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Author: The Informer

A first “birthday” for “grim!”

For as long as musician and previous Mercury Bay Area School student, Gemma Louden (who uses the pronouns “they/them”), could remember, singing and performing has been a part of their life. From beginning piano lessons at the age of 10 to playing guitar at 12, and now having picked up drums, bass and MIDI keyboard too, Gemma has progressed to become a multi-instrumental recording artist that goes by the name “grim!” However, it was only at the age of 15 that grim! began to consider the performing arts as a potential career. “It was around the time that I found how...

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An evening with The Madeleines

Set to perform at The Monkey House Theatre on Saturday 11 June, The Madeleines – a vintage vocal trio made up of international musical theatre performers, Hannah Kee, Shannon Evison and Jess Rogers – have banded together to perform on home soil. Hannah, now a professional touring singer and performing artist, got her first taste for the limelight in, of all places, The Monkey House Theatre in Whitianga as a ballet, jazz and tap dance student. “I grew up here in Whitianga and I practically lived at the theatre,” she says. “I started dancing when I was four years...

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Avoid kereru flying into your windows

A contribution by Annemieke Kregting of the Kūaotunu Bird Rescue Trust   A few days ago, I went to pick up yet another kereru (native wood pigeon) found motionless on the ground near a house in Matarangi. We don’t usually collect birds, but let the public drop them off. After carefully scooping the injured bird up with a towel and placing it in a box in the car, I had a look around and noticed so many more huge houses with big windows being built recently. In the last few weeks, the Kūaotunu Bird Rescue Trust has admitted 11 kereru after striking windows...

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Owen Hodge and Albert Pudney -two young lives cut short

Gumtown’s Granny (Annie) Hodge was one of the area’s best loved characters. She and her husband, Roderick, a boot maker, had over the years brought their enterprising spirit to Gumtown (now Coroglen), running a store, an eating house, butchery and stables. They also loaded provisions for pack horses to take to gum diggers and bush camps. Rod’s boot repair shop had been next to their house and at the back of the shop, Annie ran a business of Saturday night seafood suppers. Gumtown weekends were busy with regular dances and hungry bushmen, and Annie’s shop did a roaring...

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Food forum led by prominent consultant

Eric Pateman one of the world’s most prominent consultants and strategists on culinary tourism led a Coromandel food forum at Flaxmill Bay the week before last, as part of a shared initiative between Thames- Coromandel District Council and Auckland Council’s economic development arms. The purpose of the workshop was to bring together Coromandel food producers and providers to improve collaboration and networking between the local food, hospitality and tourism sectors and to start devising an action plan for food tourism opportunities. “Auckland is one of our biggest...

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Queen’s Birthday Art Expo to benefit swimming pool trust

The Whitianga Lions Club will be holding their second Queen’s Birthday Weekend Art Expo from Friday 3 to Monday, 6 June in the Whitianga Town Hall. Five hundred pieces of art created by more than 60 local artists – including paintings and drawings, sculptures, pottery, photography, mixed media, weaving, quilting, wooden art, glass art, and screen and canvas prints – will be for sale. The expo will open on 3 June at 5:30pm with a free glass of wine or juice on arrival and some tasty nibbles. On 4 and 5 June, the public will be able to view and purchase the...

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In tune with Poutama

Music and working with young people have been part of award-winning hip-hop artist, teacher and social worker, Tipene Harmer’s life for as long as he can remember. “I’m passionate about three things,” says Tipene (Ngāti Kahungunu). “People, from helping and walking alongside them to learning from them, music and my culture.” Tipene joined Whitianga Social Services in January this year as a mentor who focuses on young people, family violence prevention, whānau resilience and tikanga Māori. On Monday last week, he launched a music production studio where young people on the...

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Mercury Bay Spouting – a dynamic father and son duo are taking over

After seven years of service to Mercury Bay, Tony Moyes of Mercury Bay Spouting has decided it’s time to hang up the snips and clips. He would like to dedicate more time to his many passions, including boating, crafting fantastic copper sculptures, cruising around on his motorbike and, of course, spending his spare moments with his wife, Marianne. In his stead, Tony has left his faithful customers in the trusty hands of dynamic father and son duo, Justin and Storm Annereau. They are looking forward to take over the business, which they have renamed “Mercury Spouting”, on 1 June Having...

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Changing of the guard at the Coromandel’s Bayleys offices

After 25 years, real estate stalwart, Mary Walker, is stepping down as owner of the Coromandel Peninsula’s two Bayleys Real Estate offices. Mary is handing over the reins to Bayley family member, Chris Bayley, real estate professional, Shaun Paterson, and existing Bayleys Coromandel shareholder, Karl Davis. Chris and Shaun both have strong connections to Mercury Bay while Karl, a long-time member of the Hauraki North Rugby Club and top rural real estate salesperson on the Hauraki Plains, has a home in Pauanui. Shaun spent his formative years in Whitianga and has returned home...

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