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Jun 21, 2022

Gun Club streak of achievements continuing

The Whitianga Gun Club is continuing its impressive streak of achievements over the past years. Last weekend, the club won the Allan Browne New Zealand Double Rise Trophy for the fifth time in a row. The team competing for the trophy was Brad Johnstone, Neville Crawford, Mike Keighley, Bill Smith and Dean Horn. At the New Zealand Clay Target Association Hall of Fame dinner held in Christchurch last week, Ian Marshall and Lois France were awarded a Distinguished Service Award for clay target shooting, coaching and the tireless work they have done to keep …

Jun 21, 2022

Otama tree investigation

Thames-Coromandel District Council has released a statement saying that investigations into unauthorised tree removal on Council road reserve next to the Otama Recreation Reserve has concluded that no legal proceedings can be brought against any parties. The investigation has taken a long time due to many factors, including COVID-19 and staff availability, but also access to information at relevant points in time. “We know that this matter has been a difficult one and taken time to address with a variety of groups and agencies involved, and we are also extremely u…

Jun 21, 2022

Dream On: 60 Years Together

Looking back on Gill and Malcolm Clarke’s 60 years of marriage, the key ingredient, they say, is communication. That’s not quite how their love story began. Gill was vaguely aware of Malcolm, but really only because one of her friends was interested in this “Teddy Boy”, with his slick blonde haircut, stovepipe jeans and brothel creeper shoes. Gill meanwhile, was more concerned with sports and athletics, and didn’t really pay much attention to the boys. The only thing that she and Malcolm had in common was the youth club to which they belonged. By chance one day, Gill walked past …

Jun 21, 2022

Pink Breakfast exceeds fundraising expectations

A crowd of women featuring hot pink outfits and accessories, filling every table at Salt Restaurant and Bar in Blacksmith Lane in Whitianga on Saturday morning, 11 June raised $10,500 for breast cancer support and research. Organiser of the Pink Breakfast, Alana Baker, was thrilled with the outcome. “Every sponsor was generous with either money or donations in kind, and with such high-quality gifts from our donors, our auction gift packages were very popular. Businesses in smaller communities get asked a lot to give to many good causes and so I was content to aim for the same amo…

Jun 21, 2022

Thinking about thinking

The spotlight effect and the illusion of transparency   The eighth in a series of articles where Whitianga resident, Max Ross, is exploring the way we think.   The spotlight effect was named in “Current Directions in Psychological Science” in 1999, but the concept behind it was much older. A cool name helped to make it more widely recognised. In an experiment, people are given a particularly cringy t-shirt to wear to a function. They wear this bad t-shirt all night and at the end they are asked how many people they think noticed their t-shirt. All …

Jun 21, 2022

John Ryan’s decent find of gold… and death

John Ryan and Teddy McDonald arrived breathlessly at Thomas Craig’s timber mill at Whangapoua. Although mill workers, they had been fossicking for gold for some weeks on the spur leading to Whangapoua mill, on the east side of the dividing range. And now they had discovered a splendid gold bearing reef, so rich and so easily worked that they believed they would be able to make fifty pounds a week with a pick and shovel. The news caused excitement so immense that around 4:00pm on a Friday afternoon in early October 1868, Mr Craig shut up his mill so that all hands…

Jun 21, 2022

A free pass on driver’s licences

In the life of an adult, holding a valid driver’s licence is considered by many a necessity. However, it comes at a cost that some cannot afford. Inspired by a similar programme during her time at Thames Social Services, Sheryll FitzPatrick, manager of Whitianga Social Services, implemented two years ago a programme in Mercury Bay for people of all ages and backgrounds to gain their licences without being concerned about the expense. “I have witnessed first-hand the difference in people’s lives having a driver’s licence, such as receiving further job opportunities and it being a massive c…

Jun 21, 2022

Love Grace Handbag Appeal for Women’s Refuge

From Monday, 20 June to Friday, 15 July, the BNZ in Whitianga is the collection point for handbags for the Women’s Refuge. They don’t have to be brand new, but look respectful, not worn and in good working order. Ideally each handbag has to be filled with items ranging from essential to luxury. Grace Millane was a British tourist who, at 22, was murdered in Auckland in December 2018, during a two week backpacking holiday. Grace’s mother, Gillian, and her cousin, Hannah O’Callaghan, have organised the donation of thousands of handbags for women’s refuges in her mem…

Jun 21, 2022

Q&A with retiring TCDC Mayor Sandra Goudie

After 36 years in public service, Mayor Sandra Goudie is retiring. “If someone needs help or advice, you don’t ask them what party they vote for, you simply work to get the best outcome.” She has been Mayor of Thames-Coromandel District Council since 2016. Before that, from 2002 to 2011, Sandra served as an MP for the Coromandel electorate as a member of the National Party. There were many years in local government for Mayor Sandra before her election as a Member of Parliament. It is no small event to retire after all these years. Sandra does…