The Fencing Contractors Association of New Zealand (FCANZ) brought the spotlight to the forefront of the fencing industry during its annual conference in New Plymouth. The recently held event served as the backdrop for the inaugural FCANZ Industry Awards, honouring three remarkable fencers who have left an indelible mark on the sector.
A notable departure from tradition, the Legacy Award took the stage, supplanting the lifetime membership accolade. This prestigious distinction now sets its sights on individuals who have made a substantial impact on the industry's growth.
This year's distinguished recipient of the Legacy Award is Paul Van Beers. A revered figure in the fencing realm, Paul's extraordinary achievements span a staggering 13 Golden Pliers and 14 Fieldays Silver Spades victories.
His prowess extends beyond national borders, with two World Power Fencing Competition wins in Germany. Notably, Paul Van Beers has solidified himself as an ambassador for the industry through international competitions, demonstrations across continents, and setting a benchmark of quality craftsmanship.
Debbie White, FCANZ Vice President, commended the high standard of nominees, emphasizing their noteworthy contributions to the industry.
“Paul amplifies the true value of the fencing industry as a profession. FCANZ is honoured to award the Legacy Award to Paul," she said.
Taylor Barr from Tawai Fencing in Kimbolton secured the Emerging Talent Youth Award bestowed upon individuals under 25 who exhibit an unwavering commitment to fencing as a vocation. Judges highlighted Taylor's adeptness in comprehending client requirements and effectively managing resources to deliver optimal outcomes.
White was impressed with the standard of all those involved this year and found it difficult to choose just one winner for each award.
"The level of nominees was exceptionally high, and we extend our congratulations to both finalists and winners."
The Trainee of the Year award shone the spotlight on Michael Conijn from Custom Fencing in Dunedin. His exemplary skills in fence line installation, coupled with his innate leadership abilities, set him apart.
The FCANZ Industry Awards not only celebrate historical accomplishments but also underscore the promising trajectory of emerging talents and the dedication to skill refinement.
"Their nominations and placements as finalists underscore the profound regard for their work within the fencing industry. We eagerly anticipate witnessing their future accomplishments.”
The FCANZ Industry Awards stand as a testament to the ongoing growth and evolution of the fencing industry, honouring its past while spotlighting its bright future. Through these awards, FCANZ reaffirms its commitment to fostering excellence and innovation within the industry.
With the spotlight on these exceptional individuals, the FCANZ Industry Awards encapsulate the spirit of progress and dedication that continues to drive the fencing industry forward.