Greetings. We are having some changeable weather – fairly typical of this time of year – but must consider ourselves fortunate when we see some of the disasters happening in other parts of the world – the hopelessness in Nepal and serious loss of life – the storms across the Tasman. Our “Indian Summer” seems to be short lived this year but we have lots to look forward to in the coming months.
It was with sadness that we farewelled Don Mathieson in April, with a service conducted by his son in law. Our loving thoughts are with dear Yvonne as she adjusts to life without Don and our sympathy is with their family. Our thoughts are with Nan in the U.K. as she mourns the loss of her sister Fiona. Connie has not been well over in Korea where she and Ben have been helping to care for Ben’s mother. Anne Glenny would be pleased to hear from friends at Green Valley Lodge, where she is now in the rest home. Her home phone number is now available at the Lodge (419-1086)
Anzac Day was commemorated widely throughout New Zealand and Australia, from the large city gatherings to the smallest rural community, as well as in London. It was noticeable that young people took leading roles in the services and the talent, both orally and musically was quite amazing. The Head Girl and Head Boy from Selwyn College gave the address at Orakei R.S.A. service, both speaking about family members who had served in World Wars. They had fought in France and Belgium and in Italy. The young people spoke well and were a credit to their College. At the Takapuna community morning service the guest speaker was from Westlake Girls’ High School. She had won the Gallipoli Speech Competition and gave a powerful address based on the hardship faced by nurses in W.W.1. At Takapuna Grammar Memorial Library service in the evening, a riveting address by a present pupil about his great grandfather’s experiences as recorded in his letters, was given by Yvonne’s grandson, Sam. St Aidans was well represented at the Northcote Community service where Alf took the service and Robin made a beautiful wreath which was laid by Edmund and Barbora.
Our communion Service on 26 April also commemorated ANZAC, and was made extremely interesting by historical references to some of the soldiers and citizens involved with the Gallipoli landings.
BIRTHDAYS/ANNIVERSARIES We don’t seem to have any in our records for May. Perhaps there is someone we have missed – ?
OUT AND ABOUT
It would seem that the South Island Ravers’ Club has gained some new members. Margaret and Malcolm had a most enjoyable tour with the Pukekohe Travel Club. They flew from Auckland to Wellington, then on to a comprehensive tour of the South, which included the Trans Alpine rail trip – snow was right down to the railway line – and later the Taieri Gorge from Dunedin. One of the memorable journeys was way into the bush to find Lake Mahinapua (sp?) which owes its fame not only to the Cheese advertisement, but its beauty. Each night on the tour there was a competition held – M & M won it for the ‘longest married’ couple on the trip – congrats M & M.
David and Liz recently spent 5 weeks exploring the South Island. Apart from enjoying the wide open spaces with plenty of sheep and few people, they had a week of 4WD driving over the High Country stations. Narrow, unsealed tracks, together with river crossings, provided moments out of one’s comfort zone, but the views were extraordinary and at the end of each day there were hosts with amazing meals and comfortable lodgings for the night. They also spent 4 days cycling the Otago Rail Trail from Clyde to Middlemarch – total 150 kms! For Liz, who only got back on to a bike 6 weeks earlier after 50 years absence, there were many moments out of her comfort zone, but the sense of achievement was enormous (and the rear end soon came right!) There is now a ‘places to return to’ Bucket List. David commented “we have travelled widely and lived in different countries, but this trip equalled the best of any travel we have done”.
Edith Cruising……….. Only my second ‘modern day’ cruise, but both times I have been amazed at the number of Americans, Canadians, Brits, and Europeans who were prepared to fly 20/30 hours to either Auckland or Sydney to begin the South Pacific cruise that would take them into Milford Sound. They had planned for years in careful detail for this trip of a lifetime – beginning in Sydney, on to Melbourne and Hobart, then across to Milford, Doubtful and Dusky Sound (this time in bright sunshine). They loved the ports of call – Dunedin, Akaroa, Picton, Wellington, Napier, and Tauranga. They were surprised that there were 2 days at sea from Hobart to Milford, thinking that they would always be in sight of land. A quaint custom of the Holland/ America Line was to serve hot, thick Dutch pea soup to guests on deck as the ship cruised in the crisp air of the Sounds. Somehow, we felt proud that all these people wanted to come all this way to see our lovely country – they agreed with us it was a ‘magic’ experience sailing into the Sounds. We marvelled at the beautiful sunsets on the cruise and even saw the sunrise (twice!!) And after leaving Tauranga on the last night of our wonderful holiday, couldn’t resist spending time on deck – the full moon shone on the water as we approached the open sea, watching the Pilot launch speeding alongside us. Next we saw the Pilot descending his rope ladder, flick the ladder off, on to the deck of his launch and he was whisked away – back to Tauranga – another ship safely out of the Harbour. I marvel at the ability/skill of the Captain and his crew in sailing that beautiful huge vessel across the seas, in and out of each port, sometimes with little room to spare, and the apparent smoothness with which the whole ship is managed, to the delight and comfort of a large number of people.
There is no doubt it is a great holiday – plenty of activity – great entertainment – excellent food whenever you wanted it – lots of fun and fresh air – good service – good company – must start saving up for next year —-!!
A PARTING THOUGHT
LIFE IS CHANGE…..
No matter what has happened in the past, it has all worked together to bring you to this very moment- – – And this is the moment you can choose to make everything new – – Right Sometimes it’s the small decisions that can change your life forever……..
Go well and safely, Edith.