Living treasure award decided

KAT PICKFORD
Last updated 07:31 15/06/2012

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A Marlburian will receive the honour of the region's first Living Cultural Treasure at a ceremony at the Marlborough Museum in Blenheim at 2pm on Monday.

The person to be made the first living treasure was chosen by a committee of six people who wanted to recognise individual contribution to the community with significant cultural skills and knowledge.

Marlborough Museum ambassador Toni Gillan approached the Marlborough Historical Society Trust three months ago with the idea, inspired by countries that acknowledge gifted individuals.

"We have so many hugely talented people among us who are recognised by their peers around the country, but go a bit unnoticed in the community."

Mrs Gillan hopes by acknowledging people's special abilities, knowledge and experience, they will be inspired to share their skills with the community and the Government will consider forming a national committee to establish a New Zealand-wide programme.

Although the public has to wait until Monday to discover who will receive the accolade, Mrs Gillan told The Marlborough Express that "she's a woman who has been perfecting her craft for 70 years".

The first living treasure was chosen by the committee to get the community used to the idea and it would be calling for written nominations for in November more cultural living treasures, Mrs Gillan said.

The committee members are Mrs Gillan, Marlborough Museum chief executive Steve Austin, Marlborough Museum board members Dale Webb and Belinda Vavasour, Marlborough Mayor Alistair Sowman and former councillor Jill Bunting.

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- The Marlborough Express

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