Dance classes have finished for the year, but the fun doesn’t there. Rebecca from the Gayle Prescott Dance School heard that Santa needs some ‘little elves’ to help get ready for the Christmas rush, so she's planned a ‘Santa’s Dance Workshop’ - a fun, Christmas-themed day of activities including games, crafts, music and dance.
It’s a chance for children to get creative and try new things while helping the grown-ups get through the busyness of preparing for Christmas.
Children will be introduced to new and fun dance steps to their favourite songs and learn how to create their own Christmas decorations to take home and put on their Christmas tree or give to friends and family. It also wouldn’t be Christmas without the music so there will be plenty of singing and dancing to festive tunes that they know and love.
Open to all, not just dancers!
Everybody Eats is a not-for-profit, pay-as-you-feel dining concept, which began in June 2017 as a pop-up each Monday night at Gemmayze St in St Kevin’s Arcade, a popular restaurant on Auckland’s K’ Rd. It’s an initiative that sees food that would otherwise go to waste be turned into restaurant-quality meals, prepared by volunteer chefs, and served at the table by volunteer staff.
In September 2018, Everybody Eats expanded to Avondale where they now operate out of Woodworks Café, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights from 6.30-8pm, feeding between 100 and 150 people each night.
Dayne Smith, founder of I Love Avondale, collaborated with Everybody Eats founder Nick Loosley to bring the Everybody Eats concept to Avondale. Dayne recently spoke to one of the volunteers, Leonie (pictured above), about what she likes most about the dining experience that serves rescued food and allows customers to pay what they’re willing or able to.
“I love that EE use food that is otherwise destined for the bins, and am slightly intimidated by how the chef of the day works with whatever ingredients are in front of them to make truly tasty food. I love that it's feeding families who might be struggling for money this week, or people who might not have had a decent feed that week, or someone who has never had a restaurant meal ever.
But my favourite thing about EE is that it gives people the chance to sit down with people that they might never otherwise sit down with... There's no differentiation between the people who pay and those who don't, you can't order a drink or more than what's on offer, and everyone is served the same (bloody delicious) meal. Nearly everywhere else in society the gap is getting bigger and we are getting more divided – at EE those walls are taken down. Because surely, when we all sit down at the same table, we get stronger as a society.”
The Marshall Laing Music School has been providing quality, affordable music tuition to kids for generations, and is well-known locally. What may not be so well-known is the influence this music school has had on countless individuals who have gone on to make music their career or life-long passion.
Jenny Rawlings’ children were all pupils of the school, and she recalls, “With two mortgages and a lease, and four children, we were extremely grateful for Marshall Laing Music School, as it opened up a door to different instruments that would not otherwise have been available.”
Jenny’s eldest, Deborah, learned violin and subsequently played in orchestras. While studying performance music at Auckland University, she also taught keyboard at Marshall Laing. Deborah is now pursuing a professional career in music in Germany. Another daughter, Christine, also learned the violin at Marshall Laing, becoming a member of the Auckland Youth Orchestra and occasional member of the St Matthews orchestra, while pursuing medicine. Jenny herself is now one of the team of dedicated and passionate music teachers at the school.
Generations have benefited, and former students have passed on the torch to their children. Heather Robinson, who lives in Lynfield, was a foundation member of the music school when she was 10 or 11 and learned the piano accordion. She recalls that leaflets came to Waikowhai Primary advertising that a music school was opening up. Years later when her eldest son, Warwick, received a leaflet at school and was keen to learn, she realised the music school was still going.
At this stage the effects of the 1987 crash were still being felt by many families, with unemployment quite common. Heather’s three children all availed themselves of the music school, and Warwick went on to teach there. After completing his music performance degree Warwick qualified as a secondary school teacher and is now H.O.D of music at Westlake Boys. “Orchestras became part of their lives,” says Heather. “Warwick met his future wife, Miriam, at a combined orchestra. All these opportunities would have been missed without Marshall Laing.”
The Marshall Laing Music School started in 1963 and is still going strong. Their aim is to provide group music lessons for primary and intermediate age school students, the majority of which are Ministry of Education subsidised. They also offer a range of non-subsidised music lessons for all age groups.
Music School Coordinator since 2014, Michael Greenwood, is enthusiastic about new developments at the school. A large, new, multi-purpose music space has recently been completed which has made it possible to now offer after-school lessons, as well as being perfect for orchestra rehearsals.
Michael is also excited about the new summer school in January being offered for the first time. This unique two-day school, called Feel the Beat. Put a Rhythm in your Feet! will be taught by Marie Willis, a specialist in the Dalcroze method. The course is designed to help children explore and understand rhythm, without the use of musical notes on a page.
Marcus Amosa was recently voted in as the new chair of the Avondale Business Association. This change of leadership marks a new era for the Business Association which was chaired for 19 years by appliance store owner and Whau local board member Duncan MacDonald.
Co-owner of Cain Tattoo, Copra Audio and a new co-working space all based in Avondale, Marcus is also involved with many community initiatives.
“Having grown up in the area, my belief in my neighbourhood spurred me to open Cain Tattoo, Avondale Co-working space and Copra Audio, all within the Avondale Mainstreet.
“While I never set out to challenge the leadership for this position, I have responded to a call from our members for leadership that is more collaborative, more involved, more approachable and more focused on our association objectives.
“The Avondale Business association requires leadership that is committed to our town centre’s continued growth, that is dynamic and collaborative. I'll be looking to inject my positive energy into this role, my youthful passion for business, as well as my commitment to serving the hard-working members of our association.
“My vision is for an association that supports our businesses, encourages business development, and fosters meaningful relationships with our community, that enables collaboration. Supporting and lifting our local businesses in the town centre, helps to support and lift our community too!
“To lead is to serve and I'm forward to serving our members in this role.”
Business Associations work in partnership with the Auckland Council BID (Business Improvement Districts) programme which sees targeted rates based on the businesses’ capital land value returned to the Business Association as a grant to support economic development of the town centre.
Rental Property Update
On a different subject, all owners will likely know the cut-off date for compliance with insulation regulations is July 1, 2019. What owners may not realise, however, is that all tenancy agreements in place since July 2016 must state what insulation is in place and if it is not known, what steps are being taken to find out this information. It is not good enough just to state ‘not known’. Plus, there is a compliancy team from the DBH who are checking tenancy agreements from 2016 to ensure they comply. The fine for noncompliance is $500 per property.
“Rules need to include maximum speeds on city footpaths and requirements for bells or other warning devices on the faster vehicles using footpaths,” he says. "As happens at sea, faster users need to give way to slower users."
The Board wants measures to educate the public about these rules and to enforce sanctions for breaches. Holm suggests that there should be a well-publicised complaints procedure; "There is a need for the increased funds now being allocated by both the New Zealand Transport Agency and Auckland Transport, for safety improvements to include proper enforcement," he said.
The Board is not proposing total bans on the use of electric scooters but believes that the code of conduct set up for hirers of scooters failed to provide any means of dealing with their misuse. The code concentrated on measures to protect riders, such as helmet provision, without spelling out any requirements for avoiding harm to other footpath users.
The Board has also been actively seeking a bigger share of transport subsidies for upgrading footpaths, many of which are unsuited to shared use by pedestrians and vehicles able to travel at up to 25 kilometres per hour.
On Thursday 22nd November, over 500 children converged on Margaret Griffen Park in Lynfield for their annual Central Primary Zone athletics competition. The organisers come every year to the park for its excellent capacity for both the events and for the space for parents to watch their children enjoy their sport.
Roskill South Athletic Club for whom the fields are home, lend their equipment for the day, including jump mats, discus, shot put and track equipment.
With ten central schools competing on the day, the top three placing schools on the day were (in order), Owairaka, Balmoral and Maungawhau. Most rewarding of all, the children had a fun and enjoyable day.
Considering athletics for your child? Roskill South Athletics Club is a Junior Track and Field club that aims to develop the skills of all junior athletes from 2-16 years, for personal enjoyment and competitive preparation. They also have a reputation for being the 'friendliest athletics club in Auckland'!
Find out more on their website www.roskillathletics.com
The first-ever resident of Ryman’s latest retirement village in Lynfield is settling into his brand-new apartment after moving in from just a few metres away.
Bob Caley has lived next door on Tropicana Drive, which leads up to the village site, for 50 years, meaning the move was also a new record for the moving company. “The guy said it was the shortest distance he’s ever had to move someone,” laughed Bob, who for the last year has been watching the progress of his new apartment being built from the comfort of his back yard. “I could see where my apartment was going to be and I realised I would be able to see the house from the far end of the balcony of the apartment,” said Bob.
Not only that, he will have a clear view of the rest of the complex while it gets built since his living room looks out onto the heart of the village. His verdict? “Good! Yes, it’s lovely. It’s been a bit of a worry up until now getting everything sorted but the girls have been excellent,” he said, referring to his three daughters Denise, Joanne and Fiona.
Both the views and the apartment prompted wows from the daughters who were there on the day to help their dad move in. “It’s beautiful, it’s really great!” said Denise.
The sisters said they had taken their dad out for dinner the previous night to mark the end of an incredible era and as a distraction from last night jitters. “It’s good for all of us to know he’s safe and secure and he won’t have to deal with things as they start to break down in the house,” said Joanne. “Knowing he’s settled in here will take away quite a lot of that worry for us.”
Bob and his late wife Val bought their section on Tropicana Drive for £2,000 from Bill Subritzky who was also the former owner of village site. Bill went on to develop the whole of the street as part of the Parade of Homes, which were unveiled by the then prime minister Rob Muldoon in 1968.
As part of his welcome into his new home Bob was presented with a beautiful bouquet of flowers by sales advisors Frances Quirk and Michelle Garland plus a lunch platter to tide the family over during the big move. There were Ryman staff on hand to shift his furniture up from the basement and brief him on how everything works.
The biggest challenge would be using the dishwasher, said Joanne. “He’s never had a dishwasher in his whole life so he’ll have to figure that one out!”
The second resident to move into the village was Riley Wouldes, whose brother Nigel and sister-in-law Robyna live two doors down from Bob’s house on Tropicana Drive!
Riley had been living in Pt England and initially considered buying into a village on that side of town until he realised he could get a good deal on a brand new Ryman apartment over this way and be nearer to Nigel and his family at the same time.
The one he settled on looks out over the village entrance on Commodore Drive, perfect for watching all the comings and goings.
Nigel and Robyna accompanied Riley on his first day along with their daughter Marie and granddaughter Caitlin, with Marie clearly delighted with her uncle’s new home. “It’s beautiful, it’s just fantastic, I’m jealous!” she said. “I can’t wait for Mum and Dad to move in too!”
Marie said she had noticed Riley had definitely ‘perked up’ as the move became imminent. "Once he's settled in, he's just not going to know himself!" she said. Nigel agreed: “It’s a big weight off knowing he’s finally moved in here and the location is perfect as the view is always changing.”
And Riley’s verdict on his new home? “I think I could get used to this!” he said with a big smile on his face.
The removal a 1980 Mitsubishi Mirage GLX from Wairaki Stream was a great result for the community initiative Friends of Wairaki Stream to mobilise council and other resources.
Wairaki Stream is the only waterway that drains into the Manukau Harbour from the Puketapapa local board area.
Friends of Wairaki Stream are looking forward to doing further hands on clean-ups of rubbish in the Wairaki Reserve, as well as weeding and plant releasing and welcome volunteers.
Thanks to Alf from Downers, Nic Finch from Treesafe Limited, Avon Towing, and Angela and John from Healthy Waters, Auckland Council.