Upper Hutt parishioner, John Upward, last year received a papal honour, the medal Benemerenti, for his services to church music.
Born in London in 1923, John came to New Zealand in 1961 to work for Mobil Oil New Zealand.
Having played the organ in London from the age of 18, he had a brief stint at an Anglican service in India during the war, and was master of ceremonies at Holy Innocents, Orpington, Kent, from 1947 until his departure for New Zealand.
In Wellington he was organist for the 1.00pm weekday Mass at St Mary of the Angels until 1988 and the cartoon given to him by his mentor, organist in the Upper Hutt Presbyterian Church, on the occasion of his 80th birthday.
He also played on Sundays at St Catherines, Upper Hutt, until 2002. He now plays at St Joseph’s, Upper Hutt.
John is married to Margaret and they have six children.