'Most Wonderful' humbled by title

POSITIVE ATTITUDE: Annette Taylor has not let cancer cloud her outlook. bb
POSITIVE ATTITUDE: Annette Taylor has not let cancer cloud her outlook. bb

Annette Taylor has been named Nelson's Most Wonderful Woman.

The Nelson College director of boarding and director of international students is battling cancer.

She was chosen by Mayor Rachel Reese from a shortlist of six women and was honoured at an event at fashion retailer Jays and Ko last night.

Ms Taylor said when she was told she had won she asked the caller if she had the right person.

"I feel blown away and humbled by the whole thing."

Ms Taylor, who has melanoma, was nominated for the title by her friend Christine Sutherland.

In her nomination Miss Sutherland wrote "what makes Annette special is her incredibly positive attitude and her ability to only look ahead."

Ms Reese, at the event to present Ms Taylor with a prize package, said: "It's important to celebrate people in our community who make a difference . . .who empower us."

She believed all the finalists were deserving of the title, but Ms Taylor "stood out because despite going through her own very difficult time, her positive attitude and generosity is unwavering. Her contribution towards the lives of so many of the young people in Nelson, cannot be underestimated."

Ms Taylor said she was looking forward to the prizes, but also wanted to use the opportunity to spread the "get it checked" message.

"Melanoma is a sneaky cancer, it can manifest itself in unusual places, so you don't always know you have it."

Her prize package, donated by local retailers is worth $2300 and includes goods from Jays and Ko, Ko Cosmetics, Taylors Shoes, Cardells Hair, Caci Clinic, Little Boutique and Benjamin Black Goldsmiths.

Competition organisers hoped that the "Nelson's Most Wonderful Woman" initiative will become an annual event.

Mr Reese said she applauded the event organisers for their "really good idea that they made happen".

The other five finalists were Heather Brownie, Anne Waters, Caroline Wade, Lin Ginty and Rita Serfontein.

A profile on Annette Taylor will feature in the Mail's weekend section tomorrow.