Volunteers get a pat on the back

The Arrowtown Autumn festival would not be possible without its many loyal volunteers.

Arrowtown's Jean Macnicol is responsible for about 30 volunteers, all women, who do everything from help organise the Athenaeum Hall for the ball and senior citizens' afternoon tea to helping with market day.

Festival committee chairman and Arrowtown Ward councillor Lex Perkins heads a group of male volunteers whose many jobs include setting and cleaning the hall for functions.

''Anywhere that tables and chairs need to be put, this wonderful group is busy doing it,'' Mrs Macnicol said.

''The men are long-time volunteers and a lot of the women are too. Others I sort of recruit as they move into the district - particularly if they live close to me.''

Other volunteers who play important roles in the festival are the Arrow Miners Band and the Buckingham Belles, she said.

''There wouldn't be a festival without the volunteers to help.''