The Peggy Purl knitting group at Bupa Glenburn Retirement Village in New Lynn give back to their community by donating the knitted goods they have made to local charities. The enthusiastic ladies meet weekly to create beautiful blankets, booties and scarves for people who really need them.
In 2015 an article in the Western Leader about 4-year-old Maddison Giles’ journey struggling with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia caught their eye and Maddi became their beneficiary.
More recently, the Glenburn Peggy Purlers began knitting for Give a Kid a Blanket, after seeing an article last year in the Beacon. Give a Kid a Blanket is a charity which collects blankets and other warm items in the winter months and distributes to children and families in need.
In an interesting twist, Maddison and her mother Penny Hinchelwood have become part of the Give a Kid a Blanket network, picking up donated blankets and delivering them to the warehouse, and it is they who now call in to Glenburn to pick up the blankets from the Peggy Purl group.
The origins of Peggy Purl groups reach back more than 80 years, when thousands of blankets made from Peggy Squares, knitted by children, helped keep New Zealanders warm during the Great Depression.
Peggy Cook, nee Huse, was the face of the Peggy Square in 1930. 4-year-old Peggy used to knit small woollen squares to make into blankets for her dolls. The idea was an inspiration for a National Radio campaign. Listeners were asked to knit six-inch Peggy Squares to be sewn together as blankets for needy kids and their families. Several thousand blankets were made over three years.
More than 70 years later the idea was revived by Peggy’s daughter Adair Eady and co-founder Lynn Dawson who restarted the knitting phenomena in charities and community groups.
Alan, Barbara and Janelle enjoying the shade
In a gathering of 16,000 Lions, President Janelle and Secretary Alan, along with wife Barbara, walked with pride in 42ºC heat, in the parade of over 200 nations (including the latest countries to form Lions Clubs, Afghanistan and Myanmar).
Five days of meetings, interacting and seminars to enhance our local club’s community service followed, with the big push globally being awareness and prevention of Diabetes. Blockhouse Bay-Lynfield Lions have been supporting this cause for nearly 20 years and have conducted many screening sessions in the Bay.
A high point was the installation of the first female International President, Gudrun Yngvadottir from Iceland. The goal is to attain 50-50 parity between the sexes.
With a surprising number of younger Lions from age 20 up, especially from Africa, South America and the Caribbean, Lions Janelle and Alan were inspired in their Chapter’s goal of gaining at least 10 new members in the Bay. With more Lions, so much more can be done in service. (For info text "Lions Info 2018” to 027-661-1122)
Report from Alan Gray
Secretary, Blockhouse Bay-Lynfield Lions
Fay Pogson has lived in Blockhouse Bay for 57 years so was thrilled to hear of Ryman’s plans to build a retirement village just down the road in Lynfield. “It’s the security and being with people that I’m looking forward to the most,” she says.
Fay is ‘well into her 80s’ and keeps very busy and active – she is a member of the Blockhouse Bay Baptist Church congregation, she organises speakers and bus trips for her local Sixties club branch, and she is an avid mah-jong player. “I have a few friends come to my house to play it and I’d love to start a club in the village.”
In her younger days Fay had a great time on her OE, spending three years in London and two years in Canada but on her return to New Zealand she went on a blind date – and ended up falling in love with a Yorkshireman! Fay and John got married and settled down in Blockhouse Bay where they raised their two daughters Jean and Sandra.
John was the general manager of an electrical supplies firm while Fay worked part time as a shorthand typist and later dictaphone typist at insurance company Sun Alliance. Fay is still great friends with her former colleague Maureen, who had her two children at the same time as Fay and is also planning to move into the village.
John sadly passed away from a brain tumour in 1991 just four years after retiring, and with Fay’s two daughters both living overseas and no grandchildren, she says the time was right to make her next move. “It’s going to be so nice living in a brand-new apartment – the hardest part is going to be deciding what stuff to take!” she laughs.
Over 100 senior citizens from the Bhartiya Samaj social group recently ventured aboard P&O’s Pacific Jewel for a three-night Food and Wine Cruise.
Mornings began with a ‘Bollyworks’ session led by fitness trainer (and Puketapapa Local Board member) Ms Ella Kumar and Bollywood dance led by Ms Simran Chadha. Other guests were inspired to join the group and start their day with some Bollywood-style fun.
Guests also earned their calories on the dance floor before sitting together for dinner at the Waterfront Restaurant, enjoying fellowship with both old and new friends.
The cruise was a huge success, with guests enjoying excellent hospitality, delicious food and plenty of onboard activities. Bhartiya Samaj offer heartfelt thanks to Saadia Juvale of The Travel Brokers for organising the group’s participation in the cruise. Some of the guests commented:
Asha Gupta: It was my first cruise trip which turned out to be a memorable one. I enjoyed it very much and we all are very happy.
Sadguna and Madhubhai Patel: It was a fantastic leisure time with all our friends. Thanks to Bhartiya Samaj for giving us this wonderful opportunity. We look forward to many more such wonderful experiences.
Sudha Nayak: We had a blast. The food was awesome! We were spoilt for choice. The service was great, staff was very courteous and ready to help at every point. Entertainment programmes were excellent, especially the dance show. Superb! Also enjoyed informative workshops on metabolism and orthotics. Overall a fabulous experience!
There was a great feeling of excitement, as members of the Blockhouse Bay Gardening Club gathered to celebrate their 50th anniversary.
It all began in 1968 when a group of young mothers whose children attended St Dominic’s Primary School decided to set up a little garden club which they called St Dominic’s Garden Group. They met every Tuesday in the school’s hall to socialise and talk about their shared interests. In the 90s meetings of the group moved to Blockhouse Bay Community Centre and the name was changed to Blockhouse Bay Garden Club. The club now has 80 members.
Unfortunately, some of that earlier club history has been lost, however, Mrs Mary Watters, the only foundation member remaining in the club, was able to give an approximate date of the group’s foundation based on the ages of her children!
In 1975 a silver rose bowl was first awarded for best garden and floral arrangements, and in recent years a silver cup for floral art was added to their trophies. The regular club programme includes a trading table, guest speakers (mostly on gardening topics), competitions and outings to places of interest. They also hold raffles and organise special trips to garden-related places of interest.
The club welcomes new members. Contact Yvonne Dabb on 09 627 9903.
By Kerry Lee