At the NZCF’s Annual General Meeting on 16 May 2021, Elizabeth Crayford and Michael Littlewood were accorded Life Membership, in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the Choral Federation on a national level. Our NZCF Constitution states that “Life membership may be granted by the Board to a person as due recognition for meritorious service in fostering the aims of the NZCF, either after recommendation by the National Advisory Committee, a Regional Committee or as the Board may decide.” Life Membership of NZCF is generally presented when a person is retiring from NZCF service and recognises significant and sustained service to the national organisation, or choral music in general, over many years. Recipients will have influenced the direction of NZCF or choral music in an innovative, creative and dedicated manner. Elizabeth Crayford and Michael Littlewood are both extremely worthy recipients of NZCF Life Membership!
Elizabeth Crayford was nominated for Life Membership by both the Wellington Region and the Governance Board. She has recently stepped down as National Coordinator of The Big Sing, a position she held from 2009-2019, and was Regional Coordinator of the Wellington Big Sing from 2007 – 2020. Elizabeth has been Chair of the Wellington branch of NZCF since 2009.
In Elizabeth’s citation, Wellington Committee member Lynda Hunter described Elizabeth as “a master delegator” while The Big Sing’s technical coordinator Murray Cameron said she is “determined, persuasive, tireless, extraordinary, unique, a mover and shaker.” John Rosser, National Director of The Big Sing, wrote of Elizabeth’s “magnificent contribution” to TBS Finale, saying she is “a force of nature” and commented that Elizabeth always had the interests of individual choir members and their directors very much at heart.
Michael Littlewood wrote the NZCF’s Constitution back in 2006 and was the inaugural Vice Chair of the NZCF Governance Board from 2007 until 2011. He returned to the NZCF Board in 2015, again as Vice Chair, and has served continuously until May 2021. Michael was on the Board of Symposium 2020 Ltd (the organisation established to deliver the 12th World Symposium on Choral Music) and has offered his skills again for the Board of Chor2024 which will oversee the running of the 13th World Choir Games in Auckland.
John Rosser, who was Chair of NZCF for much of Michael’s tenure on the Board, spoke of the vital contribution Michael made during the 2000s to writing the Constitution, establishing the Board and the position of Chief Executive, and securing recurrent funding from Creative NZ. John referred to Michael’s “sage, considered advice” , saying that that he is “calm, supportive and unfailingly cheerful”. John described Michael as “an NZCF Hero”, saying he is “undoubtedly one of the finest servants the NZCF has ever had, and a thoroughly worthy recipient of the honour of Life Membership”.