It was all hands on deck for the recent Ōtaki School Gala, with the variety merchandise stalls set up and ready for the buyers. The hangi was down and food outlets firing up the barbecues ready for the hungry hordes. Even the sun shone clear and hot.
The Ōtaki Axeman’s Club competition was set up and the woodsmen were into the action bright and early with a variety of events and championship points up for grabs. Two visiting clubs, the Marton Junction Axemen’s Club and Upper Hutt Axemen competed strongly, too. It was good to see several new axemen on the blocks.
Down on the back field the KidsOwn Afterschool programme staff were on hand with the kids games and entertainment, bouncy castle and inflatable challenge, face painting, sumo wrestling and Knock-‘em-down cans and a wishing tree — write your wish for you or someone and tie it on the tree. And a very popular flying water blaster rockets – part fill an empty plastic bottle with water, push the air hose nozzle into the opening and start pumping and within about six pumps the bottle flies off the hose with a gush of water and heads upwards. Some of the kids managed to get their rocket six metres up and travelling quite good distances! The Levin Social Riders rode down on the Harley Davidson and Triumph motorbikes and took people on a ride around town for a small fee, all proceeds go to the gala fund — they take nothing for their services.
The food stalls were very popular, the cakes stall was almost sold out by midday and then there were 300 cup cakes for the kids to ice cup and decorate for $1. These were very popular with adults as well as the young folk. One couple even making a competition for the best decorated one — Rangi won hands down! And as midday rolled around the food stations went into overdrive with the café selling out fairly early on. The raffles and quick-fire wheel were popular too.
School principal, Chris Derbidge was very happy with the day’s results. The school cleared about $10,000 from the day’s efforts. He thanked all those who got in and helped with the preparations, selling and cleaning up for their help and support.