Difficult Haurangi rescue

Joe Bannister and his friend Dave were in the Haurangi Forest Park. After a long day out in the bush, Joe was heading down a steep hill when the ground gave way and sent him sliding down a cliff face. He fell six metres, badly injuring his leg in the …

Waihinga Centre

Fundraising Success Fundraising efforts are go and so far it has been lots of fun! The Square of Gold kept on rolling until a total of 50 ½ metres had been snapped up, bringing us to a total of $2020. Quite mind blowing given this was only meant as a …

A Very Special Event

Most opera lovers’ commitment to the art form involves buying tickets to public performances.  Winifred Bull and her husband David decided to take their love of opera a whole lot further.  They designed a new home with enough space to stage concerts for more than 100 people.  They particularly wanted …

Under The Martinborough Stars

By Becky Bateman My house is north facing and I get people telling me all the time how good my tomatoes must be. On face value that seems a perfectly fine and normal comment but, thinking deeper, it shows how much the sky affects our lives. The more I thought …

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Book review – Mackenzie

May 15, 2019 May 2019 Comments Off on Book review – Mackenzie

James McNeish’s novel Mackenzie was published in 1970, however it was republished as a part of the Godwit collection of six celebrated New Zealand novels. 

Set in 1850s Canterbury the novel uses the life of mysterious shepherd Mackenzie and his remarkable dog, of which in fact little is known, as a basis for a much wider story encompassing the people and their lives in the fledgling town of Christchurch. Of the farmers who are trying to start farms on the Canterbury plains and of the squatters claiming land in the high country. Their aims often conflict but they unite in opposing the strictures emitting from Governor Grey in Auckland and in fear of the Northern Māori conflicts spreading south.

In the forward Professor Lawrence Jones wrote ‘ What unifies the novel is that despite the diversity of subjects they all focus on the place where politics and personal morality meet’. Indeed this a combination of a very extremely well told story and history lesson.

Mackenzie is more than an imagined biography for James McNeish examines in detail the daily existence of the raw settlers in a new town and the great back country sheep stations. In it examined are political and spiritual attitudes, social standards, greed and anxieties all against the twin backdrop of a hostile landscape and neglected Māori presence.

This is a satisfyingly long read which is once started hard to put down. I have enjoyed it just as much with this later second reading as I did the first.  

Mike Beckett

Blame it on the Beatles

May 15, 2019 May 2019 Comments Off on Blame it on the Beatles

Jane with client (mid 1960s).

19 year old Jane Gregory was bored with teaching hairdressing to school leavers in Palmerston North so when the chance came up to manage a new salon being set up in Martinborough she jumped at the chance. She wasn’t even sure where Martinborough was but figured a small town would be a great place to save some money for the trip she and a girlfriend planned to Australia to see the Beatles. 

The “Red Rose” was the first real salon in Martinborough.   “It was down the (long gone) arcade behind the butcher’s and we froze in winter and cooked in summer.”  Unlike modern, open plan salons the Red Rose had a curtained cubicle for each customer.  This meant, at least in theory, nobody knew your hair was coloured or that your curls weren’t natural.   At the end of one busy day Jane discovered a customer asleep behind the curtains.   “ She’d been forgotten but I couldn’t bring myself to tell her and just combed her out as if nothing had happened. She must have wondered where all those hours went.”

It was a very busy salon with just Jane and a junior to help out. “ Five days a week and one late night.  No Saturday and no men.  The evening session was when the single working girls would come in, the curtains would go back and the local gossip would start.   Every Saturday night there’d be a ball either in the Town Hall or in one the country halls.  Everyone would want their hair done for that. You had to do lots of different styles and they all had to survive from Friday or often earlier.  Thank goodness for hairspray.”   … Continue Reading

Become a Digital-Savvy Senior!

May 15, 2019 May 2019 Comments Off on Become a Digital-Savvy Senior!

A coaching session in Masterton.

Each Thursday, at St Andrew’s Church Hall, our senior citizens are welcome to come for free coaching with their smart phones or other digital devices. The coaches are members of Digital Seniors, the coaching service set up across the Wairarapa to help our seniors with getting the best out of their phones, tablets or laptops. Seniors are welcome at the coaching sessions, at any time between 9:30 and 11:30 on Thursdays at the St Andrew’s Hall; no appointment is necessary.  

Our coaches are friendly and approachable; they too are of a similar generation – it’s not like asking a teenager who doesn’t know how to go slow or explain things patiently!!

So come along on any Thursday morning and get sound and practical advice about:

  • Email and texting
  • Internet security
  • Using Skype and Facebook and the internet
  • Organising digital photos

And simply gain confidence for fully using your smart phone or tablet. Come along to St Andrews at 41 Dublin Street and learn along with others to become a ‘digital savvy’ senior!  

Amici Ensemble 2019

May 15, 2019 May 2019 Comments Off on Amici Ensemble 2019

The Amici Ensemble  returns to Greytown on Sunday 2 June in their largest form ever – 9 players will come together to perform the Grand Nonet, by Louis Spohr.

A virtuoso violinist, Spohr was as famous as Beethoven in his time, and the Nonet has all the Viennese wit and charm of the era. Spohr was commissioned to write it by Herr Johann von Tost, a businessman, who stipulated that the individual parts should belong to him, so he could lend them out, and ensure he was invited to every performance of the Nonet. He also hoped that he might pick up more customers from among the music lovers who would  attend the concerts!

The Nonet was written in such a way that each instrument appears in its true character, with characteristic solos for all instruments.

In keeping with that idea, the first half of the concert features all 9 performers in various ways. NZSO Principal Oboe Robert Orr performs Mozart’s Oboe Quartet,  which Robert says “Is the ultimate challenge for an oboist, both musically and technically. It includes the highest note ever written for the oboe up to that time!”    … Continue Reading