Crier hails Howick virtues in Aussie
A festival in Australia might seem an odd place to hear someone loudly extolling the virtues of an East Auckland suburb.
But Jim Donald is arguably Howick’s most vocal champion.
On Saturday mornings he’s always at the Howick Village Market honing his craft and bellringing technique as the longserving Howick Town Crier.
They’re attributes that recently took him across the Tasman Sea to take part in Australia’s 26th National Town Crier Championships at West Wyalong, in New South Wales.
Donald performed two cries, one promoting Howick and another for West Wyalong.
He says he was the only crier from New Zealand to present at the West Wyalong Show Day, an honour that saw him interviewed on ABC Television.
‘‘The network quoted me when I said, ‘ any Australian visiting Auckland in New Zealand is welcome to spend a day in Howick’,’’ Donald says.
The retired policeman and current Howick Local Board member says he also left behind brochures illustrating Howick’s Saturday market and the Howick Historical Village in an effort to draw tourists over.
‘‘The festival is a great tourist promotion and I was so pleased to get an Australian-wide invitation for Australians to visit Howick when they come to Auckland.’’
At the Australian Town Criers Festival, Stephen Clarke of Gosford, NSW, Jim Donald of Howick, and Bill Wallace of Lane Cove, NSW.