Southland lost one of its most talented, scintillating and loyal daughters with the untimely death at the age of 41 of Nadia Insall.
She had battled cancer for the past three years, and somehow, joyfully, shared the journey with others.
Her clever art show, Headcases, brought together chemotherapy patients who had suffered the loss of treasured locks - as Nadia had, twice - artists who could paint on their heads, others to photograph the process and the result, people to record their thoughts.
The result was what Insall had envisaged, a special oral and pictorial history that was due to travel further afield - Stewart Island, Queenstown, then on, when her death put things on hold - put a lot on hold.
She had no bucket list, living her life to the full each day, every day.
The elder daughter of Roy and Bronwen Insall she left Southland Girls' High School with a university scholarship, a student at Otago at the age of 17.
She put to good use degrees in management and languages, working with Matt Gould on the original Southland Spirit of a Nation promotional campaign, travelling throughout Asia, teaching English in Japan, China and South Korea. She was a skilled teacher and loved it and many young people she taught or members of their families came to study at the Southern Institute of Technology, linking families.
There seemed nothing she could not, would not tackle. We remember as the fire and ice queen in shows in the Park, roller skating and stilt walking in street parades at Christmas and other times, helping make fun everywhere.
She wrote, danced, sang and made merry and helped others do the same.
She is survived by her parents, her younger sister Megan and brother in law Andrew King and her two little nephews, Mika and Oliver in Christchurch.
She will be remembered by theatregoers and by ordinary Southlanders who like the thought that someone somewhere is putting on a good show for the rest of us. As a sponsorship organiser and fundraiser, Insall helped many causes gain profile with dollars as they worked towards a specific goal, moving some from the comfort of cheese rolls to public head shaving, while ensuring that those asked to contribute shaving found value in the project.
As her own journey neared its end she asked that donations be made in her memory to Hospice Southland.
- © Fairfax NZ News