World’s town criers will be here with bells on
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.
Town crier: Paddy Ann Pemberton has every reason to smile, returning the hospitality shown by her fellow town criers across the world.