World’s town cri­ers will be here with bells on

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS - By BAR­BARA WITHING­TON

Oyez, Oyez, Oyez, let it be known that the 2014 Alexan­dra Blos­som Fes­ti­val will in­clude up to thirty Town Cri­ers, in the area to com­pete in the New Zealand In­vi­ta­tional Town Crier Cham­pi­onships. Cen­tral Otago Town Crier Paddy Ann Pem­ber­ton was de­lighted when she was told the idea was a fea­si­ble one and she could now start plan­ning. ‘‘It is fan­tas­tic in­ter­na­tional ex­po­sure for the area as each crier will pre­pare a me­dia port­fo­lio in prepa­ra­tion for the event and will have re­searched all about both Cen­tral Otago and New Zealand be­fore they get here,’’ she said. ‘‘Al­most ev­ery­one I have con­tacted so far is very keen to come, say­ing: ‘tell us more’,’’ some­thing she will be able to do when she com­petes in the Kingston, Canada In­vi­ta­tional in early Au­gust. ‘‘I have twice com­peted in (each of) Aus­tralia, Canada, Amer­ica and Eng­land and have been treated so well each time, it will be great to re­turn the hos­pi­tal­ity.’’ Com­pe­ti­tion would be spread across Cen­tral Otago over four or five days in­clud­ing be­ing part of the Blos­som Fes­ti­val pa­rade in Septem­ber adding colour of a dif­fer­ent hue blos­som. ‘‘They would also take the chance to go into the schools and rest homes while they were here as part of their com­mu­nity giv­ing,’’ Mrs Pem­ber­ton said. Early ideas in­clude Cries in Cromwell, Clyde and Alexan­dra, and a con­cert in Roxburgh, al­though noth­ing is def­i­nite. In the process of form­ing a com­mit­tee to or­gan­ise the event,

to the spring Mrs Pem­ber­ton was hop­ing the area would be forth­com­ing with spon­sor­ship to­wards the event, es­pe­cially the awards din­ner, the awards them­selves and some ac­com­mo­da­tion, as town crier-ing is a vol­un­tary role dat­ing back to Ro­man times. ◗ To help oth­ers un­der­stand more of what town crying is all about, Mrs Pem­ber­ton will be run­ning work­shops as part of this years Thyme Fes­ti­val in Novem­ber.

Photo: BAR­BARA WITHING­TON

Town crier: Paddy Ann Pem­ber­ton has ev­ery rea­son to smile, re­turn­ing the hos­pi­tal­ity shown by her fel­low town cri­ers across the world.

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