The work put in by the people who opened their homes yesterday to raise funds for Hospice Marlborough was impressive.
But that's the kind of people they are. They recognise a worthy cause and they make the effort. It was the sort of voluntary effort that got the hospice off the ground in the first place 10 years ago.
I was at a function on Friday night that recognised some of that work. The guest of honour - although he didn't know it - was Gerald Hope, the former mayor who has just stepped down as chairman of the hospice trust.
He was modest about his efforts, saying it was a community effort by a great many people.
The function was also a warm-up for yesterday's Pre-Christmas Peek, which was an example of that community spirit and what people will do for non-profit groups. In this case it was helping to raise the $500,000 a year needed to run the hospice and its services.
Eight couples had decorated their homes for Christmas and opened the doors so everyone with a ticket could wander through.
The work that had gone in must have been enormous. The huge white floral arrangement in one living room would have taken hours to do, let alone all the other seasonal touches.
Granted, these are homes that look like something out of House & Garden magazine anyway, although the builder had moved out of one property only about a month ago after a major renovation.
Many of the decorations in one home were homemade, such as bunting draped in a tree and along a verandah and dried fruit in wreaths and covering one Christmas tree.
Quite honestly, I wouldn't know where to start, but that's not my "area of talent". I'll leave it to the experts, and the tour yesterday showed there's a core of those in the region.
I was happy wandering around the immaculate gardens, too, which ranged from compact town sections to sprawling grounds with lakes and streams and forests of mature trees.
My thanks to the homeowners and their helpers and to the many volunteers who made us feel welcome during the tour.
As Gerald said, it shows how a community gets things done.
- The Marlborough Express