Nothing dominated 2020 quite like the Covid-19 pandemic - but we would not be heading into the holiday period under the freedom of alert level 1 without the efforts of every person in our community.
At the end of a tough year we were excited to celebrate the deserving winner of Whanganui Chronicle Person of the Year with you.
We had unanimously chosen a winner who played a huge role in the Covid-19 response.
We interviewed and photographed them and wrote the article. In that article the winner paid tribute to their colleagues' efforts in 2020 and the wider community as a whole.
Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond their control, they had to withdraw at the last minute.
And so all we can do is thank the Whanganui community as a whole for helping each other get through Covid-19.
The response from everyone was phenomenal. Whether you were an essential worker or simply playing your part by staying home in those weeks under alert level 3 and 4 – you all contributed.
The $200 voucher we had from Pak'nSave for the winner of our person of the year will be donated to the City Mission. Our four runners-up will receive a $50 voucher.
Also in this series:
Mayor Hamish McDouall said he was incredibly proud of the community spirit and unity shown during 2020 in the Covid-19 response.
"It's just a testimony to people understanding the threat we were under at that time," he said.
"The response showed cohesion and a real community spirit."
He applauded all the essential workers for their sacrifice during the lockdown and subsequent downscaling of alert levels.
"I have to acknowledge those from the Whanganui DHB, the Council, Ministry of Social Development and more for all the work they did.
"Many of them broke bubbles and did the mahi. I take my hat off to them."
McDouall said it was fantastic to see how the town has responded and recovered after the lockdown.
"It's fantastic to see how busy we are. Whanganui is doing really well. All the statistics say we are heading in the right direction.
"We can't rest on our laurels and let's remember all of those lessons we learnt in lockdown."
There were countless agencies involved in the response.
Te Ranga Tupua, a collective of iwi within the Ruapehu, Rangitīkei, Whanganui and South Taranaki region were also on the frontlines.
Katarina Hina from Nga Wairiki Ngati Apa was based in Marton and said at the time that a positive aspect of the experience was it made people more aware of the services they offer within communities.
Whanganui's Red Cross Disaster, Welfare, Support Team leader Krystal Boye said at the time if anything happened out of the norm there were enough people working at the CBAC to take on any big challenge.
"The public was really good, everyone was really kind and there was a lot of gratitude from the public in a serious situation."
A Whanganui District Health Board spokesman he was very pleased with the response.
"It was a great community effort," he said.
He applauded the strong collaborative effort from the DHB, local iwi, Whanganui District Council and the Regional Health Network.
Whilst the community response was pleasing, he said we must still be vigilant over summer as people will be travelling all around the country.
"Just the other day we had seven cases at the border. It's important we remember how serious this still is around the world.
"More interaction and more people travelling means a greater threat."
Thank you to our readers for your Whanganui Chronicle Person of the Year nominations.
Enjoy the rest of 2020 and we hope you have a great 2021.