Thanks for the Festival of the Elements
A ROYAL VISIT
During a 1981 royal reception for the Queen and Prince Phillip at Government House in Wellington I accidentally bumped into Prince Phillip.
We were quietly sipping sherry in a corner watching, with some amusement, a very short prime minister escorting a very tall royal prince around the ballroom when a royal escort approached and asked if I would like to meet Her Majesty the Queen. Totally stunned I stepped forward passing my sherry glass to my husband as the royal hand came forward to be shaken.
My husband bowed with both hands behind his back, holding our sherry glasses.
‘‘I understand you work with children, Mrs Hudson’’, Her Majesty announced as we were introduced. I was speechless.
My husband answered for me, both hands still behind his back. Her Majesty was keen to know about education in Porirua, and the Titahi Bay Intermediate School students I was teaching.
As the royals moved on Prince Phillip accidentally brushed against my left shoulder. He moved aside, graciously apologising, and unwittingly sweeping me off my feet. A royal charmer.
The next day at school students and staff, some of whom were outspoken republicans, shook my royal right hand and rubbed against my royal left shoulder on and off all day. Everyone seemed to want to have a second hand connection with Prince Phillip, the bloke who helped their Queen do her job.
36 years later she is still doing the job, and Prince Phillip is still there to give her a hand when needed.
He is famous for occasionally rubbing people up the wrong way ... I know from experience that he can also do a bit of rubbing up the right way from time to time.
THANKS FOR THE FESTIVAL
As someone who has attended and enjoyed every one of our community based Festival of the Elements held every Waitangi Day for the last 25 years I want to pay tribute to the organisers. Porirua Community Arts Council with their amazing coordinator Marg Armour, chairwoman Judy McCoy, Bob Cater, Rose Hudson, the Pointons and the dozens of volunteers over the 25 years as well as Gary McCormack as our faithfulMCfor many years.
It was really sad to read that this year’s Festival of the Elements would be the last. It is the end of an era and will really be missed by the 30 thousand people who attended each year. The variety of performances and events in Te Rauparaha Arena and the park stage and in Pataka were truly amazing and catered for all ages and all cultures.
Porirua talent, particularly our children were given a chance to shine! It was a real community family event. Who can forget the recycling and ice sculptures! My sincere thanks to the Porirua Community Arts Council and all involved including the assistance from Porirua City Council staff and council.
I was always under the impression that rates went off the value of properties, yet the last valuation when values dropped dramatically rates went up. Now with the new values have gone up so much rates are due to rise yet again. I suppose that’s one way to cover all the annual pay rises from the mayor down. How nice to get an increase. Especially as some big companies in Porirua pay barely above minimum wage. Certainly not enough to cover increases in rates, food, petrol.
Mind you Porirua now has a pretty carpark. All the better to look at the empty shops. Maybe we should all get jobs with the council and get a livable wage.
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The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, in Christchurch.