GREETINGS – It is so good to have Alf and Fleur back with us after their refreshing holiday. As always our combined services with St. Lukes over January were enjoyable – it is good that we get together to share fellowship, and we appreciated our ‘guest’ preachers.
Many people flocked to the beach to enjoy the hot weather after their Christmas festivities, though the weather became changeable and some were caught in fierce floods while camping. Enough to put you off, really. But the hardy souls dried out the gear and continued. Stanley Street was the scene of some great tennis during the Women’s ASB Classic and the Men’s Heineken Open, many of the players going on to do well at the Australian Open. Venus Williams caused a flutter of excitement at the tournament and seemed to enjoy her N.Z. experience, visiting Waiheke and other parts of the community, bringing joy to some retailers. She hopes to return, maybe next time to win the tournament.
There were some beautiful days for swimming early in the summer and, not content with her long distance running, our Jeanne was seen at the beach, complete with wetsuit, training for her distance swimming. Go Jeanne
BIRTHDAYS – – We say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Rae in February
WEDDING ANNIVERSARY – Congratulations to Pat & Colin and Rachel & Simon.
Nothing could have prepared Edith and Val (and the rest of the 120 enthusiasts) for the beauty of the gardens and ancestral homes in the Waikato. The logistics of taking this number of people through four of the special gardens at Hamilton Gardens, providing music and snack food at each one made this a major achievement. At the Japanese Garden of Contemplation, there was sushi and “Madame Butterfly”; the Italian Renaissance Garden provided pizza & Italian meatballs, listening to a string trio while enjoying a glass of wine; the American modernistic garden, with mini hot dogs and mini hamburgers, and a solo saxophonist playing music from the films; finally everyone gathered at the English Flower Garden to listen to Gilbert & Sullivan, having eaten plum duff & custard. The public had all gone by the time our concert ended – the world was ours – and it was back to the hotel after a wonderful day of flowers and music.
The highlight of our 4 days was the visit to Waitomo Caves – the evening began with a superb dinner in the new catering facility, followed by the Opera Gala presented by 7 great opera singers, in the impressive Cathedral. Operatunity were granted special rights to present an opera concert for the first time in the Waitomo Caves. The acoustics in this cavern are world-renowned; imagine all your favourite arias as well as two of the most popular opera duets and a popular quartet, accompanied by a first class pianist – truly a magical experience. Our evening concluded with the stillness of the glow worm grotto, gliding under a starlit ceiling of thousands of glow worms. It was a happy lot who travelled back to our hotel in Hamilton, amazed by the whole experience.
The Glenny and Yarnton families had a happy occasion to celebrate when grandson Robert married Lena at the Markovina Vineyard in Kumeu in January. According to Anne, everyone had a wonderful time though she admits she didn’t make it to midnight. Congratulations Robert and Lena from us all.
Alf and Fleur had their son and family up from Wellington and had a happy enjoyable Christmas combined with their Auckland family. The grandchildren enjoyed playing together. As a treat Alf and Fleur took two of the children by train and ferry to Devonport. They were not swimming, but Alf and Luka were playing at the water’s edge when a child of about 4 years appeared to be in difficulties in the water. Alf ran in (fully clothed – as one does) to rescue the little boy. The result was a wet and uncomfortable ‘Poppa” who had no car to come home in, because he had come in the train and ferry. He managed to dry out sufficiently to browse in the old books shop while Fleur took the children for an ice cream. When she phoned Alf to say they were ready to go, there was no answer. Luckily it was covered by insurance as of course the phone was all wet in Alf’s pocket!!
Ralph and Rosemarie looked forward to their journey to Waipu for the New Year Highland Games, especially as they were taking with them the World Chief of Clan Davidson, Jock Davidson, a resident of Northbridge. As always there was a full programme planned, but the rain caused it to be significantly shortened. Nevertheless, a great occasion enjoyed by the Clans.
It was fortuitous that the cyclone decided to go away and Friday, 24 January, would be fine, as the Greenwood garden was to be the scene of an engagement party for Sally & Vini which was to turn into a wedding. The families gathered, the ceremony had been planned and it was a wonderful surprise, as Sally’s three sisters were here from London and Sydney, Vini’s attendants were resplendent in their finery and 6 month old Niko looked cute in his ‘best’ clothes. There was music and good food, a few tears were shed and a good time was had by all. Congrats Sally & Vini on a wonderful occasion.
We look forward to another good year of worship and fellowship in our St. Aidan’s Community. Remember to keep Saturday, 22 Feb, for the Big Day Out at Little Shoal Bay. Are you able to add your name to one of the duty rosters this year? We hope that our summer weather returns and that there will be more hot days for swims.
A THOUGHT FOR THE NEW YEAR –
TRANSFORM YOUR THINKING,
SEE LIFE FOR THE MIRACLE THAT IT IS AND FOCUS
ON LIVING NOT JUST EXISTING.
Blessings – Go well and safely.
St Aidan’s Meanderings – February 2014
An inclusive Christian community in Auckland, New Zealand