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Stepping aside...St Andrews Presbyterian Church concert organisers Margaret Scott and Joy Carter have decided to stop organising the concerts and are hoping someone will offer to take their place. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

After more than 15 years of organising concerts together, Joy Carter and Margaret Scott are calling it a day.

The couple have organised St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church senior citizens Christmas and autumn concerts.

This year’s Christmas concert was cancelled given traffic light Orange conditions.

Mrs Carter said the idea started about 20 years ago when she became a church elder.

The minister at the time, Karima Fai’ai, encouraged the elders to choose an activity they would like to be involved with.

“I thought, ‘Gosh I don’t have any talents but I do quite like senior people’, so I put my hand up to go with the visiting team.”

She started visiting elderly people who could not get to church.

“It was good and then it was decided we could do more than that twice a year.”

The concerts, one at Christmas and in the autumn were first held in the church lounge.

“We had an hour’s concert and a lovely afternoon tea.”

When the numbers attending grew too big for the lounge, the event next moved to the church hall and then to the church.

“We must have been doing something right,” Mrs Carter said.

Mrs Scott started helping about 15 years ago.

It was a team effort with other church members helping audience members in and out of the buses and serving afternoon tea.

The pair worked well together with Mrs Scott being calm under pressure, they said.

“We balanced one another,” Mrs Carter said.

It had been very enjoyable.

“Both Joy and me really loved the older people and they enjoyed us,” Mrs Scott said.

“They loved the report in The Ensign a week later,” Mrs Carter said.

The couple were both in their seventies and decided it would be good if someone else took over organising the concerts.

“[We] have decided we are going to have a rest,” Mrs Scott said.

Concert-goers from senior citizens clubs and rest-homes came from as far away as Clinton, Owaka, Tapanui and Wyndham.

The concerts were always popular.

“They loved seeing the folks from other homes.”