Girl power fired up for fun at Mo­tat

Central Leader - - News - By Carly Tawhiao

It’s not the kind of ve­hi­cle you’d use on the school run.

But mother-of-four Ange White is com­pletely happy be­hind the wheel of a 12tonne ar­moured per­son­nel car­rier.

“It’s to­tally not hard to drive,” she says.

“It’s like driv­ing a bull­dozer, ex­cept it’s au­to­matic.”

The Mo­tat vol­un­teer will be driv­ing vis­i­tors around the mu­seum on Sun­day in the car­rier, known in the trade as an APC.

It’s one of the at­trac­tions at Mo­tat’s live-day cel­e­brat­ing Girl Power: The Her­itage of Women, an event for Auck­land Her­itage Fes­ti­val 2008.

The day pays trib­ute to how Kiwi women have helped shape New Zealand so­ci­ety, and con­tinue to do so to­day.

Ange has been a mil­i­tary en­thu­si­ast for 30 years, and gained her T-en­dorse­ment li­cence last year.

Hus­band Matt is also in­ter­ested in mil­i­tary ve­hi­cles and has been a Mo­tat vol­un­teer for 23 years.

He taught Ange how to drive the car­rier, and says the big­gest chal­lenge is ad­just­ing to its size.

The 1968 mil­i­tary ve­hi­cle weighs more than 12 tonnes and re­sem­bles a tank, but has no ar­tillery.

The APC, on loan to Mo- tat from the Army Mu­seum in Waiouru, car­ries up to 12 pas­sen­gers and op­er­ates with a crew of two.

Ange and Matt’s chil­dren are so fa­mil­iar with the car­rier that three-year-old Hay­den has been known to fall asleep on his sib­lings dur­ing trips.

El­dest daugh­ter Rachel, 10, plans to be the youngest APC fe­male driver in the coun­try when she is el­i­gi­ble to sit her li­cence at 18.

From corsets to con­vert­ible Cadil­lacs, Ange says there will be some­thing for every­one at Sun­day’s live day.

Along with APC rides, women vol­un­teers will be driv­ing trams and vin­tage cars.

Other ac­tiv­i­ties in­clude an ex­hi­bi­tion of girl power cov­er­ing the last 120 years, as well as the op­por­tu­nity to learn to play Vic­to­rian games for girls.

Vis­i­tors can also have their photo taken in cos­tume and sam­ple a tra­di­tional Vic­to­rian fair with lolly mak­ers, candyfloss and tof­fee ap­ples.

The day starts at 10am at Mo­tat in West­ern Springs.

For more de­tails call 0800 MOTATNZ or 815-5800.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Tanks very much: Vol­un­teer Ange White looks for­ward to driv­ing pas­sen­gers around in her ar­moured per­son­nel car­rier at Mo­tat on Sun­day.

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