Eastern Courier : March 11th 2011
7 EASTERN COURIER, MARCH 11, 2011 NEWS Memories of the bush Memoir: Gordon McKenzie has written a unique tale based on memories of his time in the Hokianga bush as a young man. Photo: MATT BOWEN By MATT BOWEN Gordon McKenzie will con- vince you to step back in time. It s the summer of 1938 and he s about to guide you into the rugged Northland forest for an old-school log- ging expedition -- no chainsaws or heavy machin- ery only beasts, men and hand tools. We shall spend one long day from daylight to late at night, he says, experienc- ing the bush, the bullocks, and the wonders they per- form together with the men who make it all possible. The sights, sounds, smells, tales and experiences come straight from Mr McKenzie s memory. As a young man he spent every available hour with a herd of working steers and men as they cut and dragged native logs out of the bush. Now after two years spent crafting those memories into readable form they re bound in a book titled The Gentle Giants. The 85-year-old Paku- ranga resident says they were hard times economi- cally. The depression was officially supposed to be over in 1935 but of course it wasn t, he says. The wages were so poor they had to work long hours otherwise they didn t make a living. Not necessarily going flat stick but putting in the long distance physical endurance over sheer long hours. The Gentle Giants was published late last year but the 2000 copies haven t sold well. Not that Mr McKenzie minds. Whether I make any money out of it is not terribly important. The main thing is to get them sold so people can read them. It s part of New Zealand s history. Any number of Kiwis don t have an idea what working bullocks are like, they ve never seen them. Family and friends loved it.Mr McKenzie says one cousin started reading it, couldn t put it down and fin- ished it at 5am. The 156-page paperback is on sale at Paperplus Pakuranga. Schools do their bit for Canterbury Collecting coins, above: Point View Primary students wear red and black for their mufti day supporting the Christchurch earthquake appeal. From left: Charlotte Leigh and Austen Stutt, both 10. Photo: KRISTINA RAPLEY Donations please, below: Children from Rockabye Preschool in Highland Park collect for Christchurch. From left: Caitlyn Alley, Connor Jollivet, Kyla Miehe, all 4, and Dylan Miehe, 2. By KRISTINA RAPLEY Helping hands: Felicity Wright, 3, from Acorn Meadows Education and Childcare centre in Pakuranga places her donation on the fish to send to a Christchurch preschool. Photo: KRISTINA RAPLEY Hearts and wallets are open- ing everywhere in response to the catastrophic earthquake in Christchurch. More than 100 schools around Auckland took part in a Red-And-Black Christ- church Support Day last Friday. The day was instigated by the Auckland Primary Principals Association and it s expected to collect around $100,000. The money will go to the Canterbury Primary Prin- cipals Association to help Christchurch schools get back up and running. Point View Primary princi- pal Judy Parr says the school has a group of Christchurch students enrolled who are staying with family. She is expecting more to come. These families have lost everything, their homes and belongings and even friends and relatives in the earth- quake. We are just trying to pro- vide some normality for the children and a safe and caring environment while they get back on their feet. The Howick school raised $3300 from the mufti day gold coin collection and lunchtime bake sale and will collect more at the annual picnic. Mrs Parr says they are struggling to imagine what it must be like for Christchurch schools. A teacher s life is in their classroom. They spend years building resources and for that all to be destroyed is just heart- breaking, she says. Preschools are also doing their bit for the quake- ravaged city. Acorn Meadows Education and Childcare manager Susan Whitefield says it s been emotional to see the impact the earthquake has had on their kids. We did the two minutes of silence and it was just amazing, it brought tears to my eyes. Two minutes is a long time for a large group of young children to stay quiet. The youngsters at the Pakuranga centre are learn- ing about sea creatures so they have put their donations and messages of support on a giant fish that will be sent to a preschool in need. I want to give you a special lollipop to make you feel better, writes four-year- old Bailey. I think you re special, special and brave, from three-year-old Felicity. Rockabye Early Learning Centre in Highland Park has also been busy collecting. Teacher Shelly Field says their children have shown empathy for those in Christ- church and held a sausage sizzle raising nearly $600. Go to www.eastern courier.co.nz to see Point View Primary students comment on the earthquake.
March 9th 2011
March 16th 2011