Unsung heroes

The timing couldn’t have been better.

As they launched the Arrowtown Autumn Festival on April 20, organisers gave their ‘unsung hero’ award to Jean and Bob Britton, who that day were celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary.

Though blown away with the award, the couple couldn’t be more deserving.

Since buying an old crib in the late ’70s, they’ve ‘‘absolutely’’ loved the township.

Despite shifting from Invercargill to Queenstown’s Lower Shotover 25 years ago, they’ve called Arrowtown ‘‘ourvillage’’, Jean noting they’re on the Arrowtown side of the Shotover River.

For 10 years, Jean’s been president of the Arrowtown Horticultural Society (AHS), which turns 100 this year and runs the town’s annual spring flower show — with Jean singlehandedly just about organising everything.

In 2013, Arrowtown Promotion and Business Association (APBA) asked her how the CBD could be brightened up with flowers and embraced her idea of planter boxes.

With funds from AHS, APBA and Arrowtown Village Association, Jean bought 12 boxes at a discounted price in Cromwell, which she and Bob picked up and dropped around the CBD, ready for planting.

‘‘Over the years, two members of the AHS and I have purchased and maintained the flower displays with added funds from the APBA,’’ she says.

This year, with the boxes looking shabby, Bob and Jean removed each one and repaired and reinstated them.

Jean’s formerly headed Heritage Roses Central Otago and belongs to the Arrowtown Entertainers, while Bob’s Shotover Country Music Club’s secretary and keyboardist.

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