Cel­e­bra­tion of sol­stice

Waitaki Herald - - NEWS -

This year’s win­ter sol­stice will be recog­nised in Oa­maru with song, story and dance on Fri­day.

Sol­stice Jour­ney will fea­ture pop­u­lar lo­cal duet Brid­get El­lis and Lyn­ley Cald­well, and a short story and danc­ing by African dance and drum teacher Ra McRostie.

The per­for­mance will be pre­sented in the Early Set­tlers Hall on Sev­ern St at 7.30pm, Fri­day, June 19.

It is be­ing held to raise funds for the Nat­u­ral Her­itage So­ci­ety of Oa­maru so it can con­tinue to of­fer ser­vices and pro­grammes such as the an­nual Sus­tain­able Skills Sum­mer School, said so­ci­ety chair­woman Gail May-Sher­man.

‘‘These in­cluded food preser­va­tion and prepa­ra­tion, money and its al­ter­na­tives, gar­den­ing, mind, body and spirit, te reo, self-suf­fi­ciency, energy, trans­port, work­shop skills, and cre­ative arts. Since we launched it five years ago the school has be­come a pop­u­lar sum­mer-time at­trac­tion, bring­ing course par­tic­i­pants to Oa­maru from all over the coun­try.’’

The mem­bers of the Nat­u­ral Her­itage So­ci­ety also man­age the Waitaki Time­bank, a bank­ing sys­tem that uses an hour of time as the unit of cur­rency. This al­lows mem­bers to ‘‘buy’’ help from other mem­bers for any­thing that both mem­bers agree on, with­out re­ly­ing on money.

Ser­vices of­fered in­clude child­care, com­puter help, home and gar­den ser­vices, house­hold and elec­tronic re­pairs, cook­ing, com­pan­ion­ship, trans­porta­tion and more.

‘‘Another of our on­go­ing projects are the pe­ri­odic work­shops we run on Com­mu­nity Sav­ings and Loan Pools,’’ May-Sher­man said.

‘‘Each pool al­lows small groups of peo­ple to pool their sav­ings and pro­vide in­ter­est-free loans to each other, re­ly­ing on rec­i­proc­ity in­stead of in­ter­est. When a loan is re­paid, the bor­rower ends up with an amount of per­sonal sav­ings equal to the orig­i­nal loan amount.

‘‘ This sys­tem en­cour­ages per­sonal sav­ings, al­lows mem­bers to make pur­chases, travel or sim­ply re­duce debt with­out pay­ing in­ter­est costs, and most im­por­tantly, forms strong and sup­port­ive friend­ships be­tween mem­bers.’’

The so­ci­ety is also in­volved in a Food For­est Pro­ject, plant­ing fruit, nut and na­tive trees in public spa­ces through­out the dis­trict and in work­ing with other groups to es­tab­lish a new com­mu­nity nurs­ery in the Oa­maru Public Gar­dens to prop­a­gate na­tive and ex­otic amenity trees from seeds and cut­tings.

May-Sher­man said she hopes the dis­trict will turn out on Fri­day to en­joy the en­ter­tain­ment and supper at the Early Set­tler’s Hall, while sup­port­ing the work of the Nat­u­ral Her­itage So­ci­ety.

Tick­ets are $12 for adults and $6 for chil­dren, and are avail­able at the Or­ganic Larder. For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion call May- Sher­man on 434 9761 or 021 802 010.

Ra McRostie

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