Rev Penny Sinnamon, of Omakau, for services to the community QSM 2023. PHOTO: MARJORIE COOK

Margaret (Penny) Ruth Sinnamon, Omakau

Queens Service medal (QSM) for services to the community

Her real name is Margaret Ruth Sinnamon but everyone knows her as Penny.

Rev Penny Sinnamon has supported the Central Otago and Omakau communities as both a vicar and a tireless worker over many years.

Coming up 80 in October she has been recognised for her long service.

She was humbled by the award and said there were plenty of people out there who deserved it as much as she did.

“With rural life you just had to get involved back then and make things happen. That is just what you did,” she said

Rev Sinnamon obtained a qualification by correspondence to become ordained as a volunteer vicar for the Anglican Church. She has performed her duties as a vicar with Dunstan Parish across most of Central Otago, volunteering for many years, receiving 25% of a vicar’s salary for five years, and carrying on her duties after formally retiring.

She helps her community in many different ways and is still heavily involved.

Just last month, she volunteered as chaplain at Omakau School, where she worked with children struggling in the classroom or feeling left out and also provided support to the children’s families, where needed. She organised the school’s Anzac Day commemorations, leading services and involving students.

Within the wider community Rev Sinnamon has been club captain of Omakau Golf Club, held all offices with Valley Hockey Club and her local Rural Women branch, been a member and performer with Omakau Musical Society, and has been president of Omakau Citizens Association.

She was born Margaret Ruth but her grandparents wanted her to be called Penny and her older brother, 2 at the time, also called her that. The name stayed.