Special award for a special lady
A selfless devotion to others has seen a Marlborough woman honoured for her contribution to the community.
Jean Wilson from Blenheim was officially recognised for her outstanding work on behalf of the vulnerable and the elderly in the region.
The kind-hearted pensioner was presented with a civic honour award last week from Marlborough mayor John Leggett. And while these honours are normally awarded just once each term, Wilson was deemed a special case after recently retiring from her public roles.
Five awards were made in 2017, but Leggett said he could not let Wilson’s remarkable record of service pass unrecognised.
He was joined by councillor Jenny Andrews, a close friend of Wilson’s, to present the award.
Leggett described her as a ‘‘foot soldier of community and democracy’’.
‘‘Jean is the perfect illustration of the potential that persists within our retired population and a huge recourse that could be better used in our community,’’ Leggett says.
Leggett added Marlborough’s older residents had ‘‘good reason’’ to be grateful to Wilson. He says she worked in their best interests through her roles at Grey Power and the Older Per- son’s Forum.
‘‘She’s the best example I know of how to do retirement well, how to stay engaged and connected using the skills built up over a lifetime to continue to contribute,’’ he says.
Marlborough’s Civic Honours are drawn from seven categories: recreation, youth activities, social welfare, religious affairs, educational services, cultural affairs and community affairs.
Among Wilson’s notable achievements include helping to establish a health shuttle to Nelson Hospital from Blenheim, the removal of local prescription charges for older people and the promotion of warmer homes. She also dug into her own pockets to pay for bus shelters on the Blenheim bus route.
Leggett says ‘‘not much gets past her radar’’.
‘‘Of course, Jean is far from ordinary. She’s made a very worthwhile contribution to the community in Marlborough but I think, above all, Jean is a good person.’’ he says.
Andrews said she would miss Wilson and her wisdom.
‘‘It is my wish that every community should have someone just like you,’’ Andrews says.
Wilson helped make the case for a health shuttle to Nelson Hospital and the removal of local prescription charges.