Setting up the perfect opportunity to be surprised and awarded still makes Clyde’s golden girl laugh.
Carol Haig was helping a class at Clyde Primary School and had promised the children they could perform for school assembly when they were good enough.
The day came in May, and as the entire school filed in to watch, Mrs Haig did not think anything was out of the ordinary.
However, Mrs Haig was on the stage when she was surprised by television presenter Hilary Barry appearing behind her.
‘‘I set myself up,’’ she said.
Clyde Primary School teachers Kate Goodfellow and Megan Tyrrell-Ryder had nominated Mrs Haig for her tireless volunteer work with a huge range of local organisations including the school, Playcentre, fire brigade, museum and theatre company.
The award came as a complete shock, she said.
‘‘I didn’t have a clue.’’
Ms Goodfellow’s nomination outlined the wide range of things Mrs Haig was involved in.
‘‘Carol Haig does everything in Clyde. She helps on the Playcentre volunteer team, she is on the volunteer museum board in Clyde, treasurer for the Clyde volunteer fire brigade, she works in Clyde School taking drama classes twice a week and helps out in the new-entrants class every morning. Carol produces drama productions for the Clyde theatre group, and this year is running the Clyde Primary School production. Carol also looks after the Clyde Memorial Hall. Basically, if there is something to be done Carol will be doing it. She helped our class make a short film last year and create a movie premiere with a red carpet,’’ Ms Goodfellow said.
The award judges said they were impressed by the breadth and passion of her community involvement over 40 years.
Boundless generosity forged by a love for the Clyde community, Mrs Haig’s selfless commitment to get involved was inspirational, they said.
Her endless energy and enthusiasm spanning 40 years, she had helped in big and small ways. Those included key roles in the Clyde Volunteer Fire Brigade, Clyde Theatre Group, where she was a life member, Clyde Memorial Hall committee, Promote Dunstan, Clyde Playcentre, Clyde Primary School, Clyde Historical Museums and Clyde Community Development Group.
The award came with $10,000 and strict instructions it be spent on herself, Ms Barry said.
Mrs Haig told The News she was spending some of it on tickets and accommodation for shows in Christchurch during the school holidays.
Next year she would take her family to Australia for a holiday.
Husband John did not want to go back to Australia so he would stay home and look after the animals, she said.