Fine fare, good cheer
The best Mayors' Christmas Dinner there has been, was the verdict on the festivities at the Trafalgar Centre in Nelson.
Co-ordinator Sandra Maxfield should know, it was the 22nd time she has turned on a magnificent dinner for senior citizens who would otherwise spend Christmas alone.
Yesterday, nearly 180 guests in the Victory Room dined on ham, roast chicken and vegetables, followed by Christmas pudding, pavlova and fruit salad, along with sparkling grape juice and wine and finished off with Christmas cake and mince pies. Each received a gift and there were lucky draw presents too.
Mrs Maxfield and 30 volunteers ensured the guests enjoyed themselves, along with Nelson MP Nick Smith, Tasman district mayor Richard Kempthorne and Nelson city councillor Ruth Copeland.
"It was full on all day but everybody had a lot of fun," said Mrs Maxfield.
It was so hot in the kitchen she put on fans.
A third of volunteers were new to the job, the others regulars who come back to help every Christmas.
"We're like family. We might not see each other the rest of the year but when we get together there's a great camaraderie between the helpers."
A friend first got Mrs Maxfield to help out, and her husband Peter also co-ordinates picking up the guests with the Stoke Seniors mini van.
"When I first started our children were eight or nine, now they're married and starting their families."
They ask her when she is going to stop, but despite yesterday's tired feet, she intends to be back next Christmas.