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Noelene Tait. PICTURE: EMILY ADAMSON

By TRACEY ROXBURGH

Covid forced the cancellation of this year’s Arrowtown Autumn Festival, but the organisers decided to carry on with one important tradition, awarding the Unsung Hero posthumously to Noelene Tait.

Noelene was killed in a car accident on Frankton Road in January, aged 84.

Festival organiser Carole Watts says after her death the committee decided the 2020 Unsung Hero award, presented annually to a person in the community who goes ‘‘above and beyond’’ would be given to either a representative of Noelene’s family, or the Miners Band of which she was a founding member.

When Covid forced the cancellation of the festival, though, the award went unpresented.

Watts says while they’re in the throes of planning the 2021 event, they felt it appropriate to make sure Noelene was recognised in the year it had been intended to award it.

The beloved community member had encapsulated the essence of the award with a ‘‘heart of gold’’ and inspired many with her positive outlook on life.

tracey.roxburgh@scene.co.nz