On Saturday 7 March, under temperamental skies, Paihia celebrated winning the New Zealander of the Year Awards – 2015 Community of the Year. But even the spattering of rain could not dampen the spirits of this great little community.
A parade of helpers appeared early in the afternoon to prepare for the festivities, fighting strong gusts in their efforts. With flags, bunting, fairy lights and lanterns flying (some literally!) in the wind the scene was set. Around 300 people gathered bearing food to share. Fantastic free face painting soon adorned the faces of many generations. There was much laughter and delight.
Then the heavens opened, while some fled, many stayed, still smiling and dancing in the rain. The RUSSELL UKELELE ORCHESTRA played on, out came the sun and keen locals returned.
Delectable delights were to be found on the BAY BUSH ACTION table – A first taste of possum pie was absolutely delicious! Who would have thought. Butternut fritters… perhaps a prelude to ‘Brad’s Bay Bush Cafe’? There must be a good local recipe book in there at least!
Despite the rain it was a special night and whether huddled under plastic sheets or dancing in the sun, there is nothing quite like catching up with good friends and sharing a momentous achievement.
Huge thanks to SARAH GREENER for putting the party together. Thanks to GRAEME MARTYNand CALDERS for the free poster print run. Also a special thanks to SAUCE, 35 DEGREES SOUTH RESTAURANT, BUSINESS PAIHIA INC, RUSSEL UKELELE ORCHESTRA, COCO, PAIHIA FIRE BRIGADE, ST JOHN’S AMBULANCE, RANGI BERNECKER, CRAIG SALMON, GRANT HARNISH, TANIA MCINNES, BRUCE GORDON, STEPH GODSIFF, ANIKA WEST, GRAYSON JAVINS and TIFF HOLLAND
– Love our town!