Tokoroa flooding uncovers keepsake
Amid the chaos of major flooding an unexpected find has the team at Tokoroa’s Creative Arts holding out for a happy ending.
A large portion of donated materials at the community art hub, where people with disabilities make and sell arts and crafts, had to be binned after a ‘‘waterfall’’ of water came through the roof during a recent heavy downpour.
With driers on full blast to save the carpet and shelving, team members reluctantly began to throw everything else away.
It was then that support worker Jean Teao stumbled upon a 1943 handwritten and illustrated story.
The story,touring The North Island, was written by a Hastings Standard Three schoolgirl Helen M Hortop and had been tucked away in a pile of old magazines and newspapers.
Helen tells the story of how she toured the North Island on a camping trip with her parents, sister Mary and brother Ian in a Morris 12.
The family visited Norsewood below the Ruahine Range where they ‘‘cooked tea on a Coleman cooker’’, went eel fishing, visited Featherston’s Pigeon Bush, Wellington Zoo, the Kapiti Coast, Wanganui, Te Kuiti and Auckland, before returning home via Tauranga and Gisborne.
Teao she she couldn’t believe it when the story fell out.
‘‘We were just sorting through all the stuff that was on the shelf when it came out. I thought it looked important and it’s beautifully handwritten,’’ she said.
Team leader Rachael Campbell said it is likely a keepsake that someone forgot about when the magazines and newspapers were donated.
‘‘This is an interesting place because sometimes people bring things in that they don’t realise,’’ she said.
‘‘Over the years we have had little finds and we have always managed to get them reconnected with people but this is a name I do not recognise.’’
Campbell said she’d like to see the story returned to Helen or her family but as yet she’s had no luck tracking them down.
‘‘It is a really cool story that I’m sure her grandchildren would love but no one around here seems to know who she is,’’ she said.
She said if the story could be reunited at least something good would have come from the flood.
Creative Arts Tokoroa support worker Jean Teao holds a 1940’s handwritten story found after a recent flood.