Parkside Media Christmas Picnic
The second Parkside Media Christmas Picnic was held for all past, present, and future participants of our annual North Canterbury Classic Tour on Sunday, November 22. As the net profits made on the day were donated to the Amberley St John Ambulance, it was appropriate to commence the tour from its headquarters, using the adjacent Hurunui District Council building’s car park.
As this event is new on the Canterbury classic car calendar — 2014’s was the first held — we expected a small turnout of maybe 40 vehicles; however, 99 entries were received by the departure time and 149 route sheets had been sold by 10.30am, just as the number-one car departed.
Prior to departure, all drivers and crew were invited to walk 100 metres down the road to visit Mumma T. Trish Coleman has been an eccentric collector for many years, so, when the opportunity came to lease a building across the road from the Nor’wester Cafe, which she had helmed for 17 years, she obtained the long-awaited venue to open up her collection to the public. There is an old-type Werner piano for sale at Mumma T, and this gave Anna Hendrie — a young NCO from the Amberley St John — the opportunity to play some lovely classical music, adding ambience to the scene while entrants browsed among the articles offered for sale.
The route sheet gave participants a little history of various buildings they were passing by, including Teddy Bear House; Wineberry Estate; a new mural dedicated to World War I; and a monument erected to the memory of sergeant OH Turner, who fell in the battle of Bothasbero on February 23, 1902. Also of interest was Basher’s Sawmills, established in 1944 and still operating today. Then came the 133-year-old Broomfield School and, finally, the Waikari Hospital, which opened in September of 1920. The statue of Dr Charles Thomas Wilson Little, the tireless hospital superintendent, was admired by all. Little, a very generous man who worked among the people and administered to all, rich and poor, succumbed to the ravages of the flu epidemic in 1918.
The final port of call was at the Hawarden Museum. The Waipara County Historical Society was formed in 1970 with the aim of preserving historical records and artefacts relating to the former county of Waipara. This museum is situated in the former Methodist church and contains a collection of both local and general interest — much of it displayed in colonial room settings — as well as many early photographs, maps, ledgers, and details of farm and family history. Sadly, there is no information or photographs of my late grandmother’s bee farm, Amedale Apiaries, or her 1947–’48 Ford V8 Jailbar truck — a situation I plan to remedy in future. Fortunately, the V8 is still in the district, now fully restored by local garage proprietor Brian Wood.
The tour route proceeded north to the historic Star and Garter Hotel, built around 1935–’36. The trip through the Scargill-greta Valley, with its undulating and twisting road, is one I never get tired of driving, especially in an open-top classic. We then drove through lovely scenery to reach Motunau Beach village.
This year my, Organizer’s Choice Award went to a magnificent 1951 Humber Super Snipe. Finished in black and fitted with whitewall tyres, this car is a new restoration on the Canterbury classic car scene.
The return trip basically retraced the morning route, but extended to Leithfield, where we finished the picnic at the very popular and award-winning Pukeko Junction Cafe and Regional Wine Centre and Gallery.
Finally, I would like to extend my thanks to Anne at Frame ’n’ Copy, North New Brighton, for sponsorship of the history information sheet, and to Arthur Burke Ltd, Amberley Hammer Hardware, for sponsorship of the route sheets. Also, a special thanks to Georgina Eagle; my niece Elizabeth Miller and two of her children, Charlotte and Luke; plus staff at the Amberley St John Ambulance Headquarters.
At the annual end of year prize-giving of the Amberley St John Youth Division, a cheque for $1678 was presented, drawn from money raised at the Parkside Media Christmas Picnic.