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Museum News

November 21, 2018 November 2018 Comments Off on Museum News

Town Hall Memorabilia

Do you have any photos or other memorabilia relating to the old Town Hall?  

The Museum hopes to hold a small exhibition to coincide with the official opening of the Waihinga Centre later in the year.   If you have old photos, programmes, articles or other memorabilia you would be willing to loan, or allow to be copied for this event, it would be really appreciated. Maybe you even have a story or two (funny/scandalous/nostalgic).

If you can help please contact Derek Wilson on 306 9722.

New Acquisitions and Old Connections

A recent visitor to the museum (Lynlee Johnson née Herrick) has donated a book she published incorporating her Great Uncle’s World War I letters home.  Some older Martinborough residents may remember him.  His name was Ivan Moore and he died here in 1953.  

Ivan was not Lynlee’s only connection with Martinborough.   Her grandmother, May Herrick, was librarian in the 1950s.   Lynlee spend summer holidays staying in the rooms at the back of what is now the museum.  It was the Librarian’s home back then.    When Mrs Herrick retired the Council presented her with a painting of the museum by an artist called C.R.Hardie.  Does anybody know anything about this artist?

Introducing the Reading Room

Sometimes people visit the museum to browse our collection of old papers and magazines or books about the area.   To make this a more comfortable experience we have set up a dedicated reading room.  

The room will also have a working typewriter.  It is part of a plan to make the museum more interactive: children can marvel at old technology and adults can wonder at how much things have changed.


News from First Church

November 21, 2018 November 2018 Comments Off on News from First Church

We had a very successful Kirk Fair on Saturday 13th October, despite the weather which could hardly have been nastier! We are so grateful to all our friends, locals and the visitors too who braved the freezing wind and rain to come out and support us. Mind you there was plenty of good buying to be had, and a great atmosphere.

All our attractive stalls were well stocked and the produce and home baking lived up to their reputation.  It was a wonderful team effort by all who contributed and the stall holders on the day, inspired by our convener Mary Smith. 

  And how “plastic free” was this Fair?  No plastic was used on baking or produce, and no plastic bags were in use. A noticeable feature of this Fair was our customers all bringing their own bags for their shopping. A special mention to the gallant holders of the plant stall (out in the cold) who did a marvellous job.

  Every year we wonder if we can run a Fair again, but every year we are encouraged by Martinborough’s response and feel our efforts are well worthwhile. This traditional Kirk Fair is one of our key opportunities to meet and engage happily with the wider community – the now famous Midwinter Book Fair is another! The figure raised was up on last year and this money will be well used on First Church running costs and building maintenance. 

Looking ahead:

An event to note in your diary – On Advent Sunday the 2nd of December at 2.30pm there will be a Combined Churches of Martinborough service of lessons and carols, with the Martinborough String Quartet – in First Church, with afternoon tea in the hall afterwards. This will be a lovely time to begin to approach the Christmas season whatever it may entail for each of us. Do join us and bring a friend or neighbour!

Some thoughts: How about Loving, not in the hope of getting

                                       but for the joy of giving.

                                            Celebrating today as not just all we have

                                       But all we need.

                                       but all we need.

Regional Council notes

November 21, 2018 November 2018 Comments Off on Regional Council notes

Mark will be missed

Greater Wellington Regional Council lost a champion recently with the death of local farmer Mark Lovett.  Mark had been the Chairman of the Lower Valley Development Scheme for more years than anyone could accurately remember and in that role had steered the committee through some big decisions.

At first glance Mark was the epitome of the singlet and gumboot wearing cow cocky.  He had a bit of a drawl that sometimes hinted at a Fred Dagg type character but actually his laid back way of going about things hid a very sharp mind and an even sharper wit.

Both the Regional Council staff and his fellow committee members had huge respect for Mark because he was a genuinely nice guy who wanted to make sure that decisions were made for the right reasons.  He didn’t buy into personality disputes and he had no time for those who attacked the person rather than the problem at hand.

The Lower Valley Scheme has some big challenges to face in the future as resource consents come up for renewal under a post Treaty Settlement regime and new environmental standards being demanded by central government.  Mark had been looking forward to the challenge of managing competing interests and finding a way forward through compromise.  He knew the importance of the Scheme to landowners but recognised that the goal posts had shifted when it came to environmental concerns.

We all knew that Mark had been sick for a while but he still came to meetings whenever he could and he never lost his sense of humour.  It was probably his ability to laugh at himself that covered up just how ill he really was.  We all thought he would make it but sadly it wasn’t to be.

Mark’s family have lost a husband, father, brother and uncle.  Their loss will be huge.  As for the Lower Valley Development Scheme; well we’ve lost a really good bloke.

Adrienne Staples


South Wairarapa Rebus Club

November 21, 2018 November 2018 Comments Off on South Wairarapa Rebus Club


At our October meeting Brenda Channer, a retired police officer, shared some delightful stories from her time in the force. Once, when she was on traffic patrol she stopped a large black car travelling at a speed somewhat above the legal limit on Bidwill’s Cutting Road. The three large male passengers were in high humour, teasing the driver for getting stopped (by a policewoman?). The registration number checked out as a “sponsored” car which was a little puzzling but the passengers’ mirth increased mightily when it became apparent that Brenda was writing the driver a ticket. 

At the end of her shift, back at the station, Brenda related the story and was asked by a colleague the name of the driver.  Checking her carbon copy she read out the name. The mirth at the station matched that in the big black car. Not being a keen rugby fan, Brenda had recognised none of the passengers’ faces, nor that of hooker Andrew Hore, who was driving, one of four All Blacks heading off for a weekend’s hunting.

Brenda came to policing later than most recruits; she was 39 when she entered Police College in 2004 having already married, had four children, got a degree from Massey University in psychology, divorced and worked in a school for teenaged mothers. Getting past the physical fitness tests, especially covering 2.4 km (1½ miles) in less than 11 minutes, was a challenge that does not get easier with age. Her wing (intake of recruits) was in College for 19 weeks of very hard work, both in the classroom and in learning a range of policing skills. 

The list of laws that they had to learn about and understand was long and daunting. Add to that training in unarmed combat, the use of police batons, firearms and pepper spray together with exercises in other practical aspects of policing. Today’s recruits cover the same course work in only 16 weeks so on-the-job training is even more important now for newly sworn officers than it was then. Of the 72 recruits in her wing 69 graduated, more than of them 20 women.

Brenda drew us a most interesting chart detailing the organisation of police resources in the Wairarapa, “…not a region, not a district, we called it the Wairarapa Republic.” Her clear explanation covered both uniformed and plain clothes divisions, head office in Masterton and some add-ons with interesting specific functions. We were surprised by the extent of Police operations in a wide range of both preventative and response activities.

The South Wairarapa Rebus Club next meets on Friday 23 November for a Christmas lunch at Peppers Parehua Restaurant in Martinborough. We will resume our fourth Friday meetings on 25 January 2019.

Anyone who may be interested in our Rebus Club is welcome to come along.