worked on include Clark’s Mill, the Waitaki Boys’ High School Hall of Memories and the Dunedin Railway Station. Government House is not unknown to Mr Dooley as he worked on the restoration of some of the stone columns.