$10,000 goal well surpassed 

A great night was had by all at the P&K ‘Quiz for Life’ at the Village Cafe on the 23rd of February. The P&K team had set an ambitious goal of raising $10,000 for Relay for Life, with funds going to The Wairarapa Cancer Society. Over $4,000 had already been raised …

The three centenarians

At the last census there were 558 centenarians in New Zealand.   What is amazing that three of them live right here in Martinborough, at Wharekaka.   I decided to ask each to tell me the most exciting thing that had happened in their long lives. Gladys Stephen, the oldest …

Ventana three years on

It’s hard to believe it’s approaching the three year mark since Ventana opened its doors 7th of June 2016.  I’m proud to look back on several full years of sparking creativity and joy for our community as well as creating a platform for small artisan businesses local and abroad.  We’re …

“A lawn clipping sandwich please”

It was the early 60s and Noeline Thomas’s three children, Grant, Jackie and Brent were entering their teens.  She wondered what new interest she might take up now they were more independent.   Noel, in the way of husbands in those days, had his own views on this.   He …

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Remembering Garry

February 11, 2019 February 2019 Comments Off on Remembering Garry

I, along with a great many others, attended a very sad funeral recently.  It was a raw and confronting time as we gathered to say farewell to Martinborough community stalwart Garry Jackson; raw because we all knew that Garry had taken his own life and confronting because, as his family shared their grief and bewilderment with us, this fact was not hidden away as in days gone by.

There were many lessons we could learn from reflecting on Garry’s life; compassion, caring, humour and dedication just scratches the surface.  The one that really struck a chord with me though was delivered in a forthright manner by Reverend Andy Eldred.  That lesson was blame.  It is human nature to want to blame someone or something for stuff we are not happy with or cannot explain. … Continue Reading

South Wairarapa Rebus Club

February 11, 2019 February 2019 Comments Off on South Wairarapa Rebus Club

REBUS SW guest speakers at our 25 January 2019 meeting were Jan & Stuart Abernethy, a couple of Carterton-based entrepreneurs working and trading as “Lavender Abbey”  – growers of Lavender and handmade Lavender products since 2008.

From the several hundred Lavender varieties available, the Abernethys chose the French “Grosso” Lavender – flowering in November and harvested in February.  One or two other varieties were used to blend for handmade products. Processing the crop requires steam distillation to extract the aromatic Lavender oil. 

A magnificent tabletop display at the meeting showed many Lavender Abbey products including Magnesium Sleep Lotion, Lip Balm, Face & Body Cream – and, unexpected by your scribe, culinary lavender buds used for shortbread biscuits (recipe provided); plus Lavender and Hops pillows.

Lavender Abbey is a member of the NZ Lavender Growers Association, and is the winner of the 2018 Memorial Trophy: two Gold/one Silver Supreme Oil Awards. … Continue Reading

20 Year Service Medal for Maureen Thurlow

February 11, 2019 February 2019 Comments Off on 20 Year Service Medal for Maureen Thurlow

Maureen Thurlow was presented with the Red Cross Twenty Years Service Medal by Branch President Brian Love at the branch’s volunteer Christmas morning tea. Geoff Cave of Carterton received an Award for ten  years service.  

Brian thanked members for volunteering for Red Cross and welcomed a very special guest speaker Jenny Percival.  Jenny is a Wairarapa District Health Nurse Educator, has always had a passion for humanitarian aid work and on three occasions in the past five years has spent time overseas working with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC),
        Jenny spoke of her decision to become an aid worker,  she had been in the nursing profession for some time when one evening while she was watching a TV programme about the Red Cross made the decision to volunteer her services.
          The first of her three deployments came in 2014 a month spent in Sierra Leone at the time of the Ebola epidemic there.  This was a stressful time, Jenny said.’We had a tent hospital, and there was little escape from the heat’. The hospital was in the diamond mining area; so it was noisy from explosions and very dusty.  ‘We could not see the sky.’  … Continue Reading

Wairarapa Dark Sky part of major world-wide research project 

February 11, 2019 February 2019 Comments Off on Wairarapa Dark Sky part of major world-wide research project 

The South Wairarapa’s night sky is being monitored round the clock in Spain and contributing to a world-wide dark sky database,  thanks to a European research team.

The move follows Chairman of the Martinborough Dark Sky Society, Lee Mauger, making a  connection via Twitter with fellow Dark Sky enthusiast Carlos Eugenio Tapia Ayuga from Spain.

Carlos is part of the “Stars4All” team at the Complutense University of Madrid in Spain which has developed a new online dark sky monitoring meter called TESS.

The Stars4All project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme,  the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly 80 billion Euros of funding available over seven years (2014 to 2020). Think of Horizon 2020 as New Zealand’s Provincial Growth Fund on steroids!

Carlos proposed the team in Spain fund a night sky meter so Martinborough could join the worldwide research network on light pollution. The TESS sensor now installed in Martinborough records cloud cover 24/7 and sky brightness every night. 

The Wellington Astronomical Society were also given a TESS meter for the Gifford Observatory in Wellington City, so now we can compare our light pollution to Wellington City and also many other locations around the world. … Continue Reading