Woo Hoooo! Christmas at the Beach is back – and it’s better than ever! The combined churches of Blockhouse Bay, together with the Whau Local Board, are inviting you to another Christmas extravaganza, set to rival those of previous years, even though the bar is set pretty high!
So grab your kids, your neighbours, the in-laws, throw in your picnic blanket and dinner, and head on down to the Blockhouse Bay Reserve for a cracker of an evening’s entertainment. There will be plenty of food vendors if you can’t be bothered making your own.
Kicking off at 5pm with a treasure hunt, there’s lots of activities for the kids including face painting, bouncy castle fun, and Christmas stories.
Make sure you flex those vocal chords for some carol singing - the carol choir have been practicing for weeks now, so it will literally be like singing with the angels! But the singing won’t stop there! Shane and the Shazaam band will be playing hits from the fifties and sixties so you can sing along there too, and dance the night away if that’s the way you roll. Here’s a bit of trivia for you … Shane is actually a Blockhouse Bay local who had a number one hit some years ago with his song St Paul.
Although road closures will be in place around Endeavour and Gilfillan Streets, parking won’t be an issue. Simply park at any of the local BHB churches – shuttles are running there and back so no worries about competing for that close parking spot.
Thanks to the Combined Churches of Blockhouse Bay, and the Whau Local Board, this is a FREE event. However, if you feel inspired to give a little back, tins will be collected for the Auckland City Mission. Look out for the collection boxes near the stage.
So, come along to the beach and get into the Christmas spirit in true Kiwi style.
Where: Blockhouse Bay Beach Reserve
When: Sunday 18 December
Starting at 5pm
For some people, ‘retirement’ is not quite the right word, and for Hillsborough Heights resident, Coralie Fennell, this would appear to be the case. This energetic lady has just published a delightful children’s book, Topsy Turvey, which was launched at the Village’s recent arts and crafts fair.
This delightful book, aimed at five-year-olds and upwards, describes what could happen if children are untidy. Its message is wonderfully delivered in verse, with that lilt upon reading that is reminiscent of favourite classics, and with the potential to become just as beloved.
Originally written and illustrated by Coralie 40 years ago for her two daughters, Topsy Turvey has an appealing ‘vintage’ charm, with that heirloom quality to it. A lovely, weighty feel, and unusual in that it is locally hand-made, the cover opens to reveal a beautiful, double-sided pop-up.
Topsy Turvey would make a perfect Christmas gift, though due to being hand-made is in limited supply. Orders can be placed by contacting the author at email@example.com
With the country almost closed down, it’s a good chance to holiday with friends, but you need a plan. Everyone else is also looking for that lovely, secluded beach!
We conducted a small survey on Facebook, on the Blockhouse Bay group page, and found that most people remained based in Auckland. That can be a great holiday if you take advantage of our many attractions, beaches and parks.
Whatever you do, relax, recharge, and create memorable moments and milestones. It takes at least four days of doing very little for stress to start to leave. In our busy, connected world we seldom take the chance to relax and let our body, mind and spirit recover and recharge.
If you have children at home, it’s really important to do something different and create family memories. Bland days of playing on the computer merge together into a road without memorable markers. Dads especially – you don’t want to be that guy that becomes invisible in the photo album inside your child’s mind.
Wherever you go, and whatever you do this summer, have a great time, laugh a lot and just be a little bit dangerous!
Numerous drivers have tackled the BHB mudflats this year and lost – many of them have lost big time.
A late model Range Rover Evoque valued at $90,000 went for a swim in April.
Then in October it was like the lemmings headed for the sea. A late model Jeep got stuck and then so did a Land Cruiser that came to help.
Shay from Ace Heavy Haulage deployed a winch tractor which made short work of recovery, though not before the incoming tide had come up to the doors. Due to the Jeep’s excellent seals, the interior was saved from water damage.
Unbelievably, within days another car, a silver Toyota RAV4, was stuck about 380 metres out from the ramp at Lewis Street. Ace came out once more but we understand that the driver’s credit card was declined. No cash, no splash.
The driver then brought down a second vehicle, an ageing Pajero. Once it had been red, but a home spray job had given it a black look. It too got bogged down. Numerous tides went through both vehicles.
The Sunday circus saw three more “recovery” vehicles also get stuck. With great effort, these three were pulled out before the tide came in. Over 20 people, friends of the RAV driver, were engaged in this effort. They left once they had got their own cars out.
Bystander Tony commented that he was upset that they drove off leaving two broken strops on the beach, plus a car window. He removed the rubbish. Tony was also one of many people concerned about oil and fuel seeping from the flooded cars.
Importantly, the Pajero was insured but the RAV was not. This ultimately led to the Pajero being recovered by the insurance company and the RAV being abandoned. Both vehicles were in the $3,000 - $5,000 range for recovery costs. The harbourmaster eventually recovered the RAV with a small barge, so ratepayers had to cough up for that one unless the money can be extracted from the driver.
Johanna commented on Facebook, “I hope we are not all paying. Surely it is up to the ignorant owner who drove it there, then decided to leave it?”
While all this was going on, another car was stuck at Wood Bay. Tow truck driver Russell, who got the Pajero out, says he gets 4-5 similar jobs every month.
The Lewis Street driver training course will no doubt continue to lure inexperienced, over-confident drivers out to a sticky end. The bay is covered in a layer of sand which looks deceptively solid but is really more like a pie crust. Once it is penetrated, there is about half a metre of very soft mud.
The whole fiasco kept us locals entertained for days. There were over 100 bystanders on the beach watching on the Sunday.
When Susie Davis launched the Travel Club as a fun social outing addition to her business, Driving Miss Daisy, she had no idea how popular it would become, but each of the trips so far have been sold out, and she has more in the pipeline.
The idea had been in the back of Susie’s mind for some months, but fear of the unknown held her back. Motivated by an awareness that many of her clients’ friend networks had diminished as they got older, resulting in less social contact, Susie tentatively put the word out.
She needn’t have worried. Once her ‘regulars’ got wind of it, the first trip sold out within two days.
Off they went to the Hibiscus Coast – Susie, plus three ladies who had never met before, chatting and laughing together like old friends. After a coffee stop in Takapuna, they arrived in Orewa in time for a delicious pub lunch at the Ship and Anchor. One of the ladies in her eighties had grandparents who had owned property in Orewa, so they drove past the old cottage – a real trip down memory lane for her.
So far there have been two outings, both sold out within days, with more planned next year. Not to be out-done, Susie’s dad Roger (‘Driver of the Month’ who featured in our June issue), is planning a ‘boys-only’ trip.
The Travel Club is essentially a guided tour designed around a nominated destination, at a pace suited to the group. The added bonus of an experienced, first-aid-trained driver/companion, plus the opportunity to meet new, like-minded people, is part of the appeal – not only for the travellers, but for family who want their elderly parent to have some fun, but simply are too busy.
Susie comments that social isolation is a growing problem in our aging population. The Travel Club is part of the solution by providing opportunities to get dressed up, put some lipstick on and enjoy a social day out.
Just a thought … elderly parents can be the hardest to find a meaningful Christmas gift for - a Travel Club voucher could be just the thing. Ed.
Contact Susie Davis
021 503 481
Another Monterey pine has died and will be removed. There has been some debate on Facebook about these trees, especially after the recent case of a tree falling into a preschool. While safety is paramount, people still want a distinctive landmark on the skyline.
“…if these trees are in danger of also falling onto the school grounds and possibly injuring children, then they must be removed. But I do feel that they need to be replaced, not just removed.” Hayley
“They’re the only BHB landmark that can be seen from outside the suburb and I've grown up seeing them as I come towards my home suburb.” Bryan
“Gosh I remember playing hide and seek while at Primary around these trees. Mr Davies [used] to tell us off.” Phill
The Great Summer Read
Auckland Libraries invites you to heat up your reading this summer with 15 fun challenges! Each challenge gets you an entry into one of our weekly prize draws. If you complete 5 different challenges, or all 15, we’ll enter you into our bonus draws.
Win books and book vouchers; passes to Auckland attractions and shows, including a double pass to Auckland City Limits Music Festival; or one of two Kobo Aura Edition 2 eReaders!
When: 1 Dec 2016 to 30 January 2017
Who can take part: all Auckland Libraries members aged 14 and over
How: Pick up a challenge booklet at the library or visit our website to see all the challenges www.aucklandlibraries.govt.nz/GSR
Lunar New Year Celebrations
Help us celebrate the Lunar New Year, with wonderful activities from 28 January. Check with the library for details.
Events for Kids
Thu 08 Dec 2016: Christmas Pre-school Storytime, 10:30 -11am – Please join us. There will be Christmas stories and songs.
Note: Regular Storytime and Wriggle end dates for 2016 are the 14th & 15th December.
Kai Maia Te Whai - Dare to Explore: Auckland Libraries Summer Reading programme. From Monday 12th Dec 2016 to Sunday 22nd Jan 2017 it’s designed for children aged from 5-13yrs.
Online registrations from 28 November and programme booklets available from Monday 12 Dec 2016. Library cards are a must, so make sure you have one!
Blockhouse Bay Library’s summer reading programme party will be on Friday 20th January. To attend you must complete a minimum of four challenges from the booklet. The library will also be running events and challenges to support the programme, but bookings are essential. For more information please visit the library or phone us on (09) 8908683
The new Whau Local Board was inaugurated last month. Tracy Mulholland was elected as the new chair, and Susan Zhu was elected deputy chair. Other members are Derek Battersby, Catherine Farmer, Duncan MacDonald, Te’eva Matafai and David Whitley.
“I am honored to be elected to the Whau Local Board and to be chosen as the chairperson. I am also very pleased that the board has very capable members to represent you, our community,” says Tracy.
“Over this term the board will advance the regeneration of Avondale, including a new multi-purpose community facility. We will advocate for better transport options, such as pathways for walking and cycling, including the Te Whau Pathway, as we need to reduce congestion on our roads.
“We’ll support more affordable housing, initiatives to improve our environment and to help the arts flourish. We also want to support and celebrate the diverse cultures in the Whau.
“Early next year, we will be speaking with our community to develop the next Whau Local Board plan. It will be our community’s vision for the next three years. I look forward to the many conversations to come.”
It's been a big year for the Green Bay Community House and we would like to thank everyone for the support.
Here’s just a few of the many projects we have been involved in:
To find out more about what we do, go to www.greenbaycommunityhouse.co.nz
As the end of the year is now approaching, and summer is at our door step, the Green Bay Community House and our team of volunteers are again enticing our taste buds by bringing food fiestas to the community throughout summer.
Green Bay Street Food was introduced in late January 2016 with the aim of bringing the community together with quality street food options with a zero waste impact. Only compostable packaging is used, and the Bokashi system was recently introduced for disposing food scraps - diverting a significant amount of waste from our events away from landfill.
Currently running on a weekly basis, with different street food vendors from near and far, Green Bay Street Food is on every Friday, 5 - 9pm, until 16 December, and back from 13 January 2017. Come and check it out! www.facebook.com/greenbaystreetfood
A valued member of the Roskill South Athletics coaching team is seeking a future in the AFL. Seventeen-year-old Alistair Maisey, a Year 13 Lynfield College student, is currently a New Zealand Under 18 representative in the AFL Rugby League. Ultimately Alistair wants to reach the senior side next year, in the meantime as he says “playing for the Under 18’s is my top achievement as representing New Zealand in any sort is always an honour”.
Alistair came through the ranks as a junior athlete at the Roskill South club and enjoyed the fun atmosphere. He says “even though in the beginning I wasn’t the best athlete, I still came back every week because of the friends I made and all events we did encouraged good friendly competition”. That athletics is a base for all co-ordination sports is not lost on Alistair, “As I got older and started to get better, the club further helped me develop as an athlete which really helped me get to where I am today”.
Alistair coaches a number of athletics disciplines but has mostly focussed on Shot Put, and last season one of his athletes, Sylvia Brunt achieved Auckland Championship medals and broke the long-standing Roskill South 11-year-old record by more than a metre. In Alistair’s words, “this is part of the reason I coach, it’s a way for me to give back to the club that helped build me into what I am today. If I can do the same for other athletes somewhere along the line, then that’s an added bonus. The other reason I coach is that every time I see someone I have coached get better and do well in an event, knowing I played a part feels amazing”.
This year Alistair was voted in as Sports Captain for Lynfield College and was co-captain of the schools premiere Rugby League team. Apart from playing Rugby League for the school, he also played in the school’s Volleyball, Touch, 1st XV Rugby and Athletics teams. As Sports Captain, Alistair helped organise and run the house competitions. As a result of his contribution to the school Alistair was awarded Dux Ludorum (sports) which helped top off a successful sporting year.
Peter Wyatt, President of Roskill South Athletics says “Alistair is a great role model for our young athletes and a genuinely nice young man with a big future. We are grateful to have him as part of our club and wish him well in his AFL ambitions”.