Friendship New Zealand Incorporated
is a social organisation where
Friendship, Fellowship & Fun
have real meaning

Rangiora Combined
Waimea Combined
New Brighton Ladies
Phoenix Combined
Torbay Combined
Kawaroa Combined
Club of Glenview
Waimea Ladies
St Johns Remuera
Club of Howick
Highland Park Ladies
Otatara Combined
Stokes Valley Combined
Gisborne Men
Richmond Ladies
Waiheke Island Combined
Tairua Combined
Golden Bay Combined
Christchurch-Fendalton
New Lynn Combined
Tauranga Diamond
Mt Hobson Ladies

Welcome

Friendship New Zealand Incorporated (FNZI) is a welcoming social organisation for people living in New Zealand who are retired, semi-retired or soon-to-retire. If you are in that "golden" stage of your life, woman or man, our Clubs could be a great option for you.

This website provides information about Friendship New Zealand Inc. and about the many Clubs that are registered with FNZI.

Clubs who are interested in affiliating to FNZI go here.

Club Officers login in the Club Area.

 

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Banner Master Highlights Final copy

Issue 27 - May 2019

Update from Chairman, Graeme Pierson

Graeme

Annual General Meeting

A formal notice has been sent to all clubs advising the AGM is to be held in Auckland on 21 August 2019. Please note, any Remit is required to be in the hands of the Centre Administrator by 11 June 2019.

Certificates for Club Anniversaries/Life Membership

Where a club requires such a certificate, the request should in the first instance be made to your local Councillor who will then liaise with the Centre Administrator for the production of such. If your club wishes, a request can be made to your local Councillor to attend and present the certificate on behalf of FNZI, provided the Councillor is available on that day.

Interclub meetings

In recent times there have been informal meetings involving area clusters of FNZI clubs. To date such meetings have taken place in Auckland (North Shore), Tauranga, Mid/South Canterbury and Southland. It has been reported that such meetings have proved beneficial in discussing matters such as club management, membership, travel, speakers etc and are great for the exchange of ideas and the building of camaraderie amongst local member clubs. Your local Councillor will always be willing to assist and should be invited to participate.

 

Club management issues

The FNZI Council is concerned some clubs have experienced or are experiencing difficulties with being able to fill key management roles within their club. If your club is having such a problem, you may not be alone in this regard. Don’t hesitate to speak with your Councillor and with nearby Friendship Club officials if possible, to share ideas and to try and seek local remedies. Sadly, it is a sign of the times, sometimes with advancing age and lack of willing helpers, there has been the odd closure when a club membership has no longer considered itself able to carry on. Fortunately, in many instances, members from such clubs have joined other nearby FNZI Clubs thereby adding strength to those clubs. What is very satisfying to Council is the fact that amongst our current FNZI clubs, there is now a feeling of strength of purpose and of belonging to a strong and respected organisation.

Administrator

Rosemarie our Administrator is pleased with the rate of affiliation payments being received from member clubs. These of course are now due. Please ensure that when sending your clubs affiliation payment to her, please complete the form sent on 17 May requesting the full contact details of the club’s management persons as required on the form. If you have already paid your fees but not completed the form, please complete this and return it as soon as possible.

Yours in Friendship
Graeme Pierson, Chairman FNZI

From the desk of the Administrator

RosemarieA big “thank you” to the officers of our FNZI Friendship member clubs for advising the names and contact details of new officers for the 2019-2020 year. Updating club records on the website database, and receiving early payments of affiliation fees, has ensured that I have been kept busy over recent months.

I appreciate that some club officers have updated the record for their own club and, in most instances, remembered to inform FNZI of the changes. Please also remember to provide the completed 2019-2020 Affiliation Fee Payment and Club Records Update form when making payment via internet banking.

The number of our member clubs making online payments for affiliation fees and for stationery items appears to have increased however, cheques remain the preferred choice of payment by most clubs. A concern I have is that many of the cheques are open cheques, i.e. not crossed nor marked “Not Transferable”. I encourage club treasurers to ensure that cheques are marked accordingly, as a safeguard to themselves and to me. This is particularly important when mailing cheques.

Earlier this month I attended the Liaison Meeting held for the Mid and South Canterbury FNZI Friendship clubs at the Phar Lap Raceway, Washdyke which provided the opportunity for me to meet and chat with club representatives. Chairman Graeme invited me to say a few words at the meeting and I was able to reassure club officers that I am available to assist them with any queries they may have regarding accessing and navigating the FNZI website.

In August, the FNZI Annual General Meeting is being held in Auckland and I am excited to advise that I will be attending. I am very much looking forward to meeting representatives from our North Island clubs, many of whom will have had considerable phone and email contact with me. Please do make yourself known to me should you attend the AGM.

Warm regards
Rosemarie Shaw

How to add your Club’s website address to your profile.

As a result of a query at a meeting on the Northshore, this information from our Webmaster, Erik Vermaat, may be useful for your Club.

Login in the Club Area,
Choose menu item FNZI Online Directory > My Club’s Profile > Update myself,
Under CLUB INFO in the last field Website type or copy the full URL of your website,
Update your profile.

If you have any difficulty with this process, please contact Rosemarie Shaw at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. who will be very happy to do this for you.

Your website address will then be visible for the general public on the page Where We Are in the directory of your club’s District. This is how we promote our member clubs to the general public, and having your own website is a great help to get new members. Make sure that you have a “Contact Us” link on your website.

Looking for Funding for Club Activities?

In my visits around Friendship Clubs in my district I’ve had conversations with some of them about their success or failure in getting funding grants from various local trusts.

Applications that seem most likely to succeed are either for buses for outings or hardware such as data projectors or sound systems for club meetings. Applications for administration are usually turned down.

Generally, clubs who’ve had success in the past from the Lotteries Board are finding this a less successful option as their funding priorities have shifted.
Some areas have Council Funds or Trusts from previous power company setups. In my area it is the Hutt Mana Charitable Trust.

All areas have Gaming Machine groups and clubs talk of more success here where their applications are linked to a local venue. You can find a list for your local area on the Department of Internal Affairs website at https://www.dia.govt.nz/Services-Casino-and-Non-Casino-Gaming-Funding-For-Community-Groups

Chris Winstanley
FNZI Treasurer and Councillor Lower North Island

Bishopdale Ladies

Bishopdale Ladies

 

On a nice sunny March day this group of ladies boarded the bus for a trip to Governor's Bay.

They travelled via Gebbies Pass, stopping along the way at Allandale Reserve where members had a walk along the shoreline. They then continued on to Governors Bay Hotel for midday lunch.

After an amazing meal they travelled back to Bishopdale via Dyers Pass Road, and through the city where they saw all the changes that are taking place.

Te Rapa

On 18 April, 24 members of the Te Rapa Friendship Club visited Zenders in Ruakura Road, Newstead, for a delightful lunch. Zenders is an excellent restaurant/café which opened in December 2018 and built from blueprints of their grand-parents 100-year old home called ‘Schildheuvel’ (the original signage can be seen over the entrance doorway). Teresa, one of the three daughters who worked for approximately five years on the project, spoke to our group explaining the fascinating story of their vision to create a replica of their grandparents home here in Hamilton, New Zealand. Members comments after a very enjoyable lunch were very positive and majority were planning a return visit. The croquettes were a very popular choice from the menu - delicious.

Hokonui Focus

The December meeting was a "High Tea" in the morning and what a morning it was.  As members arrived, they saw big round tables with snow white tablecloths decorated with Christmas trimmings and fresh holly, glasses and drinks, looked and sounded amazing with carols being played and sung by members Murray and Marlene Kirk.

Hokonui FocusThe meeting was opened by the President Ngaire who welcomed everyone. There was a quiz on the table and members were invited to answer the questions on the 125 years of Suffrage. With the usual business out of the way members were invited to partake of the magnificent spread of savouries, sandwiches, cakes and biscuits, tea and coffee, provided for us by a subsidy from the Mataura Licensing Trust, to whom the club is truly grateful for their support throughout the year.

The speaker was Caroline Dore, the Nattering Knitter. She told members that it all started by knitting a few squares of wool and sewing them together to make a rug to keep her knees warm in the evening while watching television.

Caroline thought that making a few rugs would fulfil a need to help the community. Caroline asked a few friends to help by knitting a few squares. This blossomed and there is a huge contingent of volunteer workers who sit at home and keep their hands busy knitting squares- 40 stitches wide and 80 rows down. At the time of this meeting, 2053 rugs had been made and donated.

Apart from donations to friends, Hospitals in Dunedin, Invercargill, local Hospitals and Rest homes in Southland, the word has spread, and International Gifting has seen donations to 39 countries across the world.

On 11 December 2018 Caroline was presented with the New Zealand Local Hero Award.

If you want to help her or see what she has done go to The Nattering Knitter on Facebook or You Tube.

Kawaroa Combined

Kawaroa

These people received certificates at the club’s AGM to acknowledge and celebrate their achievement of being founding members of the club which was established in 1997.


Back row from L - R: Lee Guilford, Dorothy Anderson, June Dunn, Merle Jensen, Shirley Fergus, Don Fergus.

Front row L -R Elizabeth McPherson, Trevor Owen, Frankie Owen. Absent Elsie Fourie, Patricia Blackhall.

  Ngongotaha

Ngongotaha committeeNgongotaha recently held their AGM and provided these photos to record the occasion.

 

L-R Pam Fletcher (Former Secretary) Pat Young (President)
Anita Stanley (Past President) and Mary Bartle (Life Member).
Ngongotaha AGM

 

Right: incoming President Pat Young (with the
microphone) and outgoing President Anita Stanley.

Waihi & Districts

Waihi District (2)

 

Some of the members of the Waihi & Districts are pictured here enjoying morning tea at the Waihi Water Gardens.

Woolston

Woolston

 

Recently this club celebrated their 23rd birthday.

Invited guests included members from other clubs, together with Graeme Pierson who willingly cut the birthday cake. Willie Mcarthur (a one-man band) entertained the gathering and was enjoyed by all.

Rangiora Ladies

Pat Smith and Jean McGregor Rangiora

 

Late last year this club had their second member turn 100.

Jean McGregor is pictured with club President Pat Smith cutting her cake. committee supplied a special morning tea and everyone had a great time.

Jean had an album with photos of her life which everyone enjoyed.

Whangaparaoa Combined Friendship Club

On a fine sunny day in March a coach load of fifty members from both the Whangaparaoa and the Ladies club set off for the two-hour journey to the Hauraki plains town of Ngatea to view the famous Watergardens there.

Whangaparaora (2)These lived up to expectations as members strolled through the parklike grounds with its many water features, unusual plants and quirky sculptures. The Can Museum is quite unique and brought back many memories. Different types of bird life flocked around looking for a feed; these included two types of ducks and a peacock that is cock of the walk and bullied the other birds.  

Tea, coffee and fruit juice were provided by the club’s Hospitality team and this was most welcome after the long bus trip on a hot day. A delicious boxed picnic lunch from the Glory Café was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

For the return trip they took a different route over the flat fertile Hauraki plains with its dairy herds and cornfields, the Kaimai ranges to the South East. The bus took them over the Bombay Hills for a break at Bombay for ice creams and coffees and then on home.

Waimate

WaimateFriendship Waimate acknowledged the outstanding contribution former President, Alex Norton has made to the Club in recent years with a Life Membership at their AGM. Alex, who has been a member since 1993, was President in both 2014 and 2015. A time of great changes, both at the national level and to the Club’s structure. In 2015 the Club became a Combined Club.

Alex’s greatest strength, however, is working with people - his support and care of fellow members. He has made all members welcome at Club meetings and events and has been there when members have required extra help. A true gentleman who lives by the principles of fellowship, friendship and fun.

Congratulations Alex from all Club Members.

Photo: Friendship Waimate’s Incoming President, June Ashton congratulating Friendship Waimate’s new Life Member Alex Norton.

Aorangi Mens

Aorangi Mens

 

Members enjoyed a day out in March when they visited a few attractions in Geraldine, South Canterbury.

Dave Whytock and Graham Taylor are seen here trying to figure out which piece of lace would suit them best at Lillia’s Lace Museum in Geraldine.

Carterton

On 20 March 2019 members of the Carterton Carterton2Friendship Club took a bus trip over the Rimutaka Hill for a day’s outing in Wellington to see the Terracotta Warriors. The weather was warm and favourable, and they headed off at 8.30am in a Transit bus. On the way a morning tea stop was enjoyed at Trentham Memorial Park, Upper Hutt. The club had brought along their tea, coffee and biscuits and Tranzit supplied thermoses of hot water and a trestle table, which was put up under the shade of beautiful old trees. This is a beautiful park and well worth a visit.

Carterton1Back onto the motorway they headed for Te Papa Museum where they were dropped off at the entrance. It was a busy morning with many other groups visiting the exhibition, but it gave plenty of time to slowly move around the artefacts and read the explanatory notes alongside each piece.

It was very interesting but of course the Terracotta Warriors were the icing on the cake. It was so wonderful to get up close to them and be able to see every detail. Amazing that these warriors are 2,300 years old and there are over 6,000 of them! The exhibition features only eight of the warriors who stand 180 centimetres high, plus two full-sized horses, all contained in a large glass ‘box’ within a room. It was permitted to take photos as long as a flash wasn’t used.

After the exhibition a great lunch was enjoyed at the Petone Working Men’s Club.

Tauranga Vision

Tauranga Vision2

A group of former Divas and Divors?? from the Vision Club attending the monthly screening put on by a local Opera group. The viewing on this night was 'La Rondina ' by Puccini.

On 28 March, the Social Committee organised a bus trip over the Kaimai to visit the Matamata Festival of Flowers Display in the Matamata Town Hall. About 40 members made the trip and after visiting the stunning display, they enjoyed a lunch at a local club.

Torbay

Torbay2

 

Torbay Friendship Club played host on 19 March to the recently formed "Northern Friendship Clubs". Thirty members representing various clubs attended sharing ideas and a sumptuous morning tea. Chairman of FNZI, Graeme Pierson made a surprise appearance.

Keen interest was expressed in Treasurer Don's success in obtaining grant monies from New Zealand Lottery Board Te Puna Tahua to assist with travel costs of monthly excursions. The second instalment of $3,000 (2 of 3) has now been gratefully received.

The trips out and about are well organised and carefully chosen, offering a wide variety of destinations.

In February members visited Totara Waters, in March Leigh Marine Laboratory and in April the Chelsea Sugar Refinery.

Pohutukawa Coast

Pohutukawa1On Tuesday 26 March 40 members of the Pohutukawa Coast Friendship Club caught the ferry into the city from Pine Harbour and visited the Maritime Museum.Pohutukawa2

They then boarded the Ted Ashby scow, and with sails hoisted had a great time on the sparkling Waitemata Harbour.

Devon Ladies

Devon LadiesOn Thursday 28 March, 45 women from Devon Ladies Friendship Club in New Plymouth left on a Mystery Bus Trip. First stop was Stratford where they visited the 100year old picture theatre. The group were shown all round and then watched some old films which were hilarious.

Next stop was Hawera where they were entertained by a Women’s Club Play Group. Four ladies did a play reading which was very clever, then performed a play about witches.

Lunch was enjoyed at King Edward Park before going to Cherol Filbee’s studio where she makes amazing puppets. Some members had a try at making them walk, scratch and wiggle. It was then back to Stratford to a Garden Art Centre where the owner takes photos and mounts them on corrugated iron. Very effective. A stop was made at Midhirst on the way home for an ice cream.

Churchill Park Ladies

ChurchillPark3

 

Churchill Park Ladies Club recently enjoyed a coach trip to the Sculptureum just out of Matakana, followed by lunch at the Warkworth RSA.

The Sculptureum, for those who haven’t seen it yet, was the brainchild of an Auckland solicitor and has been about 10 years in the making. The word Sculptureum is a combination of the words “sculpture” and “museum” and is used to describe this unique and wonderful attraction.

There are both beautiful gardens containing many awesome sculptures, as well as four galleries, containing various works of art. There is also a lovely cafe on site, but we chose to stop on the way home at Warkworth for a tasty lunch at the RSA. A great day out in perfect weather.

Dunstan

Members from the Dunstan Friendship Club Dunstan1in Alexandra continue to have interesting trips and have been blessed with beautiful Central Otago weather each time.

Forty folk travelled by bus to Queenstown and caught the water taxi to Glenorchy where they visited Camp Glenorchy This is a new and very special place designed, built and operated under the most advanced environmental building design certification in the world. All profits from the facility support local initiatives.

Dunstan2 (2)More information is available on their website - https://www.theheadwaters.co.nz/camp-glenorchy/

Lunch and a board walk followed prior to the two-hour bus ride home. This month the club car pooled to historic Bannockburn for a superb lunch and a talk form a local historian on the early history of the area.

Mt Herbert

Mt Herbert

This group of 70 active retirees meet on the first Thursday of each month at the Clubrooms of the Charteris Bay Golf Club. Apart from these monthly meetings they have occasional outings.

During 2018 they enjoyed the free educational tour of Lyttelton Harbour, a trip to the Canterbury Museum and quake affected Christchurch. Coming up there will be a trip to the Yaldhurst Transport Museum followed by the occasional sports events - not high jump or marathon but more genteel pursuits such as golf, croquet, easy walks and petanque. They had an excellent first meeting for 2019 where 43 members learnt a lot about sheep from Prof. Jonathan Hickford of Lincoln University.

Hokonui Focus

Members of the Hokonui Focus club met on the banks of the Mataura River at the old High School on a bright sunny morning, there was a nip in the air, but warmth and fellowship abounded. It is with the help and generosity of the Mataura Licensing Trust who provided funding for the buses, for which the club is immensely grateful, Thank you MLT.Hokonui birds

They headed south from Gore, driving through Mataura and on to Edendale, past the Fonterra milk processing Plant and turned left toward Wyndham - that is where the guessing started as to where they would end up.

They stopped at Maple Glen a sprawling nursery and gardens with an aviary of all sorts of birds, some pecking at the crumbs of the biscuits supplied by the club.

Members wandered around the gardens, admiring the plants that were on the flat. As some gardens on the slopes were slippery with fallen leaves and a very heavy dew, they were advised not to venture too far down the hill, however this provided the opportunity to visit the old wool shed. Muriel still looks after her birds and knows each of them by name, not by breed but has given them individual names. Muriel's son, along with his new wife who also loves the garden, is interested in enlarging the gardens.

Hokonui tripBack on the buses, then on through Waimahaka, and down to the mouth of the Mataura River at Fortrose which is a lovely little seaside resort good for water skiing. They continued on to Tokanui, the Museum and Waikawa.

On then on to Curio Bay and lunch. On the way they passed some beachside shacks or cribs. Members were told that as little as five years ago it was difficult to sell one of these remote properties that have neither power nor water, for $28K - today they are selling for around $500k.

Back on the bus again they travelled home along the Coast Road where some of it is still a metal road as it is at tide level. On through Haldane, Otara, and Gorge Road past all the white-baiting shacks which can be a very busy place in season. Last places to see were Seaward Downs and Edendale, with a stop for ice cream before heading back to Gore, arriving just before 5pm.  Club members would like to thank the organizing team of Ngaire (both of them) Marie and the driver Peter, for a wonderful day out.

Richmond Ladies

Members enjoyed a lovely finish for 2018 Richmond Ladies3with a Christmas dinner at Teapot Valley Christian Camp - beautiful surroundings and a delicious meal. The highlight was the announcement and presentation of Life Membership badges to five members - June Beattie, Joy Byrne, Dawn Batchelor, Edith Tucker and Ruth Chignell.

Members have also had three very special outings for those able to take part. In February a group visited Occasional Monarchy in Hope, for a delightful viewing of the monarch butterfly farm where they are bred for special occasions. Butterflies are flown up and down the country to fill orders for weddings, funerals and events where these awe-inspiring creatures are set free in huge clouds of orange and black! The owners, Ian and Jill Knight, explained how their business evolved, then small group were taken on tours through the four blue tunnel houses to see the butterflies in various stages of their lives – from egg, caterpillar, chrysalis to butterfly. During the “off-season” the Knights provide white doves for weddings etc. and these beautiful birds were also part of the tour.

Richmond Ladies1About 30 members made it to the March outing to the famous Pic’s Peanut Butter premises in Stoke. This brand-new factory dominates the skyline with its huge ceilings, and giant peanut butter jar outside. The giant red star symbol of Pic’s is well known in NZ now. Tours are held daily where visitors are shown the production line, offered samples of almond butter, cashew butter and boysenberry jelly and given tips on the many uses for this natural peanut butter product. Peanuts are sourced from Australia then processed at this amazing plant.

The April outing began with the welcome rain falling gently on the Waimea Plains as a bus load of members travelled over the Takaka Hill to Golden Bay. Rain cleared as they arrived in Takaka where visits were made to two outlets – well-known Living Light Candles, and the delicious Choco Loco shop. Both offered interesting talks on their handmade products, with opportunities to purchase items. Lunch at the Wholemeal Café then on to Motupipi to the Kiwi Spirit Distillery to see how Tequila is grown and distilled into spirits. A large quantify of non-alcoholic drinks are also produced there. A full day but most enjoyable!

District 30 group

District30 mtgOn Monday 6 May, representatives (pictured here) from nine local FNZI Clubs met in Tauranga for their bi-annual discussions on all matters 'Friendship'. These cluster group meetings ( now into their third year) were the brainchild of Bev Dromgool from the Arataki Coastal Club and are proving popular with all local District 30 clubs for the valuable knowledge/information sharing and camaraderie that takes place ( as well as the sumptuous finger food - bring a plate buffet). The nine FNZI clubs taking part were Arataki Coastal, Papamoa Palms, Marlin, Phoenix, Te Puke, Opotiki, Waihi, Tauranga Diamond, Tauranga Vision.

Mountain View

 

MountainViewThe Mountain View Friendship Garden Group recently visited the MiaFlora Cafe and Garden in Winchester. The nursery plants were fabulous laid out in various groups and very colourful. The grounds were impeccable, and members loved viewing the many sculptures that were displayed among the plants.

A fantastic setting for to have a lovely afternoon tea. Later before departing home they entered the stately Tudor home to browse many treasures and collectables some of which were for sale.

Newlands

NewlandsMembers of Friendship Newlands (Wellington) met in February at the Belmont Rhododendron Dell, Lower Hutt for their annual picnic.

The committee provided lunch for everyone and members were encouraged to participate in various games – including balloons filled with water!

Newlands2Late in March members of Friendship Newlands hired four Crocodile Bikes for an hour and rode in various directions around the Wellington Waterfront. This was followed by lunch at a nearby café.

Sunnyhills

Sunnyhills

A very pleasant outing to Waiheke Island was shared by 30 members who went around by bus to visit many of the sights on the Island, culminating in a surprise visit to the only Olive Oil Processing plant on Waiheke.

After some Olive oil tasting they were then shown the processing in action.

Waimakariri Combined

Members and friends from this RangioraWaimak samoa visit club recently took a cruise to the South Pacific. After leaving Auckland the first stop was an enjoyable day in the Bay of Islands before cruising to Fiji calling at Lautoka and then Suva. They then sailed on to Apia where many of the group visited the house built for the author Robert Louis Stevenson which is now a museum. It was unanimously decided that his burial site on Mt Vaea, a one hour walk uphill on a hot day, was too much of a challenge.

Waimak Tonga visitOne couple in the group celebrated their wedding anniversary in Apia and again, having crossed the International date line, at Pago Pago in American Samoa. The last two stops were in Tonga, firstly on the island of Vavau, and then the capital city Nuku’alofa. At each port members split into small groups and hire local taxis to take them sightseeing. This worked very well with many happy stories being exchanged at dinner each evening. This group are keen to go cruising again and are looking at another trip in Asia in April next year.

Waimak rusty acre1Members of the Waimakariri club also visited Rusty Acres in Mandeville on 9 May. The Rusty Acre has over 50 sculptures and much more interesting aspects to entertain members. The owners, Andrea and Allan talked about the history of the Rusty Acres and the huge amount of work they were doing. Members then spent 1.5 hours viewing all the displays including sculptures, displays, lawn and wooded areas. The site had a gift shop which was well stocked and some of the members did purchase gifts etc. The day was sunny and a warm 20 degrees, a good site to visit for groups or individuals. A lunch break was enjoyed at the Mandeville Plough, Bar & Café.

Red Beach Combined

After 28 years of meeting in the Presbyterian Church in Stanmore Bay the Red Beach Combined Club has come to the end of an era. The Presbyterian Church has become unavailable and there were some problems with the slightly small size of the building and nature of the carpark - on two levels and uneven. This suggested a change of venue was needed.

The club has now relocated to the Baptist Church in Loop Road Orewa, which is undergoing a very large building project. They are currently meeting in the brand-new large meeting room (seats up to 400) but will be moving to a smaller cosier room once the extensive renovations are completed. The building also has a large cafeteria with full facilities and seating for up to and, equally important, a large. flat car park with easy access.

RedBeach1Meetings are held on the 3rd Wednesday of the month at 10am and members of any other clubs visiting the area will be warmly welcomed.

For their first outing of the year members enjoyed a trip up the Tamaki Estuary, passing the downtown area and Eastern Suburbs on the MV Hogwash- one of the Red Boat fleet. This boat is a venerable kauri- built vessel which previously plied the Bay of Islands. The day was sunny and the sea calm.

The skipper gave a very Informative account of the area. The day finished with a visit to the Auckland Fish Market, enabling everyone to buy lovely fresh fish.

Plains Ladies

President Val welcomed members to their last meeting for the year and wished all having birthdays and wedding anniversaries best wishes. Thoughts also with those that have recently had a bereavement. Members were reminded about the over 90's function being held on 30 November at the Sinclair Centre at 2pm.

After a brief meeting Rosemary Ashton told a Christmas poem followed by Bernard Reddicliffe who played carols on his organ and members joined in singing. Morning tea was enjoyed with fancy nibbles and a chat over tea and coffee. This was followed by a guessing game created by Rosemary where committee members held up boards with pictures representing towns around New Zealand and members asked to identify each town. A small gift was given to the first to guess each one. A cardboard car and tall tree were part of a skit that the committee members took part in. With balloons going off and water pistol shooting at people, a spider frightening passenger in the car and a dog watering himself on the wheel members enjoyed the entertainment.

Several Christmas raffle prizes were won by lucky people. Bernard played more carols again and Christmas cake was handed around to members before they were wished a Merry Christmas and safe travel over the holiday period. The movie on 5 December at 11 am at Regent Theatre was "Bohemian Rhapsody.

Waimea Combined

The group walk on 7 May in the Maitai Waimea1Valley behind Nelson City, saw a complete contrast to the Lake Rotoiti venture of the previous month, swapping views of lake and mountains to the sounds of Maitai River and the brilliance and variety of the autumn colours in the trees and the carpets of leaves on the ground.

The walk commenced from the carpark adjacent to the Gibbs Bridge then down the North side of the Valley Road through Branford Park and the foothill bush tracks adjacent to the Centre of New Zealand.

A swing left along Tory Street saw them pass through a great mix of original weatherboard houses, many with front verandahs and a variety of garden layouts interspersed with the odd “modern residence”. Behind them were a great mix of residences clinging to the hillsides.

They then dropped to the tracks alongside the river and a highlight here was the Black Hole with the calm waters reflecting trees, sun and shade creating a picture on its own! A popular swimming spot in the summer, they were surprised to find a young overseas couple drying off as members settled down for a well-earned cuppa and chat before heading back to civilization.

The team agreed that they owed a vote of thanks to veteran tramper, Chris Mouter, for steering them to the tracks most suited to those of a certain vintage!

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