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Festival of Lights:  Photos, reports, reviews and stories

June 2010

Motueka on High market day

Although not exactly part of the festival, Friday's Motueka on High market day, organised by Jacqui Taylor of Our Town Motueka, set the scene during the daylight hours of Friday with the retailers' specials, store-front sales and community groups raising funds from their pavement stalls.

After two frosty nights and sunny days, Friday dawned with high cloud moving in to keep the whole day chilly for stallholders and strollers alike, but a good stream of shoppers and lookers-on braved the conditions, bought their snacks and chatted.

Around lunch hour, informal entertainment set up in front of the museum, and the "Mad Mile" race kicked off, with theme-dressed locals racing to find clues down High Street.

One of the stall holders - the Scottish Dancing Society - served us wonderful traditional soups

The lasses from Motueka Golden Bay News paused for us while competing in the Mad Mile

Prize-giving time after the Mad Mile,
outside the museum

Some Scottish highland music

The Mad Mile

Lights on and Mardi Gras

Despite the cold air and occasional drizzly spots of rain, an enthusiastic crowd of about 200 rugged-up souls of all ages gathered outside the museum at 6pm sharp for the (mercifully) brief opening ceremony. The road was closed so we could stroll up and down the normally vehicle-laden tarmac.

With the MC, Liz Salt's clothing and ginormous hat lit with fairy lights, a prayer and karakia (by Parklands pupils) opened the event, followed by the presentation of prizes by David Ogilvie for the photographic competition. (The results of this competition are listed here.) The MP Chris Auchinvole gave a brief but enthusiastic speech and led the crowd in a countdown to the turning on of the lights adorning the museum building.

The cold weather somewhat restricted the entertainment that followed, but we listened to the Pipe Band and then the Brass Band play some good old standards - a few of them together which must have been quite a challenge, and then it was back to the museum frontage for some beat and groove enjoyed by the hardier souls. Throughout, plenty of watchers sat, sipped and nibbled outside the various cafes and food stalls, and our takeaway did a roaring trade. (Several photos by Jan Baily)

The museum lit up after the countdown

Parklands students perform their karakia

The audience rugs up

The people reclaim High Street!!

The Scottish pipe band

The brass band

Fire dancer

Maori wardens on duty

Band of drummers outside Musuem

Fire dancer

Photographic competition and display

The competition ran up to the Festival and then the display ran on in Muses Cafe and the museum throughout the week and afterwards. (The results of this competition are listed here.)

Photographer Rudolf Mosimann won several categories, including Overall

Part of the official party

Setting up

Some of the works

The Knitters knitting group

The event was supposed to be at the Baptist Church but the keyholder never turned up so it was hurriedly changed to the Fabric Shop. 40 people turned up, all female. Most had their knitting needles and wool and they knitted for 5 minutes on 20 stitches in 4 different patterns - moss stitch, garter stitch, rib and stocking stitch. The one who knitted the most rows won a prize and 3 others shared second prize. There was a raffle, afternoon tea and the proceeds went to St Johns Ambulance.

In between, organiser Faith Wells read out snippets about knitting over the ages. There was also a display of older knitting apparel such as wool winders, a tablecloth made from tobacco string (see photo), woollen garments from the Shetlands, old knitted garments, and a competition of guess the number of labels on the boards - all different wool labels. A younger woman talked about knitting graffiti where knitted odds and ends are wrapped round a telephone box or similar - usually to support a protest.
(The report and these photos were taken by Coralie Smith.)

Having a chat while you knit is the best thing to do on a wet winters day

Tobacco string tablecloth

Faith Wells, organiser of the
knitting competition

New generation knitting


These hands have done some knitting!

The Blue Belles

The Blue Belles entertained with good old time music from the 50's & 60's, on Saturday around lunchtime outside Motueka Museum.

Sweet music

Main Festival of Lights organiser Liz Salt

The Madsens' 70's Tribute Night

The 70's tribute night with Pete Madsen entertaining. He covered songs from the 70's plus 60's and 80's too. As befits the era the music was loud, the dancing frenetic and the crowd loved it. Almost all the 150-plus people there were dancing most of the time. A continuous supper and a bar kept them sustained. A fundraiser for the High School, it gave the 40-pluses a chance to forget the winter blues for a night.
(The report and these photos were taken by Coralie Smith.)

The cobbler

The barmen

The ticket sellers

Early in the evening

Two chicks

Peace man

The organiser

Debate: "Motueka, the super city"

About 60 people were rewarded for braving another cold evening with a night of often very funny verbal jousting, arguments and bribery as six of our best (or loudest?) speakers battled it out under the chairmanship of the enthroned Paul Hayward.

Roger Hynd, Don Grant and Malcolm Garrett argued that Motueka is indeed a super (meaning superb, extra-special) city and therefore should be legislated as a super-city. It has something special that attracts people to visit and stay, and repels any attempts of residents to move away - a phenomenon which Don attributed to his theory that the Marble Mountain has a huge deposit of megnetite at its base (don't tell Gerry Brownlee) which acts as a super-magnet.

Motueka is all that a super city should be, they said. Indeed, Malcolm revealed that it is seen as so big that NZ Transit Authority is building an underground railway down the centre of High Street - to be completed in 2035.

Negating these assertions were Tara Forde, 'Citizen Ron' Sharp (who from now on will be known as "crackpot" for reasons only those present will know) and Moeke Paaka (who revealed that he was on the team to "add colour" and "score brownie points").

They stuck to their argument that Motueka is a super community with super citizens, and must never be forced into an amalgamation with Nelson to make a super-city, which would drain away all the community resources, culture, diversity and voluntary community work (such as Motueka Online that make this place so special.

Although the chairman declined to award a winner, the applause monitor registered for the affirmative mainly due to some overly raucous supporters, despite the weight of logic being on the negative side. Highlights of the debate: (1) the wide range of off-colour uses of words based on the phrase "freedom campers", and (2) the way that the enthusiastic participation by the audience with cheering and timely interjections added to the hillarity. A wonderful night out and great way to spend a Sunday evening.
(Report by an unbiassed David Armstrong)


Paul Hayward

Roger Hynd

Don Grant

Malcolm Garrett

Tara Forde

Ron Sharp

Moeke Paaka

Fire Service Display

Photos supplied by Maureen Hutton


Tennis Club Challenge

On Tuesday morning, the sun shone brightly and a good day of tennis was had by all. For the Yankee Tournament, run by Peter Bradley, players were paired and each set lasted 20 minutes, then they moved around to new partners, playing 20 minutes each time.

The overall points winner was Maxine. The top man was promising junior Floyd Lyttle. A big thanks to Peter Assaf and the Festival of Lights Committee for their generous grant towards the running of the day and to Martin from Sports World who provided prizes for the top man and woman. Also to those members of the Club Committee who put in a lot of work to organise the food and other prizes

[Photos by Maureen Hutton and Jan Baily]


Motueka High School's musical groups perform

Three bands performed today (Tuesday 22nd). First was the junior band, who have just started to play this year. Then the senior band who have been playing for about 3 years, and finally the jazz band which played some quite difficult pieces. All were excellent, and a good crowd turned up in the sun to watch and applaud them.
[Photos supplied by Maureen Hutton and Jan Baily]


"Will: The Lost Years"

Got the mid-winter blues? Need an energy boost? Then you could do far worse than watching the high-octane production of "Will: The Lost Years" at Motueka High School. While there, don't rest your eyes for a second - there's always some action taking place somewhere on the set, which takes in the stage, centre of the hall, and all entrances and exits in the vicinity. Full review and photos here »


Bazaar played their brand of Celtic music at lunchtime on Thursday. (Photos by Jan Baily)

Wedding Dresses from Yesteryear

This new event, mounted by Ann Marie Cleaver of Retrotonics in Riwaka, encouraged women who have been married and have kept their wedding dresses to display them. About 22 dresses were on display at the Truthfinders church entrance, ranging from those made in the 1940s through to modern ones, with viewers voting for their favourites.

Silk was a popular fabric used, though one was knitted and another crocheted. The display was well set out to show the 'wow' factor, and Ann Marie was so encouraged by the response that she intends to repeat the event next year, only bigger.

Neville and Colleen Kearns and her 1959 wedding dress

Event organiser Ann Marie Cleaver

Golf Tournament

Held on Friday morning in conjunction with the Festival. (Photos courtesy of Jan Baily)

Golfers finishing their round

Twins Joel and Abraham Daniels with their prizes

David Ogilvie with the women's winner Joan Burgess ...

... and with the men's winner Brian McKay

Rum & Coke Band: A toe tapping swing band

Playing outside the museum on Friday at lunchtime.


The Tasman Brass Ensemble

[Review by David Armstrong]  Friday night at the Chanel Arts Centre was a special occasion for the lucky 100 people that packed the hall to hear this highly accomplished quintet show their virtuoso skills, performing a wonderful range of music from operatic pieces to negro spirituals, jazz and swing.

This group is truly international standard, featuring some of the best brass instrumentalists in New Zealand. If you thought that brass music was just loud trumpets and a huffing tuba, this concert showed just how subtle, colourful and stirring the instruments are in the hands of experts. Judging from the repeated calls for encores, the audience knew that that had witnessed their best value for money (a mere $10 thanks to Arts Council and TDC subsidy) for some time.

And the programme wasn't just a selection of brass music favourites. The Tasman Brass Ensemble tackled some very difficult pieces and techniques (double- and triple-tonguing anyone?) and achieved them all with aplomb to thrill the listeners.

Highlight of the night to most of us was the tuba solo, where we saw the oom-pah instrument played in a way that no-one thought possible. Sounding like a mix between a didgeridoo and a distorted electric guitar with wah-wah pedal, most of the piece involved playing two notes simultaneously - often an octave apart but sometimes in sliding harmonies - which must involve some weird oral calisthenics. The tubist (if that's what you call them) also thrilled with his agile rendition of "The Flight of the Bumblebee".

This concert was truly a major highlight of the Festival of Lights programme, and I for one hope that it is repeated next year.

World Population

A late replacement for Northern Lights, this 4-piece band played an infectious set of songs and rhythms from other countries, on Saturday in sunshine to a small but appreciative audience in front of the museum.

Old Time Dance

Held on Saturday night at Memorial Hall. (Photos sent in by Shirley Frater)

Some dancers

Margaret McQueen

The piano player

Margaret and Trevor, the dancing tutors

Golden Oldies Car Display

This took place on Sunday morning at the netball courts, Recreation Centre.

Kaiteriteri Mid-winter Swim

Sunday was unseasonably mild at the beach as about 60 brave souls took a dip. The event, along with the duck race that followed, was run this year by Riwaka School. First there was the costume competition, followed by the swim. It was reported that about $4000 was raised.  [Photos from Coralie Smith]

Midwinter, it looks more like midsummer

Best dressed swimmers

Less is more

The onlookers

A piper's tune stirs the blood

The rescuers - not needed

Lionesses have handed over hosting the event to Riwaka School

Brooklyn School dancers

Because it was wet the week before, the school danced the next week outside the museum. (Photos sent in by Shirley Frater)

The Celebration of Matariki

This beautifully presented performance and celebration was postponed from the previous Saturday to Friday 2nd, and sensibly held indoors at the Recreation Centre. The appreciative audience estimated at about 350 were captivated by dancers, the superbly harmonic Inakord choir, and musicians and singers lead by Gaynor Rikihana, an international Womad performer, Peter Prestel on koauau and Marahau-based AJ on every other sound.

The emotional story highlighted the basic philosophy of Matariki, which include the giving of thanks, the remembering of the year, the letting go and the hope. The narration, in both Te Reo Maori and English, had the adult voices of Ngarangi Marsh and Donna McLeod and the children's voices of Tui Henry and Shana Tova McLeod Bennett. Although some was hard to hear due to some restless children screaming around the hall, the atmosphere remained mystical and uplifting.

Gaynor led the musicians which included Nick Wilson. Bruce Appleton led the lighting team and the sound was in the professional hands of Matthew Bauer. Margot Schweigman was the choreographer, and dancers included aspects of the Tara dance and Capoeira with Volvo. Barbie Cole led the Inakord Choir. THe laser show at the end signalled 'happy new year' celebrations and, for those yet to eat, a hangi next door.



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