IT was a verdict that left Joan Manning speechless.
The Scone grandmother was named the 2017 Scone Citizen of the Year, making her a finalist to secure the Upper Hunter title.
And, that is what happened on Australia Day when she was called out as the top citizen in the shire.
Almost a month on, Mrs Manning would like to thank the community she has loved all these years.
“I’ve had so many well wishes,” she said.
“I was both excited and unbelievably happy but I didn’t know I was going to win.
“It was an amazing feeling.”
Mrs Manning moved to Scone, the home of her husband’s family, in 1964.
Since then she has shared her love of music with young and old.
Her talent as a pianist has given her the opportunity to accompany the “dear little” Kinder Krooners at Scone Grammar School for 12 years.
“I just love living here,” she said.
“The town has been so good to me.”
Mrs Manning said it was a great honour to receive the award.
“A great big thank you to Deb and Keiran for nominating me, and Cath, David and family for support in all I do,” she said.
“Thank you to all those who phoned, sent cards and messages.
“Special thanks to Father Peter and all parishioners who honoured me last Sunday week with the beautiful PowerPoint presentation and wonderful applause.
“It is just so lovely of you all and indeed a wonderful honour for me, who just enjoys what I do in a great community.”