Waipawa’s 150th Birthday

2010 – Waipawa turns 150 years old.

So its time to reflect on the past and look forward to the future… and defiantly kick up our heels and celebrate!

There are quite a few things happening in 2010 and I’ll write down some of the things I know about down here and add to it as more details come to light.

Down below I’m going to write about some of the projects – or “Gifts to the Future” the 150th committee have been working on, and then below that will be a “Calendar of Events”

Gifts to the Future

Our town is turning 150!
And what is a birthday without presents?
In the past when our town turned a significant age it gifted itself and future generations with a gift.

When Waipawa turned 50 years old in 1910 the people of the town gifted the town hall – which was not just for their generation to enjoy, but future generations as well. The CHB District Council is currently in the process of getting funds for renovating and upgrading our beautiful town hall so it will last many more generations to come.

When Waipawa turn 100 years old, the gift to the town was our town swimming pool.

And now Waipawa is turning 150 years old, our committee feels that it is fitting that we carry on this tradition and for us to leave something that will be long lasting and meaningful for us now, and for generations to come.

Turning 150 is a time which will only happen once in our history and is an important milestone. It’s a time to remember our past and look to the future.
Our idea for our 150th Gift is to upgrade Nelly Jull Park, by building a Community stage ( in an old-fashioned Band Rotunda style) redeveloping the children’s playground, creating an area for older children and youth to hang out, putting in new picnic tables, seating, drinking fountains etc to make the park a more vibrant and alive place!

Nelly Jull Park

Nelly Jull Park was gifted to our town in 1935 and it quickly became the focal point in our town’s life. In the 1930’s Waipawa District High School in Waverly Street used its fields for Physical Education. Rose gardens and trees were planted, and the old playground equipment from the Domain was shifted down to the park to make the playground (much of that equipment is still there today)

Children’s Playground.

Some of the existing playground equipment is over 100 years old and in need of replacing.
Over the last eighteen months our committee has been frantically fundraising and getting sponsors for the playground from local businesses.
It is really exciting that we have reached our target for funds and the new playground will be up in a matter of weeks!
The new playground will be up before Christmas 2009 but will be officially gifted to the children of Waipawa at the “Picnic in the Park” February 13th 2010.
I can’t wait to see kids playing on it!

A Big Thanks to all the sponsors who supported this project.
Those people are:
Waipawa Butchery, Stephensons Transport, Jan Gosling, Sculptor – Positively Soneaged, Mr Apple NZ Ltd, Skinny Mulligan’s, Allen Motors Plus Ltd, New World Waipawa, S Jenkinson Dental Surgery, Michael Waite (partner McKay and Mackie Solicitors), CHB Motors Ltd, Farmers Transport,

Just look at the changes!

Nelly Jull Park Playground January 2008

Nelly Jull Park Playground October14, 2009

First the old playground equipment gets a bit of a spruce up…

Even the Old tractor looks new and colourful with its new coat of paint !

And then the building of the NEW playground begins….!

8.30am 24th November 2009

12.30pm 24th November 2009

4.30pm 24th November 2009

8.30am 25th November 2009

12.30pm 25th November 2009

4.30pm 25th November 2009

8.30 am 26th November 2009

The Building is finished! Now here comes the bark!

And the bark is spread…
And then…

(photos – I haven’t taken these yet but they’re coming soon)

Here come the kids! Hooray!

Our playground is there now for kids to play on over the summer.
I hope everyone enjoys it.
But remember the Official Opening of our new playground is on February 13, 2010 followed by Picnic in the Park.
So come along and have some fun!

Nelly Jull Park Playground February 13, 2010
(photos to come… watch this space!)

And also a big thanks to the CHB District Council for their work in tidying up the gardens in Nelly Jull Park and replanting it with new roses and buxus hedges.
Here are some photos before and after, and you must admit it looks fantastic even after only being planted for a short time!


And After… (October2009)

And a little bit longer after – and a little bit of colour! (November 2009)

Just wait until next year. The roses will look great.
For those of you who are concerned about the roses in the round rose garden being planted where the band rotunda is going to be – don’t worry. The roses will flower and look great this year and some of next. And when we get the band rotunda built they will be transplanted to ring the perimeter of our beautiful rotunda.

Basketball area

We also felt that the older children and the youth don’t have a lot to do in our town. A few years back the CHB District Council built the Skate bowl down at Madge Hunter Park. Our Committee felt that a basketball area would compliment this… So… more fundraising and generous sponsors.

Now our Basketball court is in place. I know it isn’t quite 2010 – but who cares? Let’s just call it an early birthday present.

Our Basketball area opened on the 25th October 2009.Waipawa’s own “Country Market” opened for the first time on this date too down at Madge Hunter Park… and they’re going to be running every Sunday between 9 am and midday. So if you missed their first one, you can still come along and buy some beautiful fresh veges or other produce on another Sunday mornings (there was lots of yummy fresh asparagus there too – the most beautiful Russian Fudge you’ll ever taste!)

The Official Basketball court opening.

Halen of the Hawkes Bay Hawks shot a few hoops to open the court, and then he gave out lots of balls… and the kids had a go…

After that we had a Skateboarding competition on the adjacent skate park. There wasn’t a huge number of contestants, but they came along, had some fun, won some prizes, and amazed the spectators with their moves. – maybe we’ll do it again next year? (bigger and better)

Again… A Big Thanks to all the sponsors who supported the basketball area project.
Those people are:
Stephensons Transport, Infracon, Ashby’s Mitre 10, Camden Contractors.
These people kindly donated ALL the materials, equipment and time into this project to make it happen. Thanks Guys. You’re fantastic!

Waipawa’s 150th Mural

This project is not one of the Waipawa 150th Celebration Committee’s Gifts to the Future – but is a gift to the future regardless – as it is a gift that I hope we will all enjoy now and well into the future.

It was the idea of a new group in CHB “The Green Kiwi Trust”

The Green Kiwi Trust has lots of ideas up their sleeve and already this year has achieved quite a few. One of their recent projects has been the Waipawa community gardens (located in Waipawa School’s grounds) which was ploughed up by draft horses pulling a plough, and planted in pumpkins and potatoes.

Photos of horses ploughing Waipawa’s community gardens kindly provided by Warwick and Elizabeth Mather

And another of their projects was planting out the hanging baskets that adorn Waipawa’s main street.
I have been asked to emphasize that the Green Kiwi Trust is not just a group concerned with things around Waipawa, but is a group working for the WHOLE of Central Hawkes Bay. So our town is not the sole recipient of all their hard work.

So we are really lucky that one of their ideas was to have a mural painted in recognition of Waipawa’s 150th birthday.
They found a really great spot in Waipawa – on the main street – which was (how do you say it?) It was a bit of a blank space. They asked the manager of our local New World whether they could put a mural there, he said ‘yes’ and the wheels were in motion to start this really special gift.

Then they approached Te Aute College and asked them to get some of their students to paint something that reflected the last 150 years of Waipawa to be a gift to our town for our up-coming celebrations.
The Te Aute boys went one better than that – because as we all know, there were people here well before Frederick Abbott started selling off the land to make the township Waipawa. So their mural reflects this.
I will do my best to write my interpretation of the mural (and I apologize if I miss anything out or don’t get it quite right – this is how I read the mural.)

The Mural has the Waipawa River running through it and the steep hills that rise up around it – as they are constant through time. These link the past to the present, and flows on into the future. Strong imagery using birds is used to help tell the story.

It begins in a time well before Europeans came to New Zealand. A time when the Moa grazed the swamps, and the Huia surveys his territory from the treetops.

The forest is thick and lush as a Tui sits in a tree, his song ringing through the tree-tops, and the river flows on.

The hawk circles the sky and a new dawn signals a beginning of a new time

The river flows on past a Maori village on the hill, and a fantail flitters from branch to branch.

The river flows on… as the Pukeko searches for delicate roots to feast on.

White men arrive, and seeing the place next to the river is a good place to live, they build the first cottage. With the coming of new settlers new birds arrive from lands far away across the sea. A cheeky sparrow hops around the garden of ‘the Pines’.

The noisy miner birds herald the arrival of the first shops in town. The forest is felled and replaced by pasture. Sheep and cattle dot the hills where mighty trees once stood… and the river flows on…

Schools, banks and businesses flourish, as the magpie warbles outside the Theatre hoping to get an audience.

The river flows on, and so does time… The town changes, and a little yellow duck paddles down the river into our present day…

And still the river flows on…. What will our future bring?

So that is our mural… a gift from the Green Kiwi Trust, and the boys from Te Aute College.
Thank you for your fabulous gift.

Here are a few shots of the mural unveiling…

The mayor cutting the ribbon

The Band Rotunda/Community Stage.

Remember when we used to have Picnic in the Park … and we used a truck trailer as a stage?
Wouldn’t it be great to have a purpose built stage where we can have concerts and run other outdoor events any time we wanted?
Wouldn’t it be great to bring back part of our town’s past and make it part of our future? (Waipawa used to have a Band Rotunda which was used for weekly concerts around the turn of last century when the town’s park was the Domain – now called Don Allen Reserve)

A Band rotunda could be used for all sorts of things… like…
Picnic in the park, dance recitals, open-air drama, mini weekend concerts, school choir and band performances, kapa haka, storytellers, classical music, country music, rock, pop or hip-hop, carols by candlelight, and much more…
The possibilities are only limited by you imagination !

So our vision is that we build a community stage… together… as a community project.
Just imagine it… popping up where the rose garden is now… over a weekend or two. Popping up like a mushroom.

Waipawa’s NEW  Band Rotunda/Community Stage.

One of our ‘150th Gift to the Future’ projects was one which has been milling around now for a few years… building a new band rotunda in Nelly Jull Park.

And finally after a year of fundraising and many people offering their time and labour to build it we are finally going to see our new band rotunda come into being.

Watch this space to see it develop….

It used to look like this… A rose garden planted in what was once a fishpond.

This is how it looks 3rd December 2010… the rose garden dug up and the foundation holes dug.

Calendar of Events

Saturday, February 13th

Probably the first and most significant day for our Birthday celebrations was on Saturday, February 13th… And it was Awesome!

On February 13th we started off with a Grand Parade which went down our main street and then headed off down Ruataniwha Street to Coronation Park.
Now in Waipawa we have a fairly grand tradition of parades. We might be a small town, but we do things with passion! As you can see from these photos of past parades

Our parade celebrating our 150th Birthday lived up to that proud tradition of parades in Waipawa – and it was FANTASTIC!
I must admit that our committee did get a little worried about it for a while, leading up to the parade – You see, we had such a large response to people wanting to be in the parade, we were worried that there would be no one left to watch it… But we needn’t have worried… We had a HUGE Parade… AND THOUSANDS of people turned out to watched it.

Some people really got in the spirit of things by dressing in period costume to come and watch the parade.

There was the far off olden days…

And not so old.

And Murray, our town’s butcher (and his fellow butchers at his shop) all dressed up as good old-fashioned butchers. You could almost believe you were back a hundred years ago or more.

Anyway… back to the Parade.
It took a huge amount of organization… and there were people, cars, trucks and horses everywhere!

And once everyone was in order the parade was off!
It was led by the boys of Te Aute college…

And followed by Pawa the Duck, who was transported very elegantly by a beautiful team of Clydesdale horses…

Oh Pawa wasn’t the only bird there… Further along in the parade Hawkeye made an appearance too!

Then… I can’t describe the whole parade, so I’ll let these pictures tell at least part of the story.

Click above images for a bigger version

As you can see it was absolutely amazing!

So the Parade passed down our main street and went on down to Coronation Park and once it arrived at the Park there was a good old fashioned Gala day. There were heaps of stalls of various sorts, bouncy castles…

and fun old fashioned games – such as egg and spoon races, sack races, tug of war etc. Which were really fun!

AND from time to time entertainment by the Te Aute boys doing Kapa haka, and Julie Appleton-Seymour’s dancing girls, and of course the day would not be complete without a pipeband.

You might have thought that was enough fun for one day, but the fun didn’t stop there.
At 3 oclock Margaret Gray and myself took a group of about 25 people on a historic walk up Rose Street (and Winsdor Road – which is quite a steep walk). We visited four historic homes which the owners kindly let us walk through, and we talked about others along the way.

Of course if you missed the historic walk on the 13th February – don’t worry, the walks are taking place again on the 13th of March.

Then… in the evening we moved the celebrations down to Nelly Jull Park where Trish Giddons, our Mayor, officially opened our new playground (which is one of our gifts to the future), and the CHB Aero Club did a fly over.

It was great to see so many children playing in the playground. The new playground was overwhelmed with kids… and so was the newly maintained older equipment. It was really a sight to see!

And finally, to finish 13th February celebrations off we had a “Picnic in the Park” Concert.

Picnic in the Park is not a new thing to Waipawa as we have had several of these before. People came and spread their picnics out on the grass and they sat back and enjoyed the evening.
Local bands performed into the night on top of our highly sophisticated stage (a truck trailer kindly supplied by Stephenson’s Transport), kids ran around with glowsticks and, when it got dark enough that nobody could see, some got up and danced the night away.

All in all, it was a really great day – I can’t wait to the next town party!

Sunday, February 14th

It was a historic day Sunday 14th February 2010. It will go down in history books as being an event that has never happened before.
ALL our churches in town cancelled their own Sunday services, and came to worship down at Nelly Jull Park together. It was great to see all the churches celebrating together – and maybe celebrating their differences as well.
The truck trailer used as a stage the night before was brought into service again, and set up once more with sound equipment and a band.
Each church gave a brief history of their church in our town– which I thought was fantastic since we were celebrating 150 years of Waipawa – and it also a great coming together of the different faiths who worship here.

Saturday, February 13th and March 13th- Historic Houses walk.

Well as you probably have figured out, it now being after the 13th February and 13th March 2010, our walks have come and gone.

We were very lucky with both days. The weather was perfect and our hosts were amazing.

The second walks were bigger than the first, not only in the number of participants who walked up the hill, but also the number of homes we went to. We went to 6 historic homes all together, and the owners of the homes were very kind and let us right into their homes to have a look around! The homes were beautiful, and the maintenance and careful restoration that had been done on these lovely homes were incredible.

I wrote a little bit about the first historic homes walk above on the 13th February (Grand Gala day entry )– and posted a couple of photos – so you can flick up and look at those if you want)…. And, here are a few more.

This is where we went.

Firstly we went to “The Pines” which is located at the bottom of Rose Street.
“The Pines” which is Waipawa’s oldest house built in 1858. Here’s a picture of “The Pines” in its heyday with Dr Todd standing in the gateway.

And here is a picture of us visiting “The Pines” 13th March 2010.

Walking on up the hill in Rose Street we went to the home built in 1902 that once belonged to the Julls who owned the Union Brewery. This is a photo of the brewery which was once located at the bottom of the hill… (because I don’t own a photo of the house as it was in their day)

And this is a home of the Jull’s home now – only now John Finch lives there.

Then we come to the home of James and Mary Glover Bibby, built in 1892. This house has special attachment to me, because it is the home of my great grandparents, James and Mary Glover Bibby – and it’s where I live now. It’s been in our family for nearly 120 years and my children are the fifth generation to live in it! Here a picture of my great grandmother and some of her children and the maid on the front steps in late 1890’s

And here is our house now.

Then we walked past the infamous Professor Moore’s house at no. 15 and heard about why the town was in an uproar about Prof Moore back in 1902…

And we walked past no19. and heard about the exploding house.

Then we visited no 17. (the numbering in Rose Street is VERY odd). Number 17 Rose Street was the 3rd Vicarage in Waipawa and it was built on the other side of the gully from St Peters Church. It had a swing bridge where the vicar used to be able to make a quick trip between church and home over it.

It is no longer a vicarage, but a private home. This is what it looks like today.

After that we have a BIG walk up Windsor Hill to no11. “Mount View” which was originally the home of the first mayor of Waipawa, William Isaac Limbrick.

This home now belongs to Warwick and Elizabeth Mather. The house has been immaculately renovated and was beautiful.

And this is where we stopped and had lunch on the lawn and it was made even more special by being entertained by two very talented musicians who sang, and played some beautiful old instruments.

Once lunch was eaten we walked down the hill and visited the Old St Peters churchyard, where we were told some interesting tales of some of the people buried there.

And then moved on to St Peters church

And the glebe (it was the vicar’s horse paddock – its now a reserve for planting trees)

Then finally we came to the old Rathbone home which used to be known as ‘Abbotsford’.

The house truly is amazing. Julie Appleton-Seymour was so kind in letting us walk inside and marvel at their beautiful home. It was hard to imagine that this wonderfully restored house as a wreck when they bought it back in the 60’s. It had been abandoned for years and nearly every pane of glass in every window had been smashed – and it was probably the tale of many town ghost stories. Now, after many years of their own hard work and tender-loving care, the Appleton-Seymour’s have restored its beauty inside and out – it was a real inspiration.

And so that was the end of our walk. It was a really amazing day and I learnt so much about these old homes which I didn’t know before.

It makes me really grateful that these wonderful treasures are in the hands of people who truly love them and care for them. It was truly a privilege to be allowed to see it for myself.

Thank you so much everyone who opened their homes. You were so kind and went well beyond what I had envisaged when I suggested these historic home walks a year or so back.

Maybe one day we’ll do it all again???

Oh, before I forget – there are teatowels for sale with the images of these old homes available at the Museum. They cost $10.

Saturday, March 27th – Mary Glover Bibby Painting Exhibition and Book Launch

It was a huge job, (and mostly fun), collecting together some of my great grandmother’s paintings from aunts and uncles, framing them and getting them hung up in one place for others to enjoy. Mary Glover Bibby was an incredible woman, not only did she paint and draw, but she was so involved in our community and did heaps of things to make people’s lives a little better and brighter, that its actually really appropriate that in our 150th celebrations we can also celebrate some of the individuals who have made Waipawa such a fantastic place in our history.

Let me first tell you a little about my great grandmother, Mary Glover Bibby.
(If you want a more detailed account of her life click on Mary Glover Bibby in enquiry menu)
Mary Glover Bibby was a prominent woman in Waipawa’s history. She came to New Zealand in the 1891 and married James Bibby.

She was involved in the CWI, founded Plunket in Waipawa, and was heavily involved in the community, church, and temperance movement. She was also one of the first two women in Waipawa to vote.

As well as being so involved in her community, Mary had a family of seven children, and she painted.

The paintings I put together for this exhibition are paintings of local scenes around Waipawa, the foothills of the Ruahines where the Bibbys still farm, and of Kairakau Beach.

Mary used to also teach Sunday school and to illustrate her lessons she often painted pictures of the stories she was telling.

Recently some of her paintings of the Tarore story were taken to the Bible Society and they decided to use these pictures, painted about 80 years ago, to create a children’s picture book.

Well known New Zealand Author, Joy Cowley, was asked to write the words to go with the story and in September 2009 the Tarore Story was launched in Matamata –

So March 27th 2010 was OUR chance to welcome the book!

We were very lucky that Joy Cowley came to help us launch the book here in Waipawa, which coincided with the opening of the Mary Glover Bibby painting exhibition.

This is how the day went….

We started with a powhiri done by Otane School.

It was fantastic that the kids from Otane agreed to do this very special welcome, because it was to Otane that Mary Glover Tod first came to live with her extended family. So Otane was her family’s home.

Then Merv Rive from the Bible Society spoke about how the book came into being… and the message behind the book…

Then our special guest, Joy Cowley spoke about her feelings and motivation for the book…

And then my cousin, Claire Bibby spoke about Mary Glover Bibby – her art, her life, her service to the community of Waipawa, and her family.

Once the exhibition of Mary Glover Bibby’s art was officially opened, Joy Cowley took the children (and quite a few parents and grandparents) back into the old Museum building and read them “Tarore and her Book”.

The kids were spellbound…

And then they were even more excited when they could talk to Joy, and received a free Tarore book, and could get her to sign it! Joy got mobbed by kids!

It was a great day, and thank you everyone who was involved and came along. Special thanks to Joy Cowley, Merv Rive of the Bible Society, Claire Bibby, the CHB Settlers Museum and the Bibby family who all made the day really special and one to remember.

If you missed the opening don’t worry.

The exhibition of Mary Glover Bibby’s art will be down at the museum until sometime in June.

There are lots of events planned throughout the year – and as I get more details of them I’ll post them here.

“Through the Ages Ball.”  Saturday 14th August

I know in earlier advertising we have said that our “Through the Ages Ball’ was going to be on the 9th October – BUT disregard that date!

The Ball will now be on the 14th August.

The reason for the change is that our Town Hall is about to start is major renovations, and so the Town hall is not available. The fact that the Town Hall is being upgraded is exciting in itself, because of course; it was a gift to the future in our town when Waipawa turned 50. This year the Hall is celebrating 100 years – and with this renovation and face-lift it will be around for many more years to come!

So Our “Through the Ages Ball” is the hall’s “Last Hurrah” in its present state. So this will be your last opportunity to be in the hall before the work on the hall starts (in fact the Ball is on Saturday – and the work starts only two days later on Monday).

So mark this special date in your diaries.
And think about which era you would like to come dressed up as.

Tickets cost $50.00 for single, $90.00 for double, and will be on sale at Waipawa Fish Supply from Tuesday 8th June.