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Going for a swim

Conducted by Dean Albiston, our Deputy Chairman and Ex-Police Search and Rescue and Manus Pretorius, our IT expert. The first part of the training was the cross-river training. Sounds pretty simple really, but some very clever concepts have been developed by LandSAR to ensure that any volunteers who have to cross a river during a search, do so as safely as possible. The first principle, especially if a river is in flood (which with the rain we have been having recently, is quite regular!), is to question whether it is safe to cross. “If in doubt stay out! It’s not worth your life.” If...

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The Sexy Salsa

There is a joy in dancing that lifts the spirit. It brings benefits to the mind and body as well as the chance to meet new friends. The Informer is exploring opportunities around the Coromandel for dance – ranging from ballroom to hip-hop, belly dance to rock ‘n roll – They invite you to have a go. Liz Simms wrote previously about Ball Room dancing and now Pam Ferla brings you the action on Salsa. Sexy Salsa By Pam Ferla If you want to do something sexy and exciting without getting in to trouble, try dancing the Salsa! This is one of...

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FIVE Most enjoyable bike rides

Sadly, you wouldn’t call Whitianga an overly friendly cycling town, because there is a lack of a dedicated joined cycling network to cater for those who simply enjoy a cycle outing ridden on a well-maintained pathway and separated from an ever-increasing vehicle traffic count. Obviously, over the holiday periods that traffic flow only gets heavier, so one tip from the outset is to always ride in single file and if you are new to cycling, stay away from the main roads especially if you are riding with the company of young children.     1.Relax at Cooks Beach For a nice...

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Ceremonial but fun prizegiving

The Boys Brigade is not a big organisation in New Zealand. However, in Mercury Bay, it is strong and active and operates at a high level of care, achievement and safety, due particularly to the leadership of Robyn Balfour who is responsible for the Whitianga Boys Brigade.   Last Tuesday night was annual prize-giving for the members of the Whitianga Boys Brigade at Kuaotunu Hall, where the Term Four largely outdoor programme had run. The evening was quite ceremonial and sometimes formal. That’s a compliment. One could sense the air of expectation and anticipation.  Leaders had...

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Art Escape open studios 2024

The 2023 road gods have fulfilled their duty and the Kopu – Hikuia SH25 is boasting a brand-new bridge in the week before Christmas. We have been thinking positively here in Mercury Bay and our artists, galleries and accommodation providers are ready and waiting for the influx of art lovers. Inaugural Student Exhibition The year 2023 has inspired some developments within the Art Escape and this year we have introduced the inaugural student exhibition featuring year 11 to 13 design students from Mercury Bay Area School. The significance of nurturing art in our community is of...

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My Tribute to Whitianga Coastguard

By Marlene Pfenning  New country, new people, new life. Excited, scared and happy. That’s how it feels when you find yourself alone in a new, unknown country. New Zealand, just wow. Being an international student is the most wonderful and challenging experience I have ever had. Hi, my name is Marlene, I am from Germany and just turned 18. I arrived in late January 2023. Being on the other side of the world without your family is an experience with a roller coaster ride of feelings. It turned out that Whitianga was the right choice for me. I’ve always been a...

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103 Years of service

Now in November 2023, both men have served 103 years between them. Grassy has served 50 years this week and Spida, has served fifty -three years. However, in April, both men will receive their 50 years Fire Service Medal together. Spida just put his Fire Service Medal aside to wait for his brother. “This is so we can receive them together. It is worth waiting for. That’s the way it has always been for us. We are two brothers.” Both Grassy and Spida are active members on the Whitianga Volunteer Fire Brigade. “ I became part of the Whitianga Fire Brigade in 1977,” says Spida. “For...

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Great progress on 3D Mammogram Machine Funds – Lions Club

This achievement gives us confidence that achieving $200,000 by the end of 2024 is possible, after which, we will apply for grants for funds for the remainder of the $350,000 required. There are a few issues that we are receiving feedback on which we would like to clarify as follows. The Lions are fund raising for the purchase of a 3D mammogram machine and a place to house it. Mammography is a specialised service and will require a private radiology company to operate it. We aim to have further discussions with prospective radiology companies in the first...

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