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Op shop vital contributor
Raising funds for the building of a new ambulance station in Mangawhai was the reason for the St John opportunity shop being set up over four years ago. Support from the community has been overwhelming, and it is so exciting that plans for the new station are coming to fruition. The big yellow sign on Molesworth Drive indicates the site of the station, and work will soon begin on clearing the building platform. A December opening is anticipated!

But it doesn't end there of course. The op shop has become such a vital contributor that a decision has been made to purchase the land and building in the village when the lease falls due in July. The intention is to enhance the facility to better support the continued funding of the station and later, a full time station officer. To shop managers Denise and Melissa, the team of 40 or so volunteers, and all who continue to both donate and purchase, thank you.

Locals win on Lotto wheel
More winners, this time the Sweeney family whom many will have seen on TV spinning the wheel to win $150,000. After living in Auckland for many years, they moved to Mangawhai for a lifestyle change and to be closer to Victoria's family. Robin runs his own business as a contract painter, and Victoria is a kindergarten teacher. Music plays a big part in their lives, with daughter Summer enjoying both singing and composing, Serge plays drums, Robin guitar, plus they love the beach and Robin also coaches the under 12's soccer team. With their winnings they’re planning a visit to family in the UK, and of course Disneyland features on the list! Couldn't happen to a nicer family.

Walking Weekend planning ahead
Plans are well underway for the 16th Mangawhai Walking Weekend in 2015 with dates booked for Saturday March 28 and Sunday March 29. A small team is keeping things rolling over for now. However, organisers are keenly seeking some willing volunteers with creative skills to give the event a lovely make-over, such as website design, social media and marketing. Not much to ask in a creative community like Mangawhai! Like to know more? Please give Dorothy Freeman a call on 431 5950 or leave a note on mangawhaiwalkingweekend@gmail.com.

Can you spare an hour or two?
The Mangawhai Harbour Restoration mangrove removal programme is of course, tide controlled! If you can lend a hand, get your diary out now and mark the dates: Tuesday May 27, 9am-1pm and again on Thursday May 29, 10am-2pm. The plan is to start from Molesworth Drive bridge and work to Moir Point. Meet at the Molesworth Bridge where Rex de Baugh has kindly offered parking and mangrove burning space on an adjacent section. Gumboots essential, plus bring loppers, and/or a sharp spade, and/or a rake. And the Golf Club will provide lunch!

Actually, the Monday golfers decided that instead of volunteering individually, they'd make up a gang to help out, but you don't have to be a golfer to join them! The next session will be a fortnight later, Tuesday June 10, 9am-1pm and Thursday June 12, 10am-2pm. Same place, same gear. Even if you can only spare an hour or two, please come along and lend a hand.
 
 
Snippets
Gabrielle and Dave, who have The Gaya Tree organic produce stall at the Village Market, give away free vegetarian meals to seniors on a Saturday morning, "Our way of giving thanks and respect to our elders" they say. Last week, the packaged meal was very tempting with Tara Rd pumpkin, kale, and Mexican couscous. You'll find them outside, right by the side ramp into the hall.

Trish Powley is not only known for her 'Funky Clothing' but also for her home cooking. You can browse through the clothes, take a break with Rush Coffee and cake or scones right there at the shop in the village. As with her Funky Clothing, everything is the one price. Very smart.

And a big thank you to Dion who stopped to help four 'torchless' oldies coping with a puncture on the Matakana Hill road at 11pm. Young Dion is a roofer who lives in Wellsford, works in Matakana, and had a torch!
 

 

Cash prizes for film comp
Entries are now being accepted for the fifth Dargaville Community Cinema Trust Short Film Competition – four categories, with cash prizes! Entries close July 31, so get filming. Entry forms available from the ANZAC Theatre, or by emailing jacobap@xtra.co.nz. Phone Jacoba on (09) 439 7356, or text 027 441 9924 for more information.

One women show
Promise and Promiscuity, best described as a new musical by Jane Austen and Penny Ashton, is coming to Otamatea Repertory Theatre on Tuesday June 3. This one woman show has won numerous awards at Fringe Festivals overseas last year, with Arts OnTour NZ supporting the show here. Adults $30, Gold card and student $15. Starts at 7.30pm. Book online or take a chance on door sales.

 
COMING UP
Apple iPad workshop for browsing internet (Safari) and mail, at the SeniorNet Learning Centre in Kaiwaka (opposite the Cheese Shop) this Friday, May 30, 10am til noon. Register now with Tony Cox 431 2269, or email seniornet.mangawhai@gmail.com. $10 members, $15 non-members.

Senior Citizens/CMA Fair this Saturday, May 31. This very popular annual event is held in the Mangawhai Senior Citizens Hall, Fagan Place (off Wood St), 8.30am til midday. Books, Jigsaws, cakes, jams, crafts, plants, raffles and more!

Mangawhai Music Makers or Open Mike night at Sail Rock in June will be on the second Tuesday, 10th, the sound system is needed for the Promise and Promiscuity show on the first Tuesday! 7-9pm, $2, to entertain or be entertained! Fun night.

Tripe and Onions, a feast on the fourth Thursday of the month at the Mangawhai Tavern. From 5pm onward, with an alternative menu as well! Bookings to the Tavern 431 4505.

Kaiwaka Cinema, Friday June 6 at 7.30pm, Gravity. And on Sunday June 8, 2pm matinee Walking with Dinosaurs.
 

 

New funding helps grow playground
Thanks to the January fundraiser held by the Mangawhai Golf Club, the Mangawhai Activity Zone (MAZ) benefitted to the tune of $13,000 which is being channelled towards the expansion of the childrens playground.

Numbers using the zone continue to increase along with the facilities and it is a pleasure to see so many families out and about. The sand base is perfect for the play area, and when the logs from the St John ambulance site next door are available for a retaining wall the sand will be more contained!

This is one of the new attractions set up by the team of volunteers at a working bee last Monday. Flying saucers are a great plaything for kids (of all ages), especially those with any disabilities. Though they will need a little help getting aboard they can then enjoy a very cruisy ride. Pictured doing the load test is test pilot Charles Tutt.
 

News and views to share through this column? Phone Jo Roberts 431 4711, email jo.roberts@xtra.co.nz


 
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