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24th October 2017

Because of a late cancellation by our booked speaker due to a family bereavement, we were able to hear the remainder of Colin Ellis' New Zealand holiday account, backed up by an excellent slide-show, which he had started to give when Charles Hanson was delayed getting to us earlier this year.

After précising the first half of his story, Colin took us on a pictorial voyage across both Islands, staring with the North Island and Auckland and on to South Island and the spectacular mountains and fjords which make travel by plane almost essential.

The scenery is stunning, including a 50 mile long beach (Called 90 Mile Beach), and also mountains, lakes and great rivers. The Islands are volcanic but not active in the sense that they spew fountains of lava all the time, That said there are many thermal springs and they do suffer earthquakes.
The history of the Islands is commemorated with Maori buildings of great beauty and War Canoes made from the huge Cowrie trees, now a protected species. Many of the historic buildings date from Captain Cook's time.

The following is an extract from the Internet:

The history of New Zealand dates back at least 700 years to when it was discovered and settled by Polynesians.
The first European explorer to sight New Zealand was Dutch navigator Abel Tasman on 13 December 1642. The Dutch were also the first non-natives to explore and chart New Zealand's coastline.
Captain James Cook, who reached New Zealand in October 1769 on the first of his three voyages, was the first European explorer to circumnavigate and map New Zealand.
In 1840 the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between the British Crown and various Maori chiefs, bringing New Zealand into the British Empire and giving Maori the same rights as British subjects. There was extensive British settlement throughout the rest of the century and into the early part of the next century.


Colin showed us many beautiful photographs taken from the air as well as the ground. Some of the many large lakes are cruised by old steamships, and there are heritage railways and expeditions into the mountains.

The South Island was briefly the centre of a gold rush, leaving behind towns looking more like the Wild West of America that anywhere else. Fortunately they are now maintained as heritage centres. Our voyage terminated looking out into the Southern Ocean: next stop Argentina!

Oh, and there are plenty of sheep, although not much in evidence, as well as cattle, so our preconceptions were well catered for. A beautiful voyage across a dreamlike landscape, delivered with great aplomb. Many thanks Colin.


Date Special events Speaker Subject
28 NovemberMr YoungRNLI
12 DecemberChristmas EventAshby Spa SingersEntertainment

Tea Rota, Meeters & Greeters, Reporting Groups

Month Tea Group Meet & Greet Reporting Groups
NovemberSandra Fox, cynthia Wells, Brenda Dummer, Trecia MakepeaceDavid OakleyCalligraphy and Drawing & Painting
DecemberCommittee for Christmas eventCommitteeno reports this month
JanuaryJane Harris, Wendy Somers, et al
FebruaryKen & Eva Donkin, Joan Slack, Sonia Spence
MarchBill & Avril Wilson, Glenys Morrice, Maggie Rice
AprilJohn Howlett, Neil Roberts et al