Issue 22 - February 2018
Update from Chairman, Graeme Pierson
I trust that all our members have had a nice time with their families over the festive season. It has been a rather mixed time as far as the weather was concerned, with rain in many areas and very dry in others. Our sympathy goes to those members who have suffered because of the floods also to members residing in the drought areas. As I write this message, the temperature outside is around 30 degrees Centigrade and I have given working in the garden a miss today.
Over the holiday period I received with regret a resignation from Secretary Jim Taylor, to take effect on 31 March. Jim has been Secretary since the formation of this organization in March 2015. I met Jim at the first Annual General Meeting held in Auckland in August 2015 when I was a new member of Council. He also doubled as Treasurer of the Council for a period during 2015-16. Jim unfortunately has suffered from ill health over long periods throughout the past nine months but has battled on. I would like to thank Jim very sincerely for his input in to the running of our Council over the past four years. He has been of great assistance to me personally and has helped us all through some tough times - so thanks very much Jim.
The past six months have been very pleasant in that the troubles of the earlier days are now behind us, and hopefully the good times will continue in our quest for Fun, Friendship and Fellowship. We are registered as an Incorporated Society and our name and logo trade mark have been registered with the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand. Over the past twelve months Council has had a full complement of six Councillors who have been working hard for their respective Districts. I thank all Councillors for their assistance and support.
Our membership has been static in recent months however, we are aware that we may soon lose some clubs as they feel it necessary to wind down. These clubs were established some years ago and, as their members are now elderly and unwilling to be on a committee to manage their club, the decision to close has been made. On the plus side, I am happy to report that the Winton Men’s Club has now resumed its affiliation with Friendship New Zealand Inc. This club is holding a special meeting in March to which their Councillor Tony Newton and myself have been invited to attend.
I would like to acknowledge the support I have received from my fellow Councillors over the past period, especially Chris Winstanley, Councillor for the Lower North Island, who is doing an outstanding job as our Treasurer. I would also like to thank our Centre Administrator, Rosemarie Shaw for her assistance and Website Administrator, Margaret Finnie for her work as Editor of Highlights and for attending to the distribution of electronic communications to our member clubs.
An election to replace Jim as Councillor for District 9910 is underway and the Returning Officer has sent out the necessary forms for clubs in that district to nominate a replacement. The closing date is Wednesday, 18 April.
|From the Administrator’s Desk
Happy New Year to all readers of Highlights. It is likely that by the time this first issue for 2018 is received most clubs will have held their first meeting of the year, and club committees are now busy preparing for the Annual General Meeting and planning the year’s activities. It is a time when officers may change and new members elected to their club’s committee. Please remember that I am available to assist new officers should they have any queries on how to navigate the FNZI website.
Email acknowledgement of affiliation fee payments will be made, and an official receipt number advised for payments made by cheque, internet banking or over the counter deposit. Written receipts are provided for cash payments only.
I was saddened to learn of Jim Taylor’s resignation due to ongoing health issues as Secretary to the FNZI Council and as Councillor for District 9910, and take this opportunity to wish him a more relaxed and less challenging future. Jim’s contribution to help establish and implement an independent service centre for the benefit of Friendship clubs in New Zealand has been invaluable and widely recognised. I shall miss my regular contact with Jim and hope that he and Maureen can now take time to pursue and enjoy other interests.
My very best wishes to all member clubs for a successful, stimulating and enjoyable year in club activities.
Red Beach Combined
This luncheon group has over 40 members who meet 3-4 times per year. Here they are enjoying their end of year lunch at the Snow Planet in Silverdale.
The Club Christmas lunch held at the North Shore Golf Club, coincided with member David Webb 90th birthday and he responded to the club’s happy birthday wishes with a song in Welsh, his native tongue.
The Woolston club's final meeting for the year included a special morning tea, a visit by the man in red, entertainment by Des Newton, a well-known Christchurch musician and a Christmas raffle with four hampers as prizes. Here Vice President Judith Adams looks on with envy at the hamper won by Carol.
Their final trip for the year was to Willowbank Wildlife Reserve for a lunch and afterwards a chance to walk around the reserve. A departure from their normal Christmas lunch, the trip was well supported by members. A grant was obtained for the transport to the reserve - that might explain all the happy faces on board.
The year was kicked off with a very casual meeting in January. Some games of Irish bingo and a quiz brought out the competitive spirit in members and plenty of discussion.
For more information about the Woolston Club's activities, see their website - https://sites.google.com/site/woolstonfriendshipclubnz/home
Torbay Friendship Club looks forward to more Fun, Friendship and Fellowship in 2018 and has a target to attract 100+ full members. Currently the Club comprises 92 Full members and 8 non-active.
To wind up a successful 2017, members enjoyed a special morning tea on 14 December when the table buckled under the weight of food.
To please Grandma we listened to a few of Neil Diamond's hits! Carried away with enthusiasm grandfather and grandson sang "I saw Esau sitting on a seesaw" complete with actions joined by other club members.
| Kawaroa Combined
Kawaroa Club recently arranged an outing for members in which they travelled to the newly opened Holden Museum and Fun Park just outside of New Plymouth. On arrival they were met by the owner who had arranged a special morning tea.
After morning tea, they enjoyed a guided tour of the museum which is totally dedicated to old and new Holden Cars and Utes. The cars on display and the Holden memorabilia were very interesting and thought to be one of the best attractions of its kind in New Zealand.
After spending nearly two hours at the museum, the bus travelled to Pukeiti high up in the Mt Taranaki Reserve where they enjoyed a light lunch and spent some time viewing the beautiful rhododendrons. These spectacular gardens have a world-wide reputation and attract thousands of visitors during Labour weekend and the Rhododendron Festival.
Another guided tour followed, this time seated in an electric mini observation buggy, and driven by the head Gardner. In all a most interesting and enjoyable day.
| St Johns Remuera
For their November trip, members of St. Johns Remuera Club visited the Lighthouse on Auckland’s Queens Wharf.
The Lighthouse is an artwork by Michael Pārekowhai. It is in the form of a full size 1950’s family home and its interior features an installation of light as well as a sculpture of Captain Cook, titled ‘The English Channel’. It is surrounded by a wooden jetty that 'floats' on Queens Wharf. The public can explore the work by looking in its windows, through its door and by climbing the staircase.
It was a beautiful spring morning and members were absolutely fascinated by the replica State house which brought back a few memories. The wonderful sculpture of Captain James Cook was impressive with as were the amazing lighting effects.
Afterwards the group took the ferry to Devonport for a lunch al fresco at Dixie Browns before returning home mid-afternoon.
Recently members visited the " First Scene" in Rosebank Road, Avondale which is Aotearoa's largest costume and party hire company. The company has over 400,000 items in stock from costumes to party props.
Many of the items feature in local and international films, theatre, television commercial and of course thousands of parties and celebrations around the country. This free visit was an hour long and included morning tea, an introduction to the history of First Scene and a tour of the three departments.
| Highland Ladies
At the end of November to avoid the “Christmas Bustle,“ this club’s coffee group outing was in the form of a garden party at a member’s home.
The ladies all dressed up for the occasion, complete with hats, fascinators and other accessories, and enjoyed the white table cloths, fine china and silver tea service. Being waited on by a waiter and waitress in a small marquee added to the fun atmosphere.
| Henderson Falls Combined
A common theme to all clubs is enjoying a meal together and Henderson Falls Combined is no exception. Here they are celebrating Christmas.
| Glenview Hamilton
On a recent mystery trip the first stop was to the Tauranga Airport vicinity to see Classic Flyers NZ showcasing Classic and vintage aircraft as well as operational machines, along with static displays and memorabilia of the WW2 era. There was a choice of a guided tour or “find your own way around.” It was very interesting to watch the restoration team working on the rebuilding of a P4 Kittyhawk.
After morning tea members moved on to the McLaren Falls Park, a ten-minute drive out of Tauranga and off State Highway 29 in the Kaimai Ranges. The park of 190 hectares is popular for camping, fishing, kayaking, picnics, disc golf and has numerous bush walks and there are glow-worms on the waterfall track.
The full time Park Ranger led the group through the park pointing out significant features on the way. To some, the extent of the park and its facilities was an eye-opener.
Brochures for both these trips are available from the Tauranga Information Centre, Ph 07 577 7000.
| Friendship Club of Te Puke
Te Puke kicked off the year in February with a barbecue lunch at the historic refurbished No 2 Road hall in Te Puke.
The weather was kind and the social committee had organised some games after lunch to get people involved. They competed in gumboot throwing, quoit tossing and throwing balls into a bucket.
All ages and both women and men got into the act and prizes were awarded for the best efforts. A great fun day out to start the year.
| VSA speakers during 2018
Secretary Jim Taylor has passed on contact details if you would like a speaker from VSA (Volunteer Service Abroad) in the coming year. The organisation was founded by Sir Edmund Hillary inn 1962 and is one of NZ’s most highly respected international development agencies.
They have a group of returned volunteers who are happy to speak to any FNZI group around NZ about their experience living and working in developing nations across the Pacific.
No fees are required and the talk is not a fund-raising venture.
| Waimakariri Combined
On a superb spring morning in November, a group of more than 40 members of the Waimakariri Combined Friendship Club boarded a bus in Rangiora for a trip to the historic Foxdown Farm in the Scargill Valley of North Canterbury.
The first stop was for morning tea at the Greta Valley “Fossil Point Café & Gallery”, a delightful and quirky place to visit. A warm welcome was given by owners Kim and Kerry Henderson and front of house manager Leonie. While waiting for their orders, they had time to wander around the gallery and admire an eclectic variety of art objects. Kim, as well as being a recognised Canterbury contemporary ceramicist, is also a painter and was only too happy to chat with members about her work. This café, a few kilometres south of Cheviot, has had a very difficult time following the traumatic and devastating Kaikoura earthquakes in November 2016. Because of the extensive damage to State Highway 1, which affected much of North Canterbury, northbound traffic was diverted to an inland route to Kaikoura, thereby completely bypassing Greta Valley and Cheviot. Fortunately, to the relief of many small businesses, the road has now reopened, albeit with time restrictions.
Refreshment break over all were back on the bus and heading to a farm in the Scargill valley, approximately 15 kilometres inland from SH1. The rolling countryside looked fresh and green - a fantastic advertisement to promote New Zealand!
Arriving at “Foxdown Farm” they were greeted by Andrew (Andy) Fox whose family have owned “Foxdown” for 135 years. Andy is the fourth generation of his family to farm the more than 1400 hectares, running around 6,000 sheep and 150 head of cattle. Andy gave a brief history of the property and had tales to tell about his family - he spoke proudly of the work of his forebears. On the day of the visit Andy and his helpers were loading bulls onto trucks which would take them to the “girls” on another part of the farm – they were very large bulls, and rather frisky!!
Andy continues to expand on the extensive collection, begun by his late father, of historical and farming artefacts. He has also accumulated an enviable collection of classic cars which are housed in a specially built 300 square metre building. Amongst them is a beautiful old Rolls Royce which is in demand for local weddings. The retired farmers and their wives in the group were not the only ones interested in the collection of farming and household memorabilia on display, as for many these items brought back childhood memories. Before departing “Foxdown” members made a gold coin donation towards the Waikari Volunteer Fire Brigade. The group boarded the bus for the short trip back to the Greta Valley café to enjoy a late lunch before returning to Rangiora. An interesting and enjoyable outing.
| Browns Bay Ladies
The Browns Bay Ladies Club took advantage of the wonderful January weather, hired a bus and took 32 club members and five friends to the Auckland Botanic Gardens to view the free sculpture exhibition.
As some members are no longer young, they used the small train to take a tiki tour of the exhibits. Some fitter members hiked around for a closer look.
A light luncheon was served afterwards in the cafeteria.
| St Kilda Men’s
Members of the St Kilda Men’s Club and their relatives enjoyed an end of year luncheon at the Balmacewan Golf Club in Dunedin.
Travel Insurance - profile
Many of our members will have spoken with Christine Braakhuis of Willis Towers Watson who handle travel insurance on behalf of FNZI. Christine has been in this role since July 2016.
Christine has three years’ experience in the insurance industry having worked in life and health, travel and domestic insurance. In addition to her client service role, Christine is the administration assistant for Willis Towers Watson’s Wellington office and recently organised a new travel insurance provider for Friendship club members, ensuring higher cover levels and a more efficient application process.
In her spare time Christine enjoys photography, traveling and walker her dogs - the family has three dogs, two Huskies and a Pomeranian. Christine also studies Interior Design in her spare time and often does DIY projects at home
After all the threats of litigation from our Australian counterparts, this club realised they had to remove anything with the word Probus on it. However, they wanted to promote themselves, and also Friendship in New Zealand in general, so it was decided to obtain a banner which could be displayed at any function. They also wanted to ensure that the banner reflected the tricultural heritage - NZ Maori, NZ European and Dalmatian so all three languages appear on the banner.
The newly-acquired banner arrived just in time for the December Christmas lunch which was held in the Kaitaia Dalmatian Hall and was prepared and served by the Dalmatian Club.
Meanwhile the new banner was proudly fluttering in the breeze outside. This was to good effect because a passer-by going past, saw the banner and came in to enquire about becoming a member of the club! Advertising certainly does pay!
Like many clubs there were no activities over the Christmas and New Year period but in January the year recommenced with a very successful club barbecue - this time using one of the local bowling club's grounds as a venue - and of course yet again our new banner was on display. The programme for the year was issued to all present outlining another great year to look forward to, with a full programme of visiting speakers and exciting trips and activities between meetings.
If other clubs are interested in obtaining a banner - which is two metres tall and 880mm wide - the company used was flagaholic. Their web address is www.flagaholic.co.nz
As they now have the Friendship logo it is relatively easy for them to make banners or other products that other clubs may wish to acquire.
The Invercargill club are looking forward to celebrating their 20th birthday later this year and although membership has dropped slightly, they are still very happy motivated group of people.
Members look forward to outings over the year and always celebrate mid-winter and Christmas with a wonderful meal and fellowship.
The committee also enjoy each other’s company and always end their meetings with a cuppa at the local café over the road turning business into a social occasion.
Snow White was performed by six talented and beautifully costumed committee members, supported by three others who did the lighting, scene introductions and audience prompts. Not a perfect performance but the mistakes and miscues added to the fun. A hilarious half hour was enjoyed by all followed by the Christmas raffle and Christmas fare for afternoon tea.
The wicked queen -Wendy Lawson Snow white - Pat Curd
Dwarfs - Hilary Griffiths and Pat Britain,
The cast were ably assisted by Bev Haggit, Rosemary Jones and Pauline Stanley.
Guest Speaker: Matt Emery from the NZ Police – who has been with the Armed Offenders Squad for 19 years. Matt arrived with a heavy load of equipment to enable us to understand how well equipped this division must be when they are called out to approximately 140 special operations per year involving dangerous criminals. The Armed Offenders Squad was formed in 1964 and has been around 52 years. There are four Police Dog handlers and the dogs are more aggressive than the average police dog. They are good trackers for the Armed Offenders unit. There are approximately 800 call outs nationally each year, apart from special operations. The Police Officers in this squad have additional duties within the NZ Police as well as responding to call outs for armed offenders.
Armed Offender squad members must be able to wear equipment for protection as well as offensive action. This can amount to 30 kg and includes body armour, helmet, firearms and gas mask. Sometimes lab suits are worn as when P laboratories are investigated. Police also carry extra magazines for fire arms, as well as stun grenades, goggles, overalls, balaclavas, and long gloves for protection. Stun grenades cause a loud explosion which distracts criminals and makes it easier for an arrest to made. The police also have shotguns, special lights, loud hailers, GPS gear, tools used for forced entry, shields, explosives, ladders, cameras, and microphones. They can also carry pepper spray and tasers. Tasers give a 50,000 volt shock which overrides the nervous system and renders offenders incapable. There is a camera and microphone attached to the taser which records the date, time and how the situation evolves. Armed Offender Squad members need to have a physical and mental fitness test each year.
There are 17 squads nationwide. In 2004 Matt, our speaker, was sent to the Solomon Islands for security at a football game. In 2006 he was posted back at Solomon Islands again because of riots in Honiara after the election there. In 2010 he was posted to Afghanistan for six months which was his career highlight. Between 2013-2017 Matt has visited Tonga for 1-3 weeks a year to train staff on armed response.
Sunny Hills Combined
Sunny Hills Combined club recently visited the 2018 New Zealand Geographical Photography Exhibition at the Auckland Museum where 65 photographs were each shown on an individual 40” TV screen. This was free of charge for Auckland residents.
The exhibition showcases the work of some of New Zealand’s top photographers across a range of categories including landscape, society and culture, aerial, photo story and wildlife. The backlit revealed every stunning detail - a first of this type for this homegrown exhibition.
This is a fresh look at New Zealand through the lens of award-winning photographers: from an aerial shot of a secluded swimming spot (above), to a kapa haka group on a bus trip, to an alien-like marine creature floating in inky black waters (right).
Thirty-four members recently got together for a scenic drive to the Ohope area where, after stopping for morning refreshment at Lake Rotoiti, they stopped at a magnificent viewpoint outside Ohope with breath-taking views over the township, Whakatane River, estuary and ocean.
Then it was on to the Ohope Golf Club for lunch, returning along the coast and with stops at the Scilla chocolate factory, Roadside Oyster Bar and lastly the Berry Farm for a homemade berry icecream.The January picnic, despite inclement weather, was held in the world-renown Government Gardens in Rotorua.
Recently the Mahurangi Combined Friendship Club took a bus trip to Gibbs Farm in West Auckland to view the wonderful open-air sculpture park.
This park contains the biggest collection of large-scale outdoor sculptures in New Zealand. The site-specific artworks have been commissioned from some of the world's most significant artists. giraffes, buffalo and emus (real!) share the rolling landscape with the sculptures.
There was some excitement as they arrived, with the 50-seater bus having problems negotiating the driveway entrance. Everyone bailed out and there were many suggestions given, but in the end most members walked into the park, and a large tractor arrived to help sort out the bus.
After lunch at a Helensville cafe, the group went on to Muriwai Beach, where they were lucky enough to be able to view the last of the gannets gathering. Altogether it was a most enjoyable day of fellowship in beautiful settings.
| Point Chevalier
Members from the Point Chevalier Friendship Club recently visited the Royal N.Z. Yacht Club at the Westhaven Marina in downtown Auckland, where they were given a hosted tour of the premises and the Trophy Room and viewed the Luis Vuitton Cup.
They then adjourned to the Quarterdeck Restaurant for an excellent lunch. Voted by all as a great day out.
This clubs first meeting of 2018 took the form of a tribute to Robert Burns the Scottish poet to celebrate his birthdays which was on 25 January and many attend “Burns Suppers” worldwide.
There was haggis, shortbread and oatcakes. One member "addressed" the haggis and it was given a good reception by members most who had never tasted it.
The Hokonui Focus Club of Gore, like most other clubs celebrated the December or Christmas meeting with food and drinks. We wanted to be different this year, most clubs and associations have traditional Christmas Dinners for its members, and as so many people in our club belong to so many other clubs, we decided to have a "High Tea" in the morning. The gathering was attended by about 100 members, the venue caterers put on a great spread, with more than enough to go around.
The Christmas cake was cut by Alice Wright the most senior member on the day at, shall we say, ‘over 4 score 10 and a half’ and then they were delightfully entertained by an upcoming young 14 year-old who is breaking into the Country and Western music scene and who has already won awards.
The club now look forward to 2018, where they hope to be able to visit other clubs and have already been invited down to Winton for their Incorporation into Friendship NZ.
The final club get-togther for 2017 was a Christmas dinner at the Plough in Rangiora where just on 100 members enjoyed a three-course meal. Members were welcomed by “Father Christmas” along with his two helpers and everyone given a small gift.
It was also the club’s 15th birthday and their first President, Don Fairbrother, and the present President, David Mills, cut a beautiful cake. The celebration was greatly enjoyed and everyone left looking forward to next year.
The first social outing in January 2018 was to the Soda Cafe in Rangiora where twenty-one members enjoyed coffee/tea and a scone.
The president usually holds an annual picnic where members contribute to a shared lunch. This year it was held at the Woodend Bowling Club rooms and 37 members attended.
Jim Taylor - Secretary and District 9910 Councillor
Jim has asked that his sincere thanks be conveyed to the Club officers