The Alve's are an old NZ family who arrived in the Wairarapa in 1876 and who began farming in the Manawatu in 1900 near the site of the old Opiki Toll (Suspension) Bridge. On Easter Sunday 2015, 60 members of the family gathered at the P.N. Convention Centre after a graveside service at their immigrant forbears' graves in the Terrace End Cemetery. Caroline welcomed the family to the Convention Centre gathering with a Cry she wrote especially for the occasion - see below.
This opportunity came out of the blue. I was invited to host the iconic winter event at the Hotel Coachman as the regular host, Chris Burn from the Breeze local radio station, was unavailable. I thought it was to be a one off occasion but I was asked to host 4 of these decadent, delicious afternoons.
The Hotel Coachman came up with the idea of organising High Tea on the 3rd Sunday of each month, over winter. They are extremely popular. On 2 occasions there were very large groups who had chosen to celebrate Significant Birthdays by booking in for the High Tea. This swelled numbers significantly. However the challenge was not at all daunting to the staff who managed to keep tea pots full and plates laden with treats. Most guests being offered small boxes to take home any ‘left overs.’
The Grand Piano being played in the foyer by Sarah from Palmerston North Girls High, provided a pleasing ambiance. Full marks must go to Russell Chappell who creates the delicacies served on the tiered cake stands. The cakes he creates for ‘special occasions’ are truly spectacular. If you are wanting a cake that will be remembered just contact Russell through the Hotel Coachman – you won’t be disappointed.
Valdorines Palmerston North Marching Team CLICK TO ENLARGE
On August 9th I attended the Lower North Island Leisure Marching Teams Marching Display day at the Village Valley Centre in Ashhurst. I was invited by a friend of mine and member of the Valdorines Marching Team, Helen Kingston, to receive the march past and salute from all the teams, and then to formally open the event. There were about 40 teams registered for the day's display.
What a great group of women - mostly aged between 40 - 70, all have a passion for team work and keeping fit – hence marching. Their uniforms, each team quite unique, are worn with pride and their routines were quite complicated.
I believe there are a number of Leisure Marching teams throughout the country and they are away looking for new members. I met a number of women who had had knee and/or hip replacements who took up leisure marching as part of their recovery. If you are keen to find out more, email me via my contact form and I will try to get a person who is in your area to contact you.
March was a particularly busy month for me with a couple of double up functions I was commissioned to attended, along with working at school for part of those days.
UCOL (Universal College Of Learning) our Polytechnic College held 3 graduation ceremonies over the 11th and 12th of March where graduands were presented with either their Diplomas or Degrees and capped as appropriate. It was my task again, to lead the parade from the Regent Theatre around to the UCOL Atrium.
Festival of Cultures The annual festival of Cultures was held again in March. This has become an iconic event in Palmerston North. I have been opening this event since I became the Town Crier in 2000. It is one of my favourite tasks. It is the one event that brings every ethnic group in Palmerston North together under an umbrella of unity and harmony.
New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards Dairy On the evening of the 12th of March I was invited to pen and perform an opening cry for the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards for the lower North Island.
Passion for Progression - The New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards attract farmers from across the country, working in all levels of the dairy industry. The awards showcase and support our passionate farmers of the future. The three competitions give entrants the chance to earn a regional or national title and to share in substantial regional and national prize pools
This is an annual event and it was a great evening. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting some of the folk who are the backbone of the NZ dairy industry.
The Friendship Force of the Manawatu hosted a National Conference in Feilding Feb 19th. They had around 130 delegates from all over New Zealand. I had only just heard about the existence of the Friendship Force when I went to Kingston in Canada for the World International Town Crier Tournament last year. A couple, Sheila and John Brazys, made themselves known to me and were there every day giving support and encouragement to both me and my fellow Town Crier and sister from Central Otago, Paddy-Ann Pemberton. They were such a great couple I will always remember their kindness. The Friendship Force is something I will most likely join once I retire from my fulltime work at St Peter’s College. I was really excited to be able to meet some of the delegates and to absorb some of the ambiance of this enthusiastic, hospitable group, when I performed a welcoming cry at the beginning of their conference. When I returned home I went on their website and found their Pledge ( see below) which encapsulates what they are about The Friendship Force Pledge As a member of the Friendship Force, I recognise that I can make a difference. I recognise that I have a mission. That mission is to be a friend to the people of the world. As I embark upon this adventure, I know that others are watching me. I know that through my example to my own fellow citizens and the people of other nations, the cause of friendship, love and peace can be furthered. I can make a difference.
Caroline was placed 9th out of the 34 Town criers who competed in the World Invitational Town Crier Competition in Kingston, Canada. Caroline wrote from Canada soon after the event, "I am chuffed as I knew it was going to be tough competing against the men but I had a personal goal of being ranked in the top 10 so YEAH! I also won the Best Dressed Town Crier Award so I am delighted." Caroline is on her way home today following the Competitions which ran from 1-5 August. As soon as we have more info and pics we will link to them from here.
"Palmerston North town crier Caroline Robinson has this morning been in Cuba Mall using her considerable vocal power to urge Wellington, very loudly: ''The capital city of New Zealand needs its own town crier.'' But it is not just Wellington that needs one. Town criers in Kapiti and Petone, she says, would not go amiss.
Asked why Wellington would need a town crier she replied simply.
Palmerston North Town Crier, Caroline Robinson has packed her PJ’s, toothbrush, bell, robes, scroll and throat lozenges and is ready to take on all comers competing in the Invitational International Town Crier Tournament, being held in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, early next month.
“I have had to do a considerable amount of research about Kingston, its history and personalities, to compose the cries for the competition,” says Caroline.
She has had to compose 3 cries. The 1st is a home town cry for Palmerston North; the 2nd an historical cry about Sir John A. Macdonald the first Prime Minister of Canada; and the 3rd one is about “Why Kingston is not the Capital City of Canada?” All must be no shorter than 120 words and no longer than 125 words!
Caroline is really excited about this trip and says, “Kingston encapsulates everything I hold dear that we have in New Zealand, but it’s all in one place.... From the large markets found in Auckland, the limestone architecture of Oamaru, the boating and fishing of any of our lakes and surrounding seas and of course the live theatre we are so blessed to have right here in Palmy - Kingston has it all - only bigger!”
Caroline will keep us all updated until she leaves on the 24th of July. She has her eye on bringing home the Media Prize so if you want to help her achieve this you can make a comment below and leave a message of good wishes for the Town Crier Tournament, ensuring you mention Kingston Ontario Canada.
Next time she will tell us of the way these competitions are judged. Now that’s an eye opener!
The International Pacific College (referred to as I.P.C.) was established in 1990 in Palmerston North, near Massey University. It was the first private, residential tertiary college, accredited by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority to grant bachelors & masters degrees in international studies.
Founder, Mr Hiroshi Ohashi from Hyogo, Japan was made an honorary member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to education in the 2007 New Year Honours List. The investiture took place at the opening ceremony of the International Pacific University in Okayama, Japan, on 1 April 2007 and he received the award from former Governor General, Dame Catherine Tizard.
Caroline Robinson, PN Town Crier, was very blessed to have been part of this, having accepted an invitation from Mr Ohashi to lead in the Official Party and perform a Cry at the Opening Ceremony in Okayama.
The International Pacific College holds a Commencement Ceremony every May and this year 102 new students were welcomed to the College. The Town Crier was in attendance.
Each year Massey University celebrates the achievements of its graduates. There is a week long celebration in May, and a one day ceremony in November.
Each Graduation Ceremony culminates in a parade. Behind the Town Crier, led by the Drum Major, followed by members of The Pipes and Drums of Palmerston North and Districts Pipe Band, come the flag bearers - guiding the Massey Ram mascot. Then, falling in behind the academic staff from Massey University, comes a throng of exuberant, balloon festooned graduates - all wending our way from the Regent Theatre to a huge marquee, especially erected, in the Square. Parents, whanau and friends all gather to cheer them on.
It truly is a wonderful occasion.
Lisa Purda HOD Art at SPC - a Massey graduate - with the Town Crier