Proud to live and celebrate in our district
The number of positive activities and celebrations over the past month makes you feel proud to live in the Manawatu¯ District.
The Keep Feilding Beautiful team won the New Zealand’s Most Beautiful Town Award again for the 16th time.
This acknowledges the outstanding amount of voluntary work our community does, with projects like plantings, painting bridges, litter collections and environmental activities. Well done! Given the great work that’s also being done in our villages, let’s see some applications next year, to bring home New Zealand’s Most Beautiful Village award too.
More than 30 residents, from around the globe, were sworn in as New Zealand citizens at a special council ceremony. Their stories of why they choose Manawatu¯ as their new home are varied and fascinating, with some heart-wrenching tales of why they left their home country seeking a brighter future in New Zealand.
The Manawatu¯ District Young Achievers Awards recognised the efforts of 53 students from districtwide schools. Nothing to do with academic achievements, these awards celebrate our young people who are naturally inspirational leaders, give 110 per cent effort to everything they do, care for others around them, embrace our cultural diversity and our changing environment .
A new category ‘Agri Youth’ recognised young people who love getting their hands dirty and have potential for a career in agriculture or horticulture.
Rural Day was another successful ‘grass roots’ community event. The farm animals, machinery, rural activities and crazy competitions, supported by local businesses, volunteers groups and individuals again showcased agriculture as the backbone of our community, in a fun way.
Our rural schools have just had their respective pet days, with the champion pets now going on this weekend to the championships event.
The huge effort made by parents, grandparents, caregivers, teachers, judges and supporters encouraging our youth to care for animals is fantastic to see.
It was a privilege to open the New Zealand Rhododendron Conference with 160 people attending, many coming from around the world. They spent a few days here experiencing our hospitality, visiting our region’s gardens and travelling the ‘Country Road’ route around Manawatu¯ . The positive comments again cemented how proud we should all be, of our town and district.
Then there is the outstanding achievement by Daphne Sowerby, a local lady who is about to celebrate raising $100,000 for the Hospice over many years selling baking, plants, morning teas and so on.
Daphne at 87 years old is reluctantly retiring from her fundraising efforts. She and many others like her are our unsung volunteers who quietly beaver away in the background doing great work for others less fortunate than themselves.
Which brings me to Whanau Day this Sunday. All residents are invited to join me to show we care about each other, given the tragic synthetic drug incident recently.
Following the public meeting a taskforce was set up to action some of the ideas put forward. Our free Whanau Day offers an opportunity to have fun together, starting with a community walk from the Clock Tower to Victoria Park.
The new Fitness Zone will be opened, followed by games, barbecue, displays and activities in the park and a free swim at the Makino Pool to finish.
This day is possible due to the many volunteers, agencies and businesses who strongly believe in the power of community to support our young people. See you there!