YEAR IN REVIEW
■ The stars came to town with the second instalment of the reinstated Te Puke Great Comedy Debate, with comedy heavyweights Michele A’court and Jeremy Elwood at the helm of the two teams. The husband and wife pairing were adversaries on the night, Michele A’court getting the upper hand in the debate with the moot Youth is Wasted on the Young.
■ Mallory the sheep proved to be more than just a woolly companion when she took on the role of escapologist in Te Puke’s town centre. Owner Fleur Salt described her as a “weird sheep”, but was pleased to have her returned after she was captured in Jellicoe St.
■ Te Puke High School was put into lockdown early in the month after a malicious email was received. Police checked the school and gave the all clear.
■ Te Puke Repertory Theatre marked its 65th birthday with a get-together of past and present members at its Litt Park Theatre.
■ Rangiuru premiers secured a top-four spot in the Baywide Premier 2 competition to secure premier division rugby for the Te Puke club next season. Rangiuru men’s and women’s sides and Te Puke Sports’ premier and development sides all secured places in their respective competitions’ finals.
■ Possibly the district’s oldest resident, Elizabeth Forbes celebrated her 105th birthday surrounded by five generations her family at Te Puke Country Lodge. Elizabeth was born in northern
Scotland but left with her husband Alex and sons Eric and Ken in 1958, spending three years in Western Australia before sailing to New Zealand.
■ Te Puke Sports clinched the Baywide Premiership rugby title with a 27-13 victory over Te Puna in front of a packed Murray Salt Stadium. Club president Ash Peat said the occasion was “probably the biggest day in the club’s history”. The club’s development side made it a double celebration by retaining the development trophy with a 27-22 win, also over Te Puna. Rangiuru secured the Premier 2 title with an extra-time 36-32 win away at Te Teko.
■ Anger greeted the news that Western Bay of Plenty District Council was considering scrapping community boards, with both Te Puke and Maketu¯ Community Board chairman criticising the proposal. Maketu¯ Community Board chairman Shane Beech said he felt community boards were working and Peter Miller, Te Puke Community Board chairman, said he didn’t see what the problem was with the status quo.
■ Tackling sustainability issues in the kiwifruit industry saw Trevelyan’s Pack and Cool win Hort NZ’S Environmental award. The Environmental Award recognised a person or organisation that developed and implemented a sustainable environmental project, with identifiable benefits. It was the first time Hort NZ has made the award.
Teachers from the district joined colleagues across the country in strike action. Teachers are concerned at the difficulties of retaining and recruiting teachers and say conditions need to improve for the trend to be reversed. Prior to strike action being taken in August, local teachers held a day of community action to get their message across.
■ The town’s Pacific community came together at Te Puke Intermediate School for a Pasifika Fia Fia featuring students and family groups from Kiribati, Samoan, Tonga and Fijian heritage. ■ Te Puke United’s women’s team won the Bay 1 Championship title with a 5-2 victory over O¯ tumoetai women, with Ashley Weld scoring all five of Te Puke’s goals.
■ St Thomas Anglican Church celebrated its 150th anniversary with a weekend of events at the church and at Whakaue Marae in Maketu¯ . One of the highlights was the unveiling of a glass case housing a Bible that is older than the church itself. The Bible was given to Maketu¯ ’s first local Anglican minister, Ihaia Te
Ahau, when he finished his training. It is dated April 29 1858. There was standing room only at the small church on the hillside overlooking Maketu¯ for the morning Eucharist led by Rev Wiremu Anania.
■ Two people in a house in Queen St that went up in flames were alerted to the fire and escaped before emergency services arrived. The Te Puke Medical Centre was evacuated and the street closed.
A light-fingered lettuce thief plundered Te Puke Community Garden, stealing virtually all the 200 seedlings planted in a bed close to Jocelyn St. The lettuces were being grown to supply The Daily cafe and the town’s foodbank at Empowermentnz as well as being for the community. “It’s crazy — they are not even plants, they are just seedlings,” said community garden chairwoman Julie Gray. The community rallied and donations from individuals and businesses ensured the seedlings were replaced.
■ Te Puke Intermediate School reclaimed the AIMS Games boys’ 7s rugby crown it had won in 2016 with a final victory 19-12 over local rivals Tauranga Intermediate. Te Puke Intermediate’s girls’ 7s side almost made it a double, going down 12-7 to Auckland’s Royal Oak in the girls’ final.
■ Maketu¯ Volunteer Coastguard had a stellar month, being named winner of the Supreme Award at Trustpower Western Bay of Plenty Community Awards and Coastguard’s Eastern Region’s club of the year. At the regional awards the club also won the rescue of the year and the community event of the year accolades. At the end of the month Maketu¯ Coastguard launched its new rescue vessel Kohinui Rescue.
■ Te Puke High School head girl Ashleigh Ngow won the Community Spirit Award at the Trustpower Community Awards. Pa¯ pa¯ moa Surf Lifesaving Club and Maketu¯ Rotary Club also received awards, while Te Puke Toy Library, Paengaroa Kindergarten and Maketu¯ Ongatoro Wetland Society were
finalists in the Trustpower awards.
■ The Te Puke Centre Working group announced plans to crowd-fund to buy the rights to provide postal services in Te Puke, with an innovative proposal to use profits from the business to finance the provision of a visitor and information centre in the Postshop building in Jellicoe St. The group had been working for around 18 months to establish a centre which would be a professional, neutral and shared space that supports the community, its visitors and the town’s industries.
■ Rangiuru Sports Club celebrated 125 years of existence over Labour Weekend with sports and social events. The club’s roots can be traced back to the 1890s when the first Rangiuru team was formed by brothers Moho and Aritaku Wihapi.
■ Maketu¯ Volunteer Coastguard was still winning awards in October and was named National Unit of the Year at the 2018 Coastguard Awards of Excellence in Wellington. The club also won the Community Relations Activity of the Year award. President Shane Beech said the award recognised the hard work put into training, community activities and fundraising.
■ Te Puke’s Sikh community put on one of the town’s most colourful events with its parade over Labour Weekend. Thousands marched from the Gurudwara Temple on No 3 Rd to the town centre and back again.
■ In his first season as a Bay Steamer, Te Puke Sports lock Kane Le’aupepe was named rookie of the year and male club player of the year at the annual Bay of Plenty Rugby Awards.
■ The second running of Te Puke’s Halloween trail was a resounding success, with traffic management measures heading off the issues experienced when the trail was held in 2017.
Our review of the year will be wrapped up in next week’s Te Puke Times.
Winning team captain Michele A’court makes a point with some venom at the Epic Te Puke Comedy Debate.
Fleur Salt with Mallory the sheep that went walkabout in Te Puke.
Te Puke Intermediate School Pasifika students, from left, Pelea Langley (Kiribati), Alice Masoe (Samoa), Malakai Cama (Fiji) and Junior Taumata (Samoa).
Five generations gathered to celebrate Elizabeth Forbes’ 105th birthday at Te Puke Country Lodge.
St Thomas Anglican Church deacon Meeshla Nathan with the Bible that was presented to Maketu’s first local Anglican minister, Ihaia Te Ahau, when he finished his training in 1858.
Te Puke Community Garden chairwoman Julie Gray was disheartened by the theft of 200 lettuce seedlings.
Labour weekend saw Te Puke’s Sikh community parade through the town.
Maketu¯ Coastguard president Shane Beech.
Te Puke Sports lock Kane Le’aupepe was named BOP Rugby rookie of the year.
Safari Fawcett (left) and Summer Fawcett on the Te Puke Treat trail.