IT was, as ever, a night of emotion, celebration and tears.
The 11th Examiner Community Awards brought out all that’s best in the town.
And, as Examiner editor Roy Wright so eloquently described, it was a night in which everyone was a winner.
Hundreds packed into the Galpharm Stadium’s main banqueting suite last night to honour the town’s finest citizens.
There were 13 awards on the night but every single one of those nominated could feel pride in being there.
So, too, could the hundreds who turned up to celebrate the achievements of all the nominees.
Young and old, the nominees had each brought hope and distinction to their lives and, more importantly, to the lives of others.
Co-hosts for the glittering evening were the Examiner’s Head of Content, Andrew Hirst, and ITN newsreader Nina Hossain.
And Ms Hossain, delighted to be back in her home town, said: “It is all about the people who make Huddersfield such a great place to live.
“We are here to say ‘Thank you’ to each and every one of them”.
There were stories of courage, as in youngsters like George Jackson, who has battled leukaemia, and Moor End student Reddin Rizgar, who had escaped from the tyrannies of Iraq to build a new life in the UK with his father.
And there were stories of great personal sacrifice, with people such as foster carer Brenda Whitworth, and Sandra Tremaine, of Rawthorpe, who had battled to re-establish true community spirit in the area.
Huge applause greeted the winning mother and son team who set up the help group Waves and, again for cheeky-faced Ben Pogson, the Linthwaite youngster who showed enormous courage to battle serious heart problems.
The main award of the night, the Achievement Award, went to Marsden-born poet Simon Armitage and, fittingly, he followed his dad up on stage.
Peter Armitage, who has raised more than £100,000 for charity, took the arts award after a distinguished career.
The pair of them hugged each other to show the true spirit of the awards night, a night when Huddersfield’s true persona shone through.
And the younger Armitage, who has never forsaken his home town for the bright lights of London or New York, said it was humbling to hear the stories of all the nominees.
“It sums up what Huddersfield is all about”, he told an appreciative and admiring audience.
“It’s a large town with a big heart and an open mind.”