Issue 23 - May 2018
Update from Chairman, Graeme Pierson
It is with pleasure that I write this report for the May edition of our Highlights newsletter. Ms Chris Winstanley was elected Treasurer/Secretary in the interim period until our meeting in August. Mr Richard Thumath of the Red Beach Combined Club was appointed to Council as the Councillor for District 9910. I, and my fellow Councillors, look forward to working with Richard on Council.
As winter draws near a great number of our members take a break at this time of year to travel to warmer climates and require Travel Insurance. FNZI does not have a policy for Travel Insurance but through our brokers, Wills Towers Watson, we have arranged travel insurance with Allianz New Zealand. To access this please go to the Information tab in the Club Area on our website. We have been advised that all insurance companies have increased their fees, especially for people with pre-existing medical conditions. I believe there is cheaper insurance available, however a number of these cheaper offers come with fishhooks and the advice we have had is that such offers should be thoroughly checked.
Recently I accepted an invitation to attend a meeting of the Taradale Men’s Club and speak to members about FNZI as the club was considering disaffiliating from FNZI and joining another similar organisation. A member of the other organisation was also invited to attend the same meeting.
He spoke to members but had left the meeting before my arrival. Following the morning tea break I spoke to members and left immediately afterwards. Later that day I was advised that members had voted by a significant majority to stay with Friendship New Zealand Incorporated. This news was very pleasing, and we are very happy to have this club retain their affiliation with FNZI. I thank President John and members for the kind reception I received at their meeting.
In closing, I refer to the last edition of Highlights in which I advised that Councillor Tony Newton and I would travel to Winton in March to speak to the Winton Men’s Club as they wanted to return to FNZI. After we spoke and responded to questions raised, club members voted to re-affiliate with Friendship New Zealand Inc. Their affirmation and support of FNZI is acknowledged and appreciated. Tony and I were very grateful for the hospitality we were given by the Winton Men’s Club members.
Introducing Richard Thurmath – new Councillor for District 9910
A former President of the Red Beach Club, Richard has recently been elected to represent District 9910 following the retirement of Jim Taylor.
During his working life, Richard spent many years in the clothing and safety footwear industry, finally retiring as CEO of Deane Apparel in 2009. He was also heavily involved negotiating with business concerns and government organisations, contributing to government strategy in areas such as business development, CER issues, and related labelling and customer issues.
Since retiring, Richard’s time is spent as a trustee of the Rodney Economic Development Trust, which creates employment opportunities in the Rodney area, consulting work for a food importer in Manakau, and involvement in the business mentor programme.
Richard has always been part of his local community, serving as a community board member some years ago, and advising local groups on funding and management.
| FNZI Combined Clubs meeting in Tauranga
Bryan McKenzie attended this informal meeting for FNZI Clubs in and around the Tauranga area on Monday 7 May 2018. This took place at the Arataki Community Centre at the Mount and was ably and efficiently organised and hosted by Bev Dromgool and Maria West from the Arataki Coastal Club.
Representatives from Arataki Coastal Club, Mt Maunganui Men’s Club, Phoenix Combined Club, Marlin Friendship Club of Mount Maunganui, Papamoa Palms Friendship Club, Te Puke Friendship Club and Tauranga Vision Club were present. There were apologies from two clubs, also present as an observer, was a representative from the Omokoroa Peninsular Club.
Topic under discussions included the Tauranga Combined Clubs website, group activities, membership growth and recruitment, combined club outings, speakers and payments for speakers etc. This was the second such meeting and another is planned for November this year.
The photo depicts the happy gathering who are obviously smiling at not only the worth of the meeting, but also the thought that the next item of business was to be the sumptuous shared finger food lunch supplied by the attendees.
| FROM THE ADMINISTRATOR’S DESK
It is difficult to accept that we are almost halfway through 2018! The FNZI year commenced with member clubs receiving the form to be used when making payment of their affiliation fees for the 2018-2019 year, then there was the need to elect a Councillor for District 10 due to the ill health of Jim Taylor and in April, clubs received a Preliminary Notice of our 4th Annual General Meeting being held this year in Christchurch. The first issue for 2018 of Highlights was published and affiliation fees began arriving in FNZI’s Post Office box.
By now most clubs will have held their AGM and possibly elected new members to their Committee. FNZI is aware of the difficult issue faced by clubs to obtain new members and there is information on our website which may prove helpful. One way to attract new members is to contact your local public library, Citizens Advice Bureau or Information Centre and provide them with details of your club together with the name and phone number of a contact person. Most libraries will have a category for clubs of a social nature however, it is recommended that they are made aware that your club is an affiliated member of FNZI, to differentiate it from other social clubs.
Recently, I have received enquiries from some clubs wanting to know if FNZI is able to supply a tablecloth or lectern cover which shows the FNZI logo. I am delighted to advise that following research by the President of the South Island Association of Friendship Clubs (SIAFC) we know of a company which can embroider our logo onto a cloth for $20, or they can do a monogram which can be sewn onto a cloth. The cost for the monogram is $25. SIAFC used their initiative and had the logo embroidered onto an existing tablecloth - on the opposite corner to the previous logo! Please contact me should you require further information about this matter.
Best wishes to all our FNZI member clubs for a most enjoyable and successful year.
Elected at the AGM and photographed at the first Committee Meeting were from left to right (front): Donna Peters – Newsletter Editor, Pam Bridge, Val Long – Secretary, Bruce Heather – President, (back) Diana Bradshaw – Almoner, Fleur Perry, Bob Slade – Treasurer. (Absent: Ian Futter). Peter Standen is continuing to arrange guest speakers - ex-officio. (Thanks for taking the photo, Peter!)
| Wellington Ladies
This club held their AGM as part of their March meeting after which a lawyer spoke about the necessity of having an Enduring Power of Attorney - a very interesting and pertinent talk.
At their April meeting on April 23 they decided to celebrate Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth's 92nd birthday. While they had a birthday cake it did not have 92 individual candles on it but made do with the figures 9 and 2. This celebration was followed by a wonderful talk by Mr Bill Day about the new Wellington Children's Hospital being built and about the Wellington Hospital Foundation contribution to this. Mr Day is the chair of this foundation.
On 25 Oct 2017, the Amberley Friendship Club had a most enjoyable outing to Rolleston to visit the Cedar Park Gardens. Leaving at 9am, the bus trip took them to Oxford where arrangements had been made for a delicious morning tea. From there they travelled the greening countryside past several notable features, namely Waimakariri Gorge, the new Fonterra Milk treatment station near Darfield and large pipes and earthworks for the new Stage 2 Central Plains Water Scheme sited across SH 73.
Arriving at the gardens, they spent a pleasant hour or so wandering the numerous paths and glades. Members were also able to purchase plants before being given an ample lunch under shelter, with more wandering around the beautifully laid out gardens if desired.
With the weather looking a little doubtful, they re-boarded the bus for a slightly faster trip home via an alternative route through Kirwee, again with a quick ice cream stop in Oxford.
The scenic ride through Ashley Gorge and Loburn to Amberley completed the day.
Forty members of this club recently went on a bus trip around the lovely Clevedon Valley, through the lovely village of Clevedon with its great open farmland then down to Kaiuai on the Thames Coast for a fish and chip lunch.
The fish was fresh as it was caught that morning. This shop was voted the best In New Zealand a few years ago, and it has only improved since then.
They then travelled across the Hauraki Plains to Paeroa and are shown here beside the giant bottle.
The weather was great, the lunch was excellent and they’re looking forward to the next outing.
| Browns Bay Ladies
On 10 April 2018, 18 members braved atrocious weather to travel to the Waitakere Alpaca Farm at Kumeu owned by Ross and Ralph.
Fortunately, it stopped raining as they arrived and they were able to see a small group of the Alpacas in their paddock. Ross, one of the owners, explained what they were fed and a bit of the history of the Alpaca which is native to the areas around Peru.
They then went into the barn for tea, coffee and muffins (baked by Ross). During the very interesting address they learnt a great deal about Alpacas, however the skies opened outside which made it somewhat difficult to hear the commentary, but they were warm and dry inside!
Along one wall of the barn were dozens of ribbons won in shows by the Waitakere Alpaca Farm. Lunch was enjoyed at Carriages and luckily the rain had stopped!
The photo shows some of the members making friends with a young Alpaca who was around 18 months old.
The Friendship Club of Johnsonville recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. The occasion was marked by a special morning tea after the club’s annual meeting on 15 March, a concert by Tawa College music students and a display of photos and memorabilia from the club’s archives.
The Friendship Club of Johnsonville was established in 1993 with support from the Rotary Club of Johnsonville to provide social, cultural and intellectual activity for those who have retired or are semi-retired. Five of the original members are still involved in the club.
Here District Councillor Chris Winstanley (on right) presents the certificate to Club President Kath Henderson and Life Member Arthur Avis.
On 10 April 2018 16 members of Combined Club of Beavertown had an outing to Brayshaw Park, Blenheim. They started off with a morning tea put on by the Marlborough Vintage Farm Machinery Club.
Tea and coffee served to the tables in bone china cups and saucers with the tables laden with lovely food.
Some members ventured out in the cool conditions taking a ride around the Museum Grounds then they all met up at the Vintage Car Club to view their display.
On 8 May 2018 38 members got together for lunch at Clubs of Marlborough and are seen here enjoying the companionship of the other members.
During 2017 26 new members joined the club bringing the total to almost 170. The photo shows the 80 members present at the AGM. Arrangements are under way to celebrate their 30th birthday in June this year.
Queen Charlotte Picton
Following the first meeting of the year members gathered at a local café.
Jean Henstock is the new president for this year.
| Hamilton Ladies
This club was saddened by the passing of our Founder Member Joan Furborough in January this year. Joan belonged to a mixed Probus club and in 1998 Joan suggested they start a ladies Probus club however this was not well received.
In 1999, with the support of Roger FitzGerald who was a Rotary club member, this club started and grew to 100 members. Roger has attended 18 of the 19 AGM’s and once again attended their AGM this year. Joan would have turned 90 in February. Roger is seen here with Diane McNally cutting the birthday cake.
The Paremata Socius group held their annual BBQ outing in March of this year. A very pleasant afternoon was had at Staglands in Akatarawa, Upper Hutt and enjoyed by all.
Last month the ladies from the Devon Ladies Friendship Club, New Plymouth went on a Mystery Bus Trip organised by their President, Dene Lines. Unfortunately, even though they have had a wonderful summer this year, this particular day it rained!
The first stop was a new venue in Taranaki called The Rocks. It is hoped to hold weddings there and is set among a beautiful landscaped garden made from huge rocks with waterfalls and amazing views. The lovely couple there had organised cheese scones and old-fashioned rock cakes together with tea and coffee which was enjoyed under a covered pergola.
Back on the bus they went on to a place called “the castle”. The castle is a very old house which is owned by a couple who give all profits back to the Lions Club for maintenance. It can be let out to groups of people and can accommodate 17 people and they are able to use all facilities. The group were ferried up by cars driven by Lions Club members, as the bus was unable to travel up the narrow track to the castle. This is where members enjoyed a beautiful lunch and the owner talked about the history of the place.
The Takapuna garden group are seen here having a great time on their latest visit to their Secretary’s garden. These outings are monthly over the summer months followed by lunch at a café nearby. The gardens visited are thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Members at right are Julie Burr – Treasurer, Jesskya Stuart – Theatre Group, Sandra Thompson – Vice President and Marie Green – Secretary.
The Cheviot Club recently had a day out to Orana Park Wildlife Park just outside Christchurch where they all thoroughly enjoyed ‘meeting’ the animals. Their favourites were the gorillas, especially the very large young male, which came and sat near them (on the other side of the glass!!!) and showed us his beautiful silver back, and the lions, which were in magnificent shape.
They held out sprigs of wattle to feed the giraffes who took one look at what was on offer, turned their backs and walked to the opposite side of their enclosure. Obviously not what they wanted for lunch, but members certainly enjoyed theirs.
On Wednesday 21 March 2018 members had a bus outing to a beautiful garden in the Wairarapa called Dursley Gardens. It was about a 20-minute drive north east of Masterton in lovely rolling farmland country.
Dursley is a large country garden surrounding a family home and is open to the public. The owner is Judith Callaghan and she was most generous in sharing her time and provided a wonderful country lunch for the group.
The large garden has expansive plantings featuring roses, dahlias, hellebores and a large vegetable garden all surrounded by very large old and historic trees to give protection from the winds.
From there they drove across to Eketahuna and stopped just south at Cwmglyn Farmhouse Cheese and Middleton Miniature Railway. Each cheese from Cwmglyn is individually handmade from the milk of one or more named cows. The cheesemaker, Biddy Fraser-Davies, milks the cows and then makes the cheese in her licensed and purpose-built cheese room. Members were able to sample various cheeses and buy some too. Biddy’s husband is a train buff and so they also got to see his very large and interactive train village and system.
The last Club meeting on 27 March was their Annual General Meeting also the 25th Anniversary of the commencement of the Club, even though it has gone through several name changes over the years.
To mark the occasion members celebrated with a cake which was cut by two founding members, Noeline and Mick Rayner (at right).
Flyers and Posters
In February a busload from the Maori Hill Friendship Club travelled by bus up to Patearoa in the Maniototo area. First stop was for coffee at The Kissing Gate in Middlemarch and then, to lessen the travel on the long dusty shingle roads they travelled via Ranfurly. The garden at Clachanburn Station is a Heritage Garden.
Their hostess had set out tables and chairs in the shade and after eating their packed lunches they had a leisurely stroll round the large garden.
It has its own lake and lake house as featured on a cover of Life and Leisure last year. There were many special areas to see and much use had been made of stones from the area. They met the two resident donkeys and saw inside an old cottage used for guests, enjoying seeing the washtubs and ringer and a display of old garden tools. There were items to tempt them in the little shop then they left our gracious hostess to continue her battle with the droughts, the winds and the winter snows.
The trip home went via The Pig Route to Palmerston and down the motorway home.
In September 2003 John (Jack) Calder attended the inaugural meeting of the Taieri Club and became the first President of the Club, remaining a good and faithful member until December 2017, when, due to failing health, he resigned. Early in 2018 the Committee decided to give him a Life Membership of the Club.
Sadly, Jack passed away just before he was to be presented with his Life Membership. A few weeks after his funeral, President Stan Rae and Secretary Thelma Turnbull visited Jack’s widow Sylvia and presented her with Jack’s Life Membership Badge, citation and flowers.
Stan Rae is pictured at left presenting the citation and badge to Sylvia Calder.
At right, Thelma Turnbull presents Sylvia with flowers
This club has enjoyed some very interesting speakers. Craig Bishop from Aviation Security recently gave members a run down on the ways that their team search for explosives at airports. There are more than 30 teams of handlers with dogs based in Christchurch, Auckland, Wellington and Queenstown. Seven of these teams are employed at Christchurch Airport where checks are done on domestic and international flights.
The dog handlers work between 2am in the morning and up to 10.30pm at night. These dogs have an amazing sense of smell which is 50 times more sensitive than humans! Their incredible sense of smell can detect explosive materials and the like so much better than other methods.
Some dogs are also trained to detect money over $10,000, but it is not the quantity of notes that they are trained to detect, but it is the amount of ink on the notes.
Electrical safety in the home was another informative talk. Mike Macklin is an inspector of electrical work and also investigates fires with electricity involved.
Mike made us aware of the importance of doing visual checks on cords, plugs, switches and general appliances in our homes. Loose cords, cracked or wobbly switches and loose-fitting plug sockets can be a potential fire hazard. Winding electrical cords around objects such as extension cords, hairdryers or straighteners are another fire hazard and can cause internal damage to wires. If necessary try and make a lasso shape. Other tips were: Always pull the full cord out from a vacuum cleaner as the electrical cord could overheat inside the cavity of the machine. Mattresses should not be pressed hard up against power plugs near beds. Don’t push your fridge hard up against the plug on the wall at the back of the fridge. Electrical extension cords should not be hidden behind curtains or couches as these objects could be a good accelerant to start fires.
With multiplug boards it is very important to read what the maximum load is on the back of the multiplug in boards and ensure it is not overloaded.
Electric blankets should be left on the bed all year around. If they need to be stored it is important to roll them rather than fold them. They also should be checked regularly for any signs of hotspots, discolouration, or wire damage and check that the control is in good order.
Finally it is very important after having any electrical work done to obtain a Certificate of Compliance by the registered Electrician. The Insurance Company will always want to see this in an event of an electrical fire.
Down in the South locals have experienced some beautiful days with temperatures hovering in the mid to high 20’s however when it came to their mystery trip on 21 March, the temperature dropped to about 13deg and it absolutely threw down the rain, but nevertheless 42 members braved the weather, raided the winter wardrobe for suitable clothes and boarded the coach in Gore at 8.45 am.
Their host Dennis, from Blue Mountain Nursery, explained that in 1931 his father came out from England during the Depression and found work with the forestry. Living under canvas during the winter was not for him, so he bought a small section and started a market garden. While his heart lay with flowers, shrubs, and trees, the market garden paid the bills!
As the flower business grew, the veggie patch reduced, and flowers and bulbs took over in the 50’s. One member recalled that time well – the flowers for her wedding, came from there.
There were a huge variety of plants and bulbs some for the domestic market, others for export. Dennis told us that about 500 tonnes of tulip bulbs are delivered to Edendale Nursery who grow tulips for the Dutch market in their winter months. After morning tea, they toured parts of the nursery and learned about Blue Mountain Nurseries’ involvement in this rural community and taking a collaborative approach towards environmental restoration of local waterways.
The next stop was Roxburgh Dam. Rather than walk on the dam, they moved onto Shakey Bridge which is a suspension bridge at Alexandra, with solid stays bolted to the hawsers.
Alexandra is famous for many things and one is the clock and cross on the hillside that can be seen from most of the town. Lunch was enjoyed at the RSA before seeing the Clyde Dam and a visit to the pumpkin stall.
Members voted a special thanks to not only to the driver and organisers who did a great job, but to the Mataura Licensing Trust who most generously paid for the coach and driver.
Members of the Friendship Club Kaitaia set off one Wednesday in April to head for Kawakawa, home of the famous Hundertwasser Toilets. But as well those famous public toilets, Kawakawa is also home to the Bay of Islands Vintage Steam railway. Duly fortified with doses of caffeine and tannin from the railway café, they boarded the waiting train. On this particular day there was one flat bed open car, equipped for taking cyclists bikes. This was an ideal place to stand and watch the scenery roll by and use it as a vantage point to take memorable photos. There was also a more traditional passenger car with reversible seats for those who wanted to relax and enjoy the ride.
First the train went right along the centre of the main street. This meant that the group were the centre of attraction – after all how many towns in NZ have a passenger train going along the High Street! On board with club members was Denis from the Vintage Railway giving a running commentary of the things along the way. In the High Street there was a ‘Waterloo’ sign remarkably like the London Underground, and a shop called “London Food Market”. Denis’s commentary was fascinating as he described towns long since gone, pointed out a church that had been moved, told us of the importance of the railway in the heyday of the Opua port, and much more, all accompanied at the appropriate point with displays of photographs of a bygone era. At the end of the track they dismounted and Denis told them about the chequered history of the bridge, the adjoining cycleway and plans for the future. Then it was back on the train for the return journey to Kawakawa. It was a memorable trip with its history being recounted, travelling along an historical railway, and a touch of nostalgia of a bygone time.
Next was lunch before climbing aboard the minibus which took them to the Kawiti caves about a 10-minute drive away. They were met by their tour guide, a direct descendant of those who discovered the caves in the early 17th century. He explained that Hineamaru, famous chieftainess of the Ngati Hine Tribe arrived at Waiomio with her aged father Torongare, and her brothers. Exploring the valley, she discovered trodden Tawa berries which made her curious. No member of her party had come this way. Later she smelt smoke which seemed to come from a nearby hill. She went forward and found that the smoke was coming from a cave. Twenty metres in from the entrance she came upon a woman sitting by a fire who was Roku, runaway wife of Haumoewarangi of the Tribe Ngatitu. The caves have remained in the family ever since.
The guide issued them with lanterns and took them inside the caves. There was an excellent board walk right into the caves, with sturdy handrails to grip – definitely appreciated when all the lights were turned off. Once their eyes became adjusted to the inky blackness they began to see the glow worms looking like the milky way on a cloudless night and learnt about the life cycle and the lifestyle of these unusual creatures. Not only did our guide explain about the glow worms themselves but he also told us about the geological history and construction of the caves, with their mixture of limestone and sandstone. This part of our trip treated us to biology of the glow worms and the geology of the glower’s homes. A fascinating visit.
On Monday 30 April this club celebrated their 21st birthday with a luncheon at the Omanu golf club in Mount Maunganui with a total of 82 members attending. Both Nessie Wenman & Dorothy Hand, their two oldest members, doing the honours of cutting the multiple cakes. This club was also presented with a Birthday Certificate from FNZI by Bryan McKenzie District Councillor 9930.
At right are Nessie and Dorothy cutting the cakes supervised by President Helen Jones.
It was at this meeting after establishing that there was a requirement for a club that those attending settled on the name of “Marlin Probus Club of Mount Maunganui” and would conduct their meetings at the then Cosmopolitan Club of Mount Maunganui. Unexpectedly when they went to the club there was a big Marlin mounted in the club rooms and the room that they were allocated for their meetings was called “The Marlin Room”. On the club’s 10th birthday they had 100 members attend.
This year the New Plymouth Ladies Friendship Club’s annual outing was a bus trip anticlockwise around Mt Taranaki. The highlight of the tour was a visit to the historic Cape Light and Museum including a very large rescue boat.
Because the lighthouse is a replica they were able to climb to the top and view the genuine lighthouse down the coast at Pungarehu. They saw displays of Ernest Rutherford’s childhood when his father owned the local flax mill.
Soul Kitchen catered their lunch in Opunaki the group then went on to Pihama Lavender for a tour of their gardens and an introduction to Neil the Eel who lives in the Punehu Stream.
They ended the day with a visit to the Percy Thomson Gallery shop. Beautiful weather, scrumptious food and congenial company made for a great day out.
Pembroke of Wanaka
Marty Toomey, recently appointed as CEO Winter Games NZ was the speaker following this club’s AGM.
This appointment was a further step in Marty’s illustrious career in high performance sport. From a childhood where he developed a real passion for multiple sports, and family holidays and sporting activities in Central Otago, Marty completed a PhysEd degree at the University of Otago, and then a Masters in PhysEd. This led to a number of senior roles in high performance sport.
Marty referred to several inspirational New Zealanders he has worked with in his different roles, including Laurie Mains, Sir Peter Blake, Sir Russell Coutts, Sir Murray Halberg, Sarah Ulmer, Barry Maister, and Dave Currie. Also, the excitement of the 1995 Rugby World Cup with the All Blacks creating the brand of rugby based on superior fitness and speed, which has been carried on to today - the disappointment of losing the final with the illness striking the team, the aura created by Nelson Mandela and the significance of the victory for South Africa.
Marty and his family moved to Wanaka with his appointment as CEO for Snow Sports NZ and he has achieved major breakthroughs in building a cohesive group of developing and established elite athletes, while cementing strong strategic partnerships with the commercial operators in the snow sports field. The recent success with two young local athletes winning medals at the Winter Olympics reflects his major contribution in creating an environment for all involved to flourish.
The Winter Games NZ is a world class event held in Wanaka (cross country skiing, Para alpine, park and pipe, SBX/SX), Queenstown (alpine skiing, freeride, ice hockey) and Naseby (curling) and has been running biennially since 2009. The Games are internationally recognised as the biggest winter sports event in the southern hemisphere and attract between 750 and 950 competitors each year, generating millions of dollars each year for the local economy.
The Winton Men’s Club were honoured to have NZ President Graeme Pierson and 80 area representative Tony Newton to address the inaugural meeting of joining with FNZI and to present the incoming president Mike Webb with a new medallion. Around seventy members were present at the meeting. The Club is the process of putting an FNZI monogram on the local notice board.
From L-R – Alistair Jukes (past president), Tony Newton Councillor 9980, Mike Webb, President and Graeme Pierson Chairman FNZI
Photo courtesy of Southland Express
On arrival at The Warehouse, which is the distribution centre for all the South Island, the first impression is the sheer size of the place. One comment heard was that “Christchurch did not need a new covered stadium, it already has one – 42,000sqm of it!”
Members first assembled in the main cafeteria where they were introduced to their hosts, given a talk about how the place works, then broken into three groups, each with a leader and a tail end charlie (just to make sure nobody gets lost or wanders off into the working areas). It was quite mind boggling to see all the activity of people and fork lifts moving between the lines of shelves up to six pallets in height inside the building.
Outside is the unloading yard where a couple of Valmet straddle carriers move the containers into position to be manually unloaded, some onto pallets, some onto the conveyor system, into the storage or distribution areas inside. Brief stats: current staff of 100 permanents and 50 temps are handling about 90 (20ft equivalent) containers each week. At the peak Christmas period 100 permanents plus 200+ temps are dealing with 200+ containers each week. After our walk-about there was a welcome cuppa in the cafeteria.
Having thanked their hosts, it was then off to Kaiapoi for lunch at the Golf Club. While driving through Templeton the driver suddenly found he was stuck in one gear and with a number of light-controlled intersections to pass through this could be a problem. Some of the lights played ball and at those that didn't, there was much burning of the clutch!! However, they made it to lunch, and the driver arranged a replacement bus for the afternoon.
Following a very nice lunch members travelled back into Kaiapoi to visit Misco Joinery. This originally began as a back-yard business in Christchurch some thirty years back and located to its current site, in a brand-new building, less than four years ago. Misco builds kitchen units for installation in new houses, most of its products being for the Auckland market though some of it also is for local distribution. Much of the process is done by 'robot' machines, from lifting the panel sheets from a pallet, firstly to stack in a storage area, then as required, on to a machine that cuts and drills the panel, thence to another that applies the edging tape and finally on to where it is all manually assembled and packed for distribution. A very interesting visit, though it was a pity that the noise in the factory at times made it quite difficult to hear what our hosts were trying to explain. That said, both these venues were extremely well presented and informative and all in all a most interesting day out.
The Tauranga Club recently had a most interesting bus trip to the Waikato. Forty-two members enjoyed morning tea at Karapiro, where the early morning mist was just lifting, followed by a visit to the Tree Church and gardens at Ohaupo.
They had lunch at Woodlands and afterwards explored the gardens and historic buildings there. During the 1870’s three acres of gardens were established and over the years this has been built up to eight acres of gardens.
Many of the original plants have survived from the early Victorian shipments including the first camellias to be imported into New Zealand. Coming home via Morrinsville they explored the art gallery and saw a few of the 42 colourful cows on display in the town.
Twenty-three members of the Whangaparaoa club recently toured the Tip Top Ice Cream factory in Mt Wellington. They made it up the 68 steps to the hosting room and were fascinated with the information provided by their tour host. The highlight had to be the huge variety of ice-cream/ice blocks whilst watching a film about how much the factory had changed over the years.
Lunch was enjoyed at the Landmark Restaurant, RSA in Mt. Wellington. They then travelled on to the Winter Gardens at the Domain in the city where it was showing signs of the storm the night before.
In Autumn 2017 club members were all set for the ferry trip to Tiritiri Matangi Island when stormy weather intervened. There was no problem this year on a beautiful, calm day on 19 April for visiting the wildlife sanctuary noted for its bird life. Twenty-two members spent a long day out on the open nature reserve, learning so much from a great DOC guide.
A successful grant application was made by Treasurer Don Ferrari to the Lottery Grants Board - Lottery Auckland Community for assistance with the cost of excursions. The Club is most appreciative for the grant monies of $9,000 to be used as $3,000 over each of the next three years.
The May outing by bus is to the Sculptureum at Matakana (art, craft, sculptures) and on to Warkworth RSA for lunch. A subsidy, as a result of the grant, will make that outing and all future 'once per month' outings, more affordable to members.
The speaker at the General Meeting in June will be Jennie Michel, subject St Bartholomews Hospital (St Barts) in London. Members look forward to General Meetings with interesting speakers and to the many activities on offer during each month.
The Walking Group went through the Spooners Tunnel for their March walk. The tunnel is 1.345 km long and has been paved for easy walking and biking. There were 17 in the group and armed with stout shoes, headlamps, torches, woolly hats and raincoats they set off on a lovely fine day into the darkness.
After we reached almost halfway, the torches were switched off and our leader Margaret Dawson played a recording of a train in a tunnel. The sound was absorbed somewhat by the thick walls and Graham Sands told the group a scary tale about two orphans being caught in the tunnel while a train was going through.
Information boards at the northern end of the tunnel gave them an insight into the hard and frustrating work making the tunnel. They retraced their steps slightly uphill this time and reached the southern end where they had begun. Coffee and cake followed at nearby Kohatu Café.
L-R Graham Clewer, Reg Upton, Claude Sargent, Judy Hahn, Graham Sands, Sue Reilly, Bev Morton-Jones, Chris Mouter, Yvonne Schelling, Margaret Dawson, Steve Dawson, Hilary Upton, Judith Clewer, Judy Sargent, Margaret Stevens, Peter Schelling. The photographer was Tim Pitman.
This club is now 31 years old and continues to flourish, offering friendship and fun to over 110 members. They are always keen to welcome new members, and during the past year have been joined by about a dozen new recruits. Their monthly visiting speakers have spoken on topics as varied as "Alternative styles of Education", to "Making Guitars from Cigar Boxes", so they have been both enlightened and entertained!
Outside of the monthly meetings around 12 members enjoy weekly walks, often walking from the church hall where their meetings are held, down to the formed paths beside the Waikato River. Other times they go through some of the many gullies with boardwalks which are to be found around the city. Hamilton Gardens are high on the list of enjoyable places to walk to also but occasionally they also venture out of Hamilton to attractive spots such as Lake Kainui which is not very well known despite being only a few kilometres north of the city. Another destination is Taitua Arboretum which they have visited twice in the last few years and is just outside the city on the way to Raglan.
The club also has a very successful program of trips once a month which are enjoyed by many of their members. These are visits to attractive places such as Tirau where they enjoyed the Corrugated Creations factory and learned about the amazing work done there. A delicious lunch is also included at each destination.
Here some of the group are enjoying their lunch at The Lilypad, halfway between Hamilton and Cambridge.
On Sunday, 6 May the Jim McGlone Bowling Trophy tournament was held at Bowls Orewa. The tournament has been competed for over the past 30 years, under the auspices of the North Shore and Northern Probus Association. All Friendship New Zealand Incorporated (FNZI), Rebus New Zealand Incorporated and Probus clubs north of Auckland City are eligible to enter. This year the contest was hosted by the Red Beach Combined Club which is an affiliated FNZI club with about 180 members.
With six clubs entered, fielding a total of ten teams, perfect weather conditions and a sumptuous morning and afternoon tea all made for a very enjoyable tournament. All teams played well.
The eventual winners were the hosts, Red Beach Combined Club, consisting of Gilbert Taylor, Peter Thompson and Toni Tanner. They were presented with the Jim McGlone Memorial Trophy by Nancy Pettit, Sales Consultant for Arena Living who sponsored the event.
This club is very active and the week after the bowling tournament members took a trip to the Ardmore Warbirds Museum followed by lunch at Pine Harbour. They took the ferry to Downtown Auckland where they boarded a coach to take them back to the North Shore. About 40 members participated in this very enjoyable outing.