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Action at Wings and Wheels in Thames

Wings and Wheels has been steadily gaining attention over the past few years, turning this small kiwi town into a hub of excitement. This annual event was back this year and certainly captured the hearts of many. We had the privilege of sitting down with Geoff Furkert, one of the event organisers, and discussed history and story behind Wings and Wheels, now organised by the Thames Business Association.
 |  The Informer  |  ,
Action at Wings and Wheels Thames 2024
Wings and Wheels has been running for about four years in its current form. Previously, it was run by the Hauraki Era Club. However, this year marked a significant transition as the Thames Business Association took over the reins. While the exact frequency of the event is yet to be determined, the organisers draw inspiration from a similar event in Tauranga. Furkert was eager to share one of the event’s cornerstones – the Sir Keith Park Memorial. This tribute stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of Sir Keith Park, an individual who has long remained in the shadows despite his remarkable contributions in World War 2, in which his actions were instrumental in winning The Battle of Britain. While his exceptional war record is undoubtedly noteworthy, his role in shaping New Zealand’s history extends beyond the battlefield. Geoff states “He’s such a huge role model for young Kiwis, but sadly not very well recognised here or even overseas.” Wings and Wheels Thames Sir Keith Park was an Auckland City Councillor for three terms. During his tenure he led the group that persuaded the government to buy the land for Auckland International Airport. He also served as chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Royal Foundation for the Blind in 1956 and 1957, and worked extensively with the Epilepsy Association, an organisation he worked with up until his death. The event serves as an opportunity to shine light on his achievements and inspiring younger generations with his leadership and moral values. At its core, Wings and Wheels aims to breathe new life into Thames, welcoming visitors from all around the country. It’s not merely about commemorating Keith Park’s legacy, it’s about uniting people and putting Thames on the map. In this mission, the event has unquestionably succeeded, drawing attendees from all across New Zealand. Geoff and the team couldn’t be more pleased with the event’s turnout. A substantial crowd turned out, and the excitement and sheer delight on their faces was a testament to how thoroughly successful the day was. Organising an event of this magnitude is no small feat, requiring months of planning. Geoff shared that the committee has been hard at work behind the scenes for nearly five months. Their collective experience, with many members having been part of previous events, played a pivotal role in ensuring the event’s seamless execution. Wings and Wheels is more than just a celebration of history, it’s a testament to the power of community and the spirit of individuals like Sir Keith Park. Thanks for putting on such a great event and we can’t wait for the next one!