Grace Notes – May 2021

An inclusive Christian community in Auckland, New Zealand

Grace Notes – May 2021

I have just had the most stimulating two days in Wellington. My daughter, Constance Gervasi (Connie) had been part of a group of Film Directors (OneShot Collective) where each member was responsible for writing, editing and directing a segment of the film. The film was titled ‘Encounters’ and each director had to provide the funding to pay for their cast, photographer, editing and location approval. The production team did an excellent job of joining the separate encounters into one movie which had its premiere at The Embassy Theatre in Wellington on Wednesday night. Of course, I thought my daughter’s segment was better than all the others but on the whole, the movie was a success.

David and Rosemarie have enjoyed a week in the South Island and completed the Alps to Ocean bicycle journey – known as A2O.  David’s brother and sister and their partners joined us on the adventure – we all used E-bikes.  For us, this was a six day, 315km ride from Tekapo to Oamaru.  The route took us through some amazing country, travelling on cycle trails, public and closed roads, through national parks and private land.  The autumn colours were at their peak – beautiful golden through to magnificent red leaves.  The weather was kind to us – only two afternoons of peddling in rain.  We were fortunate that on the first of those afternoons, there were heated towel rails and a drying room for our wet gear – and on the second occasion, we arrived at our accommodation, to find a wonderful wood fire burning in the lounge.  Accommodation was varied and included motels, the Lake Ohau ski-lodge, cabins and a farm-house.  We carried only what was needed during the day and our luggage was delivered to our accommodation.  Food was good – it ranged from typical pub-type food to a DIY BBQ night where the ingredients were in the fridge for us; no coffee shops on the way though; we carried our lunch and those hanging out for coffee had to wait until we reached our destination.    A highlight of the trip was travelling on the newest part of the trail which runs alongside Lake Benmore and viewing various components of the Waitaki hydro-system which supplies approx. 50% of the country’s hydro-electricity.  We had time in our travels to see various notable places – the historic Benmore Station woolshed (at its peak, the Station carried 80,000 sheep on 200,000 acres); Kurow’s museum; Clay Cliffs; Jake’s Hardware (and everything else) store in Twizel; salmon farms; Elephant rocks; Duntroon’s blacksmith; Phar Lap’s stables; Tekapo’s Church of Good Shepherd; Dark sky area in Tekapo and the 127-year-old Brashear Telescope.  

Andre and Helene had a wonderful three-week coach tour in the South Island. They flew down to Wellington and joined the tour there and met their very compatible fellow travelers.

The bus followed a zig-zag route taking in Picton, Nelson, Hanmer Springs, Wanaka, Queenstown, Milford Sound, Invercargill, Dunedin and Christchurch before heading back home. The weather really spoiled us as it was 26 and 27 degrees in Invercargill and Dunedin!

Some of the highlights were the hot pools at Hanmer Springs, Milford Sound on an absolutely clear day, the castle at Dunedin, Mount Cook and the beautiful lakes on the Waitaki River. The scenery everywhere was breathtaking and we once again realized what a beautiful country New Zealand is. We also knew that we were fortunate to be able to travel without any restrictions.

Another joy was a visit from Johan from Sydney as soon as the travel bubble opened. It was more than a year that he had not been able to come.

Pat and Colin had a new experience by going on a conducted tour with Operatunity Travel. Called “Off the Beaten Track Rail Tour”, it combined rail and bus travel for 2 weeks with 3-night stays at the Chateau Tongariro, Napier, Martinborough and New Plymouth. Side trips included the Waiouru Army Museum, an Art Deco Cavalcade drive in vintage cars (ours was a 1929 Buick!), Stonehenge Aotearoa (yes there is one), shopping in Greytown, Brancepeth House – one of Waiarapa’s most treasured colonial homesteads, and the delightful village of Whangamomona. The Operatunity singers and pianists put on a concert every 2 or 3 nights and altogether looked after us splendidly.

This paragraph is a reflection of my mind at this present time.

Music is a part of every known society, past and present, and is common to all human cultures across the globe.

The emotions caused by music, the attitudes of its composers and players, and the venues it is played can also vary from time to time and place to place. The music one person loves might be painful for another to listen to, and vice versa!

For myself ;

“Love is friendship set to music.”