The world on her flagpole
A Tawa flagpole has become a landmark because of the owner’s habit of displaying a different national flag every day.
Retired Tawa resident Mavis Woodman has been collecting flags since her family gave her the flagpole 13 years ago. She now has 58.
‘‘ When they asked me what I wanted for my birthday, it just came to me,’’ she said.
Every morning, she raises the appropriate flag for the national day of a country – which she keeps track of through her flag book – and for special occasions, such as St Patrick’s Day, Christmas and when the Phoenix win.
Her collection is made up of those she has bought, been given, loaned and asked to fly on specific days.
The flagpole, in Main Rd, Tawa, is visible to everyone who drives past and attracts considerable attention.
‘‘Because it’s on the main road it’s of inter-
Mavfislawgs est to people,’’ she said.
Some locals had requested she fly their national flags, which have included those of Malta and, in a throwback in time, Rhodesia.
‘‘One day we put up the Korean flag and that night a man drove in and thanked us for showing his national flag.’’
The community reaction had been all positive.
‘‘Other people get as much pleasure as we do from flying the flags,’’ she said.
One of her favourites is the Rhodesian flag, lent to her by someone who left there before the country was renamed Zimbabwe.
‘‘He loaned it to us so we can fly it for him sometimes.
‘‘You learn all these stories talking to people about these places you didn’t know before.’’
Mrs Woodman flew the Pakistan flag for its national day on March 23 and recently flew the New Zealand flag half-mast when a neighbour died.
‘‘ The flagpole, it involves you in people’s lives,’’ she said.
Mrs Woodman is always looking to extend her collection, and is in the market for a Wellington flag.
Flag flyer: Mavis Woodman holds one of her favourite flags, from Rhodesia.