Celebration of solstice
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.