Te Horo Talk September 2014

By VIVIENNE BAILEY

Paddy’s Mart a winner

Te Horo School’s major fundraising and community fair is always a great annual event. This year was no exception. From the rows of pastel-coloured paper dolls fluttering in the gentle breeze, and the zany duo selling well-wrapped mystery bottles, to the colourful chap on stilts and the enthusiastic car hammering youngsters on the back field (well managed by indefatigable local teacher, Rob Pollock), the day was full of warmth and fun, happy faces and smiles.

Pony rides and funky face painting were popular choices for the kids, as well as the commando course and DIY cupcakes. There was also a little yellow digger for the wee ones to try. For grown-ups there was a wonderful produce stall (with many seedlings raised by the children) and an enormous array of home-baked goodies. And wafting over us all was the pervading, sweet, oh-so-yummy smell of sticky-pink toffee apples and twirled sticks of sugared candyfloss.

Paddy’s Mart is a Te Horo School tradition dating back many years and reflects their mission statement ‘Our children, our community, our future.’

“It’s great for kids. The children love the day whether they are helpers, spending a few bucks or just hanging out with their friends at their school. This creates memories many of us have from our childhood,” said school principal, Craig Vidulich.

A new fundraising record was reached this year “a mammoth amount of money,” thanks to the professional efforts of the Home and School committee and the goodwill of fair-goers.

The event raised $27,242.

A surprise visit from the NZ Army

Te Horo School looked more like a scene from MASH recently, but it was actually a surprise visit from the NZ Army including two military tanks and 15 soldiers with weapons.

“The guys were fantastic and let the kids sit in the tanks, ask questions and hold their rifles (not loaded!). It was an exciting and unexpected visit – the kids had a blast.”

Te Horo’s storytellers

A further session featuring local storytellers was held recently at Te Horo Hall as part of the hall centenary celebrations. More than 50 locals filled the hall to listen to legendary local, Barry Mansell, relate tales of Te Horo from 1880s to the present day. Barry is a natural storyteller, with a vast knowledge of local history, and entertained guests with yarns about share-milking, horsemanship, sheep-shearing and living up the Gorge, “the only place to live.” He told of loans being forgiven after people walked off the land after the Second World War.

“Those times were extraordinarily difficult, with land of poor quality, extreme weather, and a road that was often impassable.”

Felicity Bothamley, the great granddaughter of James Gear, a major landowner and well-known businessman in the Te Horo district, brought an array of family photographs and mementoes to bring her stories to life. She talked of life inside the Gear estate, “very different to the way we live today,” and the history of Marycrest.

Past postmistress, Janet Robertson, shared stories of people and events, evoking memories and laughter, and displayed the Post Office closing card, signed by all customers (almost everyone in Te Horo).

Tony Ashdown told of life on the family farm in Beach Road.

“In times past finding a wife could be as easy as jumping the fence!”

The second round of storytelling informed and delighted the audience, as did the first, and dramatically illustrated the huge part Te Horo Hall played in community life.

Community events

Sunday, 5 October, 10.00am to 12.30pm, wet or fine – Te Horo’s monthly Country Market. You’ll find plenty of locally grown, seasonal produce and garden plants, as well as a wide range of handcrafts and jewellery at Te Horo Hall.

Wednesday, 8 October, 10.00am – the community Craft Circle meets at Te Horo Hall.

Friday, 3 October, 5.30pm – BYO Drinks and Nibbles at Te Horo Hall.

…and not to be missed…

The final hall centenary event is on Saturday 25th October, from 7.00pm. ‘The 100 Year Party’ features Andrew London and his band at a catered BYO event. Numbers are limited, tickets $25 and available from Te Horo School, Te Horo Café or Sharon Hurst 364 3624 sharonizzy@xtra.co.nz