The annual Christmas at the Beach shindig on Sunday 16th December is fast approaching, and this year be prepared for some serious dance action! Along with plenty of fun for all ages, carol singing and rock ’n’ roll, this year for the first time there is a free rock ’n’ roll dance class led by Move Dance Co’s Hannah Honey.
Move Dance Co run regular Monday night social dance classes at the New Lynn RSA for everyone from beginners to advanced, and they sure know how to get you on your feet and swinging with your partner. Hannah will be on stage teaching some basic rock ’n’ roll moves which you’ll get to practice a bit later when Shane and the Shazam band rocks the main stage with hits from the 50s and 60s. Incidentally, did you know that Shane is a Blockhouse Bay local and also a proud recipient of the NZ order of Merit for his services to the music industry?
The fun begins at 5pm with activities and games for the kids, including a beach treasure hunt, Nativity quest, bouncy castle, face painters and balloon twisters. Santa will arrive in style in time for your Santa selfies, and the awesome party DJ Dave will entertain the crowds with his usual shenanigans.
A Christmas shindig would not be complete without carols, and the carol choir have been practicing for weeks to lead you in singing all your favourites, followed by a thought-provoking Christmas message from Aaron Ironside of Radio Rhema fame.
Bring all you need for a picnic dinner, or save the hassle and enjoy the delicious fare available from the several food trucks which will be on site.
Shuttles will run from Church of the Saviour and Iona Presbyterian down to the beach reserve from 4.45-6pm and returning from 7pm onwards.
This free local event is brought to you by the combined churches of Blockhouse Bay, with generous sponsorship from the Whau Local Board and Ray Whites.
It’s been happening for weeks now.
The rapid onset of Christmas began around October in some retail stores, and was fortified by the recent “Black Friday” sales.
Suddenly, as if we weren’t already under enough stress, our minds and hearts are pulled towards presents, pressure, and performance.
For anyone feeling broke, vulnerable, lonely, or burnt out, ‘peak times’ such as Christmas are not much fun at all - so much so that in extreme cases, some consider ‘ending it all’. Clinically, this is known as ‘suicidal ideation’.
Suicidal ideation is the process of thinking about, considering, or planning suicide, and can be brought on by a deep and abiding sense of inadequacy, self-loathing, making unfavorable comparisons with others, holding to an unrealistic ideal or expectation, and even being ungrateful for what we already have (any of these sound familiar around this time of year?).
But they don’t need experts – they just need your eyes, ears, and kindness. Suicidal ideation is pretty easy to spot, if you know what to look for.
A person may talk about wishing to die. They may research methods of self harm, talk about feeling helpless, or purposeless, or feeling trapped, or being in ‘unbearable’ pain. They may state “I don’t want to be a burden”, increase their use of alcohol or drugs, drastically alter their sleeping patterns, withdraw from friends or family, experience bouts of rage and revenge thinking, become reckless in their behaviour, and most alarmingly, experience a sudden bright lift in mood after a period of despair (they may have made a decision to act on the suicidal ideation, and the decision brings relief).
Kindness is pretty easy to do too, if you feel confident in being so.
Those Naughty Sheep
Those cute little rascals have escaped again! Nearly 40 sheep are have got loose and are hiding in the shops and businesses in Blockhouse Bay. Can you find them for us?
Yes, Blockhouse Bay’s annual Sheep Trail is back! Between the 10th and 21st of December, keep your eyes peeled for sightings of these elusive woolly scallywags. They are quite wily, so you might need the whole family searching for them.
Of course, the shop owners are in cahoots with the sheep, so don’t think it will be easy! They have given their friendly sheep names, and some have even decorated them. And apparently some even hide them to make them harder for you to find!
Your mission: Find all the sheep and write down their clever names. And don’t forget to vote for your favourite sheep!
Once you have found them all, put your entry in the entry box at either Church of the Saviour or Blockhouse Bay Pharmacy. The winner will be drawn at the Messy Christmas celebration on Christmas Eve at Church of the Saviour, 2 Heaphy St.
Last year’s best sheep was called Mareep and was found in the Bay Dragon. I wonder where this year’s best sheep will be found!
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The New Boys on the Block
With the recent news (Beacon, September) that Peter Bainbridge was packing away his tools for good, speculation has been rife about ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘when’, and even ‘if’ anything was going to happen in his old premises.
Well, now it’s official; there’s some new boys on the block. Ryan Shaw and Tyrone van Graan from Lynfield Automotive have teamed up to open a new auto repair business in Bainbridge’s Blockhouse Bay premises. Although a new business, Ryan, who will be the face of Bay Auto Repairs, hopes that it will be ‘business as usual’ for many of Bainbridges customers. “We’ve taken over Peter’s phone number and vehicle records, so we’re working hard to make sure the transition for customers is a smooth one.”
The pair have had a long working history together. Ryan started in the automotive trade as a 16-year-old in Green Bay in 2003, apprenticed to Tyrone. Tyrone at that time was working for Dave Connelly, who owned several of the local Shell/Z stations. Tyrone eventually bought Lynfield Automotive from Dave and Ryan came with him. Ryan claims with a grin that he is still in his first job.
Tyrone began his trade with BMW in South Africa, and at age 25 he opened his first shop. He worked there for 3-4 years then emigrated to New Zealand, working for BMW in Wellington for 3.5 years before moving to Auckland.
Upon hearing about Peter Bainbridge’s retirement, the pair made enquiries with a view to Ryan setting up his own workshop in Peter’s premises. Both Ryan and Tyrone are excited at this new opportunity.
With a new qualified mechanic to cover Ryan’s former role in Lynfield, and Tyrone’s son Lee transferring his apprenticeship to Ryan, the boys are sure they’ve covered all their bases. And Ryan even has his mum Sheryl on reception.
Old Māngere Bridge Permanently Closed
On 25 November NZTA permanently closed the old Māngere Bridge, due to concerns about the risk to public safety. The gates on the bridge have been permanently locked and four security guards are patrolling the bridge 24/7 and CCTV is being installed.
The old Māngere Bridge, which is more than 100 years old, is a much-loved and very popular meeting and fishing place that has linked the Onehunga and Māngere Bridge communities for more than a century.
The good news is that resource consent for a new bridge has been granted and the contract for its construction will be complete early next year, with construction also planned to start next year. It is expected to take about two-and-a-half years to build the replacement bridge, which will include walking, cycling and fishing facilities.
The new bridge will be at least 8m wide, and up to 12m in some bays to enable fishing. It will curve towards the motorway bridge, be high enough for small boats to pass underneath and have a wider span to allow some form of opening for larger boats in the future.
The new bridge will be constructed next to the old bridge using the same abutments, but further away from the port.
The old Māngere Bridge will be demolished during construction of the new structure, as leaving it in the harbour poses a risk to people passing underneath it.
Back in the Day
From the archives of the Avondale Advance and the Blockhouse Bay Beacon.
Christmas gift suggestions from prominent retailer, Arthur H. Nathan Ltd (who also had premises in both Karangahape Rd and Panmure!). While ‘Year Round Pleasure’ might be a bit strong, it’s likely that many of these items would have given ‘Decades Long Satisfaction,’ cos they just don’t make ‘em like that anymore.
Armistice, 100 years on
11 November 2018 ended four years of centenaries of various WWI battles and events.
When the guns fell silent at the 11th hour, on the 11th day, of the 11th month of 1918, 18,277 New Zealand servicemen had been killed (as calculated by Fields of Remembrance). The impact of every community losing friends and relatives was felt nationwide and led to more than 500 memorials being erected in towns over the following decade. There were also thousands of returned servicemen suffering from PTSD (shell shock), many of whom would never lead a ‘normal’ life.
At the time of the Armistice, New Zealand was in the midst of the 1918 influenza pandemic. In two short months approximately 9,000 people died. Deaths peaked on 23 November 1918 and by December it was declining sharply.
If all that tragedy was not enough, there was still a depression to come in 1921-22. Then after a period of slow growth the big one hit with the Great Depression in the early thirties followed by WWII. They must have been very resilient people.
NZ has enjoyed comparatively golden times over the last 50 years.
Penalty Shootout Decides Soccer Tourney
Friday 7th November was a perfect day for soccer. Blockhouse Bay, Arahoe, Green Bay, Glenavon and Chaucer primary schools fielded teams across 3 grades, for the 11-a-side soccer tournament at Riversdale Reserve in Avondale.
In the first A Grade match Blockhouse Bay went down to Arahoe, 1-0, but then beat Glenavon 1-0 in their second match. The semi-final saw Blockhouse Bay defeat Arahoe on penalty kicks.
The final was a closely fought affair between Blockhouse Bay and Glenavon, with both teams displaying a good level of soccer. At full time the score was nil all. Penalty kicks were needed to decide the winner, resulting in Glenavon narrowly winning the penalty shootout 1-0.
The tournament was organised by Bay Olympic Soccer Club, based in Portage Rd, New Lynn, who have been running this event for a number of years. It was very well run, and it was clear all the kids enjoyed the day. Thanks to Shane Knowles and Bay Olympics Soccer Club for giving the local kids the opportunity to showcase their footballing skills.
2018 in Review - Whau Local Board
2018 has also seen the completion of several local projects for the community of the Whau, and work begun on some new ones. The sports field renewal at Sister Rene Shadbolt Park, the new playground at Craigavon Park, and the development of new plans for the small local parks in Green Bay and New Windsor are among some of the major projects funded by the Board.
The Whau Local Board is a proud supporter of the Blockhouse Bay Community Centre, the Green Bay Community House, and has recently welcomed the Glenavon Community Hub as a funded Board partner. These are spaces where locals are involved, connected and engaged in community and social activities.
We are also pleased to be a financial supporter of both the Blockhouse Bay Santa Parade run by the Blockhouse Bay Business Association, and the Christmas at the Beach event run by the combined local churches.
This year the Whau Local Board funded and supported the Maori Responsiveness Plan and the Diversity Plan for the Whau community, a first of its type for local boards. We were also an active partner in youth projects and the Whau Youth Awards via our funding of Community Waitakere.
Youth, healthy homes, heritage, public transport, economic development, an enhanced natural environment and celebrating our creative edge were some areas of focus for 2018. We also worked with Auckland Transport and Council-controlled organisations to fund and implement projects that improve our community and environment, such as footpath upgrades.
To learn more about the numerous small projects we have undertaken, or measure how well we are doing, we invite you to visit the recently developed Whau Local Board Achievements Report by searching “Whau Plans, Agreements and Reports” on Google.
Best wishes, and enjoy the festive and summer seasons.
Chair, Whau Local Board
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RSA Gets New Home, New Life
It’s hard to believe it’s the same club. Avondale RSA’s former premises in Layard Street have been demolished, and the club is now housed in stylishly renovated premises at 48 Rosebank Road. The RSA, which now incorporates the All Golds Cosmopolitan Club, re-opened in its new premises in July this year.
Since opening their doors, the club’s membership has jumped from 150 to 850. While the new premises are a massive step up from the old, it’s possible that the club’s increasing popularity is due to its growing reputation for excellent food, great entertainment, and a cheap pint.
The RSA also have a strong focus on events, with a children’s Christmas party on 8th December and a Masquerade Ball on New Year’s Eve (see advert below for details). With regular sports throughout the week and a line-up of live bands on Fridays and Sundays to dance to, the Avondale RSA has become a great venue for all ages and interests.
From Thursday to Sunday Crumpy’s Kitchen - run by Martin Crump (yes, Barry’s his dad) and assisted by his family; wife, Jill and his kids, Georgie, Levi and Olivia - serves a wide variety of consistently good grub, including fabulous Sunday roasts.
Martin, who spent much of his childhood in Blockhouse Bay, attending New Lynn Primary and Blockhouse Bay Intermediate, describes himself as “passionate about everything I do”. With a natural ability to communicate, Martin has been a writer, MC and broadcaster. As a radio talkback host for 15 years, he was often a ‘voice in the night’ for people on their own. Martin loves connecting with people and regards that time in his life as very meaningful.
Martin brings his enthusiasm for life to his kitchen, and with Crumpy’s Kitchen now a huge drawcard for Avondale RSA, his Masquarade Ball buffet on New Year’s Eve is sure to be a crowd pleaser.