Issue 30, February 2020
Update from Chairman, Graeme Pierson
I trust that all members of Friendship NZ Inc. have had a really nice time with their respective families and friends over the Christmas and New Year. The months of December and January have been nice and quiet, and one trusts that will continue for the rest of the year. This past year has been a quiet time for Councillors in all Districts.
Since our last newsletter we have now completed our process for the appointment of Councillors for three Districts throughout New Zealand.
Firstly our Treasurer, Mrs Chris Winstanley from the Friendship Club of Johnsonville has been reappointed as The Councillor for District 40. Mrs June Welten of the Tauranga Vision Friendship Club has been appointed as Councillor for District 30 while Mr Graham Clayton of the Hokonui Focus in Gore has been appointed Councillor for District 80. As they were the only nominations received, no elections were necessary.
I would like to thank Mrs Paulette Lawrence of the Waimakariri Combined Club for her efforts as our Returning Officer.
We are very disappointed that there has not been any nomination for District 10. I hope that someone from that District would be prepared to offer themselves for the position in this District.
Council has again decided that the subscription for members of clubs will remain at $3.00 per head including Life Members. All Secretaries should have received the request for affiliation fees from our Centre Administrator. We also require completion of a form from all clubs advising the names and contacts of Club Presidents and Secretaries so that our Website can be updated. Clubs with a separate Primary Contact are also requested to provide those contact details.
I would like to thank all clubs for their support, not only to myself and other Councillors but also to Rosemarie, our Administrator and Margaret, our Highlights Editor as we are all happy to assist clubs where we can.
From Councillor District 80, Southern South Island
I have greatly enjoyed my time as FNZI Councillor for District 80. The welcome given by the clubs I have visited has always been a warm one, and I have had the pleasure of meeting many very pleasant people. My thanks to all clubs who extended an invitation to visit, and to all who have sent me copies of their newsletters. I have felt very involved in the district. Although I was new to the job and did not know many people, this has been remedied, and I can now claim friends and acquaintances in many new places.
Probably the high point of my term was the welcoming of Winton Men’s club back into the FNZI family, but there have been a few low points also as we have lost clubs through attrition. I have been greatly encouraged by the way neighbouring clubs have rallied round and offered membership to those whose clubs have closed.
During my term of office, the organisation has come through a time of stress and difficulty and has emerged as a much stronger and cohesive body. All councillors have worked together very well, and the experience and commitment of Chairman Graeme Pierson, Treasurer Christine Winstanley and, in the early days, Secretary Jim Taylor have been invaluable. My thanks for all the help and guidance.
The last three years have passed in something of a blur, and it is now time for me to hand over to a new councillor. Your new councillor will be Graham Clayton of Hokonui Focus in Gore and is one of the people who have become friends through meeting in ‘Friendship’ and I know he will serve the district very well. I am certain that you will make him as welcome as you have made me.
Finally, I hope that the recent extreme weather events in our region have not affected members, their homes and families, too badly. As a group we are not really in a position to offer much able-bodied assistance, but an encouraging word, a cup of tea and any offer of help are always welcome, and I am sure our clubs have been assisting their members where necessary.
The name ‘Friendship’ is truly an inspired name for our organisation. Long may it last.
| Frenz Fiordland
On 5 December 2019, Frenz Fiordland’s midday dinner Christmas meeting was held at Hilights Restaurant, Luxmore Distinction Hotel, Te Anau.
A good turnout of members gathered at the restaurant, dressed for a celebration. The restaurant was nicely decorated, and those who wished to, enjoyed a drink while waiting for the entertainment. And what entertainment it was!
A number of members, cunningly disguised as international supermodels, presented a parade of haute couture, in fact probably the “hautest couture” that’s ever been seen in Te Anau, with clothes were kindly provided by The Hospice Shop. The whole exercise demonstrated that it is possible to achieve any look desired from the sublime to the “cor blimey”, for a few dollars while supporting a worthwhile local charity.
The entertainment was followed by an outstanding meal to complete one of our most memorable meetings.
It is difficult to accept that we are nearing the end of February 2020! Since the November 2019 issue of Highlights, and with many of our FNZI Friendship member clubs not meeting in January, I have had time to catch up on various administrative tasks, e.g. completing fee acknowledgment emails, filing, sorting papers and making decisions as to what documents are relevant and need archiving!! An annual task.
Already I have received enquiries from some clubs as to when the Affiliation Fee Payment form will be available – good to know they are keen to make early payment! This year the form will be emailed to member clubs, and uploaded to our website, before the end of February. This is slightly later than in previous years. The due date for payment is 30 April 2020 and the fee remains unchanged at $3.00 per member and Life Member. To ensure that your club is covered under our Public Liability and Associations cover it is important that payment is made for all club members at the earliest possible time.
With changes to committees, may I also suggest that it would be appropriate for clubs to advise their local library, Citizens Advice Bureau and Information Centre, etc. of the change of contact person for their club. These organisations often receive enquiries from newcomers to the area and by holding information about your club they can promote and help with the recruitment of new members. FNZI has promotional brochures available which can be distributed to medical centres, libraries and information centres to inform prospective members about your club. Information is on our website or please contact me.
Warm wishes to all member clubs for an enjoyable and successful year full of Friendship, Fellowship and Fun.
The Bishopdale Ladies club have had a range of interesting health related speakers over recent months covering the following –
• Dr James Blake, presentation on hearth health – how to reduce our chances of heart issues and maintaining a healthy lifestyle
Torbay Friendship Club wound up 2019 with a special morning tea on 12 December with entertainment by a delightful group of 3 and 4-year olds from Torbay Kindergarten. They sang and performed a range of catchy songs, with our members being invited to join in the chorus!
At the first meeting of 2020 on 13 February, Commander Larry Robbins spoke and gave a revealing presentation (see photograph) about Mercy Ships. The charity founded in 1978 provides free essential surgery to the underserved, people in poverty mainly in West Africa. Around 40 volunteers from New Zealand serve each year on board the largest hospital ship "Africa Mercy".
Notably there were nine visitors among the large turnout at the February general meeting. Given the most interesting speaker, it is hoped some if not all, will decide TFC is for them! What the respective organisers of speakers and outings have put together for the months ahead is most appealing.
Mary Barton one of the committee members of the Ngongotaha club is seen here celebrating a milestone birthday, turning 90 during February.
Club members enjoyed a slice of birthday cake at their last meeting.
On the left is the President Pat Young - Mary Barton, and catering committee member Shirley Whyte.
The party of 24 boarded the "Coastal Pacific" at Rangiora and settled down in the bright and airy carriage to a great rail journey up the beautiful Kaikoura coast to Picton. A completely different trip and scenery to road travel!
On the ferry club members were given a small lounge for their exclusive use and they made the crossing in calm weather to Wellington. They travelled by bus from the ferry terminal to Travelodge Hotel located in the centre of the city.
Over the next two days, members visited Te Papa Museum, travelled on the Cable Car and visited the cable car museum, walked through the botanical gardens, visited Parliament. Some also attended part of a parliamentary session and visited the Weta Workshop in Miramar.
They returned to Christchurch by air and transported by shuttle to Rangiora. The highlight for most members was the visit to Weta Workshops which were fantastic and a must visit for any member visiting Wellington.
A most pleasant morning was shared by the walking group on Thursday 20 February - ably lead by Max around Dingle Dell at St Heliers.
This was followed by a coffee stop before they left for home
|Bay of Plenty Area
The Bay of Plenty combined meeting was first mooted by Bev of Arataki and has brought Friendship Clubs together from the local urban area and outlying areas from Katikati to Opotiki representatives of whom attend the bi-annual meetings.
It was intended to share club cultures – (how or why people go to clubs) in the form of sharing speakers, outings, and camaraderie/visits and is intended to deepen Friendship clubs in shared knowledge, swapping ideas It is also a relaxing time to meet away from the hierarchy of Friendship disciplines. It is intended to be a fun meeting. All are invited but representatives from our Marlin Club regularly attend and our club benefits from this shared knowledge. Admission is a gold coin and a small plate. Group co-ordinators learn from each other in separate brain storming group meetings on the day.
It was in the sharing of expenses that they discovered that COGS is a government funding organization and has been utilised by other clubs to assist in travel for instance – an option which excites Beth Ward from Marlin who attends these meetings and who will no doubt be advising of any success in following that up. The motivating force locally and keeping everyone going, is Maria West who despite having to time her life with family visits to cancer care does a great job of keeping everyone in the loop and is a joy to work with. She acknowledges that with retirement villages having different agendas and lifestyles there is competition for Friendship clubs and that the Combined Club goes to encourage and keep member interest in their local clubs through this shared knowledge.
Three members are seen here enjoying Johnsonville Friendship's Christmas lunch at "The Pines" - a function venue on Wellington's south coast with a unique view of Cook Strait and the South Island on a clear day.
The three-course meal is interspersed with the obligatory quiz, prize giving for the best theme dressed lady and gent, and the drawing of the raffle.
This year's theme "As Kiwi as" was an opportunity for ladies to bring out their fanciest sunhat, shades and summer dress. The men were not be outdone and came resplendent in exotic Hawaiian shirts. Life member, Ian, earned first prize.
The Tasman Club have a very active membership. Christmas lunch was enjoyed at Tides Restaurant. Sunday lunches are also very popular, and the new year saw a new venue when 13 members attended the Saltwater Café in Tahunanui in January. The February gathering saw them return to the Lemongrass Thai Restaurant in Richmond. March will see them return to Forsters in Upper Moutere.
They not only enjoy each other’s company in restaurants – a number take part in the biking group, seen here rounding the point at Monaco into the teeth of a strong sou-wester.
| St Martins-Opawa
The St Martins-Opawa club has been out and about over recent months enjoying themselves.
In October they visited Ronald McDonald House in Christchurch which was an interesting and most informative visit. They took along items to donate to the pantry. This was followed by lunch at a café in Edgeware Village.
Another trip was to Caddy Shack to play mini golf with lunch at Michelli’s café in the Tanneries complex.
| Tairua Focus
Every December, the Tairua Focus Club hold their final meeting of the year combined with a Christmas Party with a lunch and entertainment for our 150 members.
This year was no exception and In December 2019, 95 members enjoyed the entertainment - the Beat Girls with a festive Christmas lunch supplied by local caterer Marine.
| Otatara Combined
The Otatara Combined Friendship Club found that the gap between meetings over the holiday period was too long, so last year they started an Annual Barbecue and Games event at Puketapu Park near Napier.
Sixty-two members plus grandchildren attended the recent event, enjoying a delicious two course meal followed by a wide variety of games at the Park.
It was great to gather together and catch up with each other, without being in a formal setting, giving a real chance for all to mix and mingle. Grandchildren were especially invited along, and they led the way with cricket, mini golf and other less strenuous games. A highly recommended event for all other Clubs to adopt over the holiday period, also a family time.
Highland Park Ladies
Highland Park Ladies Club recently visited the old settlement of Port Albert on the Kaipara Harbour, first going to the Albertlands and District museum at Wellsford. This gave a fascinating insight on the settling and development of Port Albert, which was the last major European settlement in New Zealand. The original settlers, who arrived in 1862, had intended that “Albertland” would be the capital of the country, but its remoteness prevented even a major township from being developed.
For Christmas, the ladies were entertained by the children of Trinity Kindergarten, who presented a little seasonal play and sang for members, before coming down into the audience to wish everyone a “Merry Christmas.”
The theme for the Marlin club’s annual Christmas dinner held at the Omanu Golf Club was “hats”. The wide variety of headgear caused much admiration, amazement and hilarity.
A lovely dinner was followed by the hat parade categories and winners were rewarded with large bags of Christmas goodies.
Shirley’s pavlova and fruit salad looked good enough to eat (at right) and took the ladies’prize.
Eric’s kiwifruit hat (left) escaped being eaten and got the men’s prize while Helen went back to nature with a Pukeko in a Ponga tree (below) to win the Christmas Carol section.
Strathallan Ladies Friendship Club enjoyed a bus trip in October, leaving Timaru at 9am and stopping off in Geraldine for a coffee pick me up, some venturing to the Barkers Café. Then they headed off to Mayfield around the back roads to Violinos. For many it was a first-time visit.
They entered a music room featuring an organ reconstructed from the Christchurch earthquake, surrounded by beautiful stained-glass windows and complete with a Tower Bell. Ruth, the owner, spoke of her musical journey through to now teaching 35 children the violin with concerts seating up to 100 people. They chatted over a finger-food lunch and afterwards went outside to view the numerous musical activities Ruth has created for everyone - young children through to adults - to participate in. Before leaving Ruth played two pieces on the violin which concluded a very pleasant afternoon and a short stop was made at Lushingtons Nurseries on the way back to Timaru.
Members of the Hamilton Ladies club enjoyed a Christmas lunch together. The entertainment was provided by the Forrest Lake Choir.
Everyone dressed for the occasion with even one member’s wheelchair being decorated appropriately.
On Friday, 22 November 2019, the South Canterbury Friendship Clubs held their third successful "Oldies Friendship Party" at the Timaru Bowling Centre club rooms in Ranui Avenue in Timaru. There are eight Timaru clubs and six country clubs, making a total of fourteen clubs in our area. There were sixty-three members (male and female) who attended plus our Friendship NZ Chairman Graeme Pierson who is always very welcome in Timaru.
At left - John Brooks, Dick Dodds, Ngairie Whytock and Barry Cunningham entertained the attendees.
Three of the Ladies clubs in the Timaru area have their monthly meetings at this venue, and the "Mountainview Ladies Club" are always happy to do the catering and collect the money on the day. Dick Dodds, Area representative, organised the event and acted as emcee for the day.
The day commenced with a welcome and introduction of all clubs. Graeme Pierson then gave an update on Friendship NZ. The programme consisted of some items. a singalong, more items and concluded with Christmas carols. All items were performed by members of the various clubs in attendance and followed by afternoon tea.
The Sunnyhills club continues to have a wide variety of speakers and outings for members to enjoy. One speaker from late last year was Dr Kate Lewis Kenedi from the School of Environment, University of Auckland.
Kate is the Outreach Coordinator for DEVORA (Determining Volcanic Risk in Auckland project) which is a program that keeps a close eye on future risks of the Auckland Volcanic Field. She is also a Lecturer at the University on natural hazards.
Kate gave a very enlightening talk on Auckland volcanoes with reference to the volcanoes that are located either side of the Tamaki Estuary. New Zealand has volcanoes because it is situated on the boundary of the Australian and Pacific Plates which runs down the east side of the North Island and cuts under the South Island about a quarter of the way down the Island from the top. Auckland itself is set back from the plate boundary and the volcanoes are different from the rest of New Zealand.
Auckland has 53 volcanoes of which at least Rangitoto is considered potentially active and certainly the field could erupt at anytime, anywhere in this area. Auckland with a population of nearly 2,000,000 people (which is 40% of the national population) and an eruption would encompass a radius of 2 - 4 kms or more. Motorways, transport, schools, medical facilities, airport closure due to ash fallout and around 38,000 businesses would be affected with only a few days notice. Lava flows may cut off transport links causing serious economic impacts. New technology is discovering previously unknown volcanoes i.e. one under the medical school. In 2008 there were 48 known volcanoes and now the number has increased to 53.
Rangitoto is the only volcano to erupt more than once – between 600 - 550 years ago. At the time of the eruption there were Maori living on Motutapu and footprints have been preserved on the ground. Lake Pupuke is the oldest volcano at 193,000 years old. The lake’s deepest part is 100 meters deep and when it erupted lava flowed down to the northern end of Takapuna Beach almost to Milford engulfing a kauri forest at the water’s edge. It is not possible to judge when another eruption will occur, but it is more than probable as there is a warm body of magma at about 80 - 100 km deep. Auckland volcanoes are really small and would not destroy the whole city.
Researchers are studying impact of destruction from various areas around Auckland in preparation for any hazard. There are many volcanoes in about 7kms down Tamaki Estuary. There are 11 seismometers around Auckland in holes as deep as 400 meters and if there were 5 earthquakes in a day it would be a sign of activity.
On a late spring day thirty-six club members travelled by coach to Westhaven Marina, home of the NZ Yacht Squadron and the Americas Cup, for an outing on the Waitemata Harbour and Hauraki Golf.
The weather was kind, overcast but with a light breeze blowing allowing some members to sit out on the upper deck. We travelled out past the Super Yachts moored at the wharf towards the Gulf Islands. A welcome snack was provided as soon as were under way followed soon after by a hot drink.
A half-hour stop at Rakino Island allowed some of the folk to go ashore and stretch their legs. There was a bit of concern when about to leave the island as it appeared that one less rejoined the boat than left it. Did we have a deserter? However it transpired that one chap came back on board unnoticed by the crew. Rakino is an unspoilt Island steeped in history.
On the return voyage they travelled around the back of Rangitoto Island an aspect seldom seen by most Auckland land lubbers.
Picture shows passengers on the upper deck.