Park­side Me­dia Christ­mas Pic­nic

New Zealand Classic Car - - Letters - Words: Trevor Stan­ley-joblin Pho­tos: Joy van Lier and Trevor Stan­ley-joblin

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.

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