The October school holidays saw Blockhouse Bay Primary School come to life with Kids 4 Drama’s annual production being staged. That’s Life follows the story of Cinderella in full pantomime glory while being mirrored by a modern family today set in Auckland struggling to survive with all the costs of living today.
Written by Blockhouse Bay local and Principal of Kids 4 Drama, Stephen Dallow, the musical was written a few years ago but revamped this year with the addition of a full score and band written by Zyia-Li Teh.
A cast of sixty took to the stage and were very appreciative of the support from the local community. “Staging a production is a huge undertaking so we always need support to fill our audiences, we were very grateful to play to good houses most shows”, says Mr Dallow.
Kids 4 Drama has been running for 27 years in the Blockhouse Bay Community Centre offering weekly classes for ages 5 to 19. This year the group says goodbye to five students who have been part of the organisation for many years - one student, Jamie Cottingham, now 18, saying goodbye after being with them since she was 4. Mr Dallow comments, “We are a family not just a drama group, a positive place for teenagers to spend their time while working in a peer teaching model to the younger students”.
On the final performance Mr Dallow spoke to the audience, acknowledging Mental Health Awareness week and the importance of looking after our teenagers and celebrating the milestones and successes, no matter how big or small rather than always focussing on achievement. He encouraged parents to find the right balance for their children between study, part time work and social activities that offer positive opportunities in their week. He also encouraged the students on the stage to always speak out when things are tough and to know there are wonderful people in our community all here to help and not to judge.
You can find out more about Kids 4 Drama at www.kids4drama.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs Elizabeth (Betty) Noffke, QSM, recently attended the investiture ceremony where she was awarded the Queens Service Medal for services to music. The ceremony, which was held in the afternoon of 9th October at Government House in Auckland, honoured twelve medal recipients, including Mrs Noffke.
Betty was delighted to have her family present. After the ceremony they were treated to afternoon tea in the pavilion which is located on the grass outside Government House. “Dame Patsy Reddy our Governor General, was absolutely lovely and very professional,” says Betty.
“Prior to the ceremony the recipients were invited into a large drawing room in Government House where we were informed of the procedure. The room was lovely with a soft green plush carpet, sitting chairs, chandeliers and New Zealand art work on the walls.
“The view from the room looked out over lawns and gardens. When the time came for the participants to move into the ceremony we marched into the room in single file.
“A member of the staff showed us where to sit and when it was time to stand up to hear their citation read aloud, we were to move forward to receive the medal. It was all very professional, and the staff were most helpful,” Betty recalls.
In the evening Betty and her family went to Sky City Orbit Restaurant for dinner, which Betty described as “a wonderful way to finish an amazing experience - the view of Auckland City was a delight to see from a revolving restaurant”.
The whole school recently shared some rich learning experiences as part of our Māori Language Week celebrations. Our wonderful Whaea Jas (pictured above) organised a wide range of experiences to introduce the children and staff to aspects of Māori culture and language. These ranged from harakeke weaving and taonga (treasure) making to a teacher vs pupils quiz and tug-of-war! (see pic below).
Whilst it was great to celebrate in this way with the rest of Aotearoa, this is not the only time the children are exposed to Te Reo Māori (The language) and Tikanga Māori (The Māori way of doing things) - All classes use greetings, instructions and phrases in Te Reo daily and Tikanga Māori is integrated into all our cross-curricular planning.
He tino pai tō tātou mahi a Blockhouse Bay Primary (Great work Blockhouse Bay Primary!)
You really can’t judge a book by its cover. Things are not always what they seem, and our presumptions can lead to missed opportunities and experiences.
Take for instance Colin, Kevin and Mike. They are all regular, easy-going Kiwi blokes; Kev’s a builder, Colin’s a cabinet maker and Mike’s an agricultural mechanic. At first glance at these tradies you’d never guess they all have a common thread: They’re all really good dancers – modern jive dancers to be precise. Effortlessly leading a lady on the dancefloor, with masculine style and charm.
While many girls at some point learn some form of dance, most Kiwi blokes don’t. But if you watch these guys on the dancefloor, you’d think they’d be dancing forever.
Colin, Kevin and Mike all dance at Move New Lynn. Like everyone, they learned the basics in beginner classes, taught with clear instructions around footwork and hand-holds. Mistakes are all part of the fun, and no one actually has two left feet. Confidence grows as everything gradually becomes more familiar.
And Move New Lynn? You’ll find men and women at different levels of competence and experience who share a common passion - they just love to dance. The great thing about modern jive is that it can be adapted to most music you enjoy.
Colin (the cabinet maker) and Hannah are the owners and lead Instructors at Move. They have created a friendly, relaxed, classy culture where everyone feels accepted. And can they throw a dance party!! So, if you’re a closet John Travolta, or just wanting to enjoy the challenge of something new, come and try a class or two.
Move is in New Lynn on Monday nights, beginners at 7pm. Your first lesson’s free so what have you got to lose?
Wairaki Stream is a rather unique stream originating in Lynfield and finishing in Lynfield Cove. A new group called Friends of the Wairaki Stream has recently been formed to protect the Wairaki Stream Catchment Area.
Some locals have already adopted a portion of the reserve for their families and are learning about weeds and how to release and protect new plantings.
They are looking for help in getting this group started and keeping it going. You don't have to be a weeder! Maybe you have skills related to IT, funding applications, or you have a fabulous BBQ technique - all skills are welcome.
Their first event is a meet and greet at the Chilli Bar in Lynfield on Friday 2nd November at 7pm to explain their purpose and gather potential volunteers to help conserve this area into the future. For more info email email@example.com or look up Friends of Wairaki Stream on Facebook.
It’s that time of the year when pōhutukawa trees everywhere will be bursting into bloom, decorating the coast with their festive red flowers. They are as iconic to our Kiwi summer as jandals and hokey pokey icecream.
But are you aware that Blockhouse Bay is home to some very rare yellow pōhutukawa? These will be visible very soon, and can be seen on Taylor St near the intersection with Blockhouse Bay Rd.
The yellow pōhutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa 'Aurea') is a rare colour form and descends from a pair discovered in 1840 on Motiti Island in the Bay of Plenty, by a Mr Potts.
Blockhouse Bay has some very distinctive street scapes of red pōhutukawa including Gilfillan, Kinross, Heaphy and down Blockhouse Bay Rd, and these have their own story too.
According to Blockhouse Bay Historical Society’s Audrey Thomas and Yvonne Dabb, the trees were planted around 1946 by pupils from the standard classes of Blockhouse Bay Primary during Arbour Day celebrations. Council workers dug the holes and each student got to plant a tree. The students had to write a composition about the event and the Auckland Savings Bank gave a prize for the best one.
It is understood that the council asked for a contribution of five shillings from local home owners.
According to Wikipedia, at least 39 cultivars of pōhutukawa have been released. Duncan & Davies nurseries were a leading force in the mid-20th century, while Graeme Platt has been responsible for 16 different cultivars so far, including a rare white-flowering tree.
One cultivar was even sourced from Blockhouse Bay by Graeme Platt in the mid-1980s called (unsurprisingly) M. excelsa ‘Blockhouse Bay’. Could Mr Platt have perhaps sourced his cultivar from those planted by the children?
The yellow pōhutukawa were believed to have been specially cultivated and ‘sprinkled’ amongst those planted by the students.
New Lynn's Family Fun Day, 1st December
The New Lynn Business Association is sponsoring a Family Fun Day on Saturday 1st December from 10am to 1pm at Memorial Square.
Heaps of entertainment: Children's and family activities and games, cultural performances, stilt walkers, balloon art, bouncy castle, popcorn, balloons, face painting, candy floss, sausage sizzle, lollipops, slushies, and more!
Blockhouse Bay village Santa parade, Saturday 8th December
The much-anticipated Blockhouse Bay Village Santa parade is well underway. Organisations and businesses are enthusiastically working on their floats and items for the procession through the village.
Wanting to be part of the parade? Get in touch with Jodie Judd, firstname.lastname@example.org for info.
See below for details.
Christmas at the Beach, Sunday 16 December
Christmas at the Beach will soon be back, and it’s going to be bigger and better than ever! Head down to the beach reserve any time from 4.30pm for great kids’ entertainment; DJ, bouncy castle, balloon twisters and face painters.
This will be followed by a Christmas service with all your favourite carols, then dance the night away to Shane and the Shazaam band playing good old fashioned 50s and 60s rock n roll!
The food trucks are back too, and there’s rumour of a water slide. It’s fun for all the family, and a great way to start your Christmas season in style! This fab free night out is run by the Bay Churches with sponsorship from the Whau local board.
From 4.30pm, Sunday Dec 16th, Blockhouse Bay Beach Reserve. Shuttles will be running from Church of the Saviour and Iona Presbyterian. (No drop-offs down Endeavour St, please use shuttles.)
Gayle Prescott opened her dance school in 1968 and has been teaching ballet, tap and jazz in Mt Roskill and Lynfield for five decades.
When Gayle was 18 her parents converted their large double garage into her first studio. “This gave me a great start and their continued support allowed me to grow the studio”, she says. “The children were very excited about their first dance class and this continues today. Part of the reason I have continued teaching for so long is seeing the delight on the dancers faces after they have enjoyed their class, and how they look forward to dancing in our shows”.
To celebrate 50 years teaching dance, the Gayle Prescott Dance School is putting on a show on 14th and 15th December at Green Bay High School Performing Arts Centre. There will be some old favourite dances and some new ones. A special feature will be a Celebration dance performed by past pupils, including her sisters who she taught 50 years ago. A function for past pupils will be held after the Saturday night performance.
Tickets go on sale in mid-November. Please check our website for details: www.gayleprescottdanceschool.co.nz
Free Open Day. On the afternoon of Saturday 8th December, the studio is holding free open classes for anyone who would like to come along and try a class. This is open to all ages. Please email email@example.com to register your interest.
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This November, work will begin to enhance Green Bay Beach, making it more usable and pleasant for visitors. Included in the planned work is a process called ‘daylighting’ which is where a stream or water course is redirected and returned to a more natural state, which helps with reducing runoff, habitat creation and other environmental benefits.
The planned work, which should take around four weeks, includes:
“It will also provide a more natural connection of the bush to the sea creating a more pleasant environment for everyone to enjoy, especially as we are coming into summer.”
For most of us a haircut is something we only need to worry about once a month, but for Shane Manuela of Green Bay Barbers it’s been an everyday affair for 22 years.
When set up in 2013 Green Bay Barbers initially catered just for men, but Shane saw the need to provide haircuts for the whole family, and now talented hairdressers Naho and Bobby are part of the team.
Shane has a strong belief in community involvement, and since coming to Green Bay ten years ago he has found plenty of opportunities to help out. From reading to kids at Green Bay Primary for an hour each week, to providing water bottles to junior rugby league clubs in West Auckland (Shane plays for the New Lynn Rugby League Club in the masters division), Shane enjoys lending a hand wherever possible.
As part of the Green Bay Residents and Ratepayers Association, Shane also helped to fund a garden project for the West Auckland Community Toy Library and provided the building materials for it. The result was an edible garden for the kids to interact with when they visit the library.
For Shane the barbershop is more than just a business, it’s a lifestyle that provides connections to the community that he and his family call home.
To see some of Shane’s work check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/greenbaybarbers/
by Kerry Lee