Hamilton Big Band Concert May 2016 - boogie for the birds
Saturday night in May and the Tapu Hall was booming to the Hamilton Big Band sound. Those who could dance - and there were some who could really dance - made the most of a rare opportunity to get out on the floor to the sound of a real band. By the end of the evening, as the band ranged through big band standards and into rock and roll, there weren’t many who hadn’t got up and had some sort of a spin, polished or otherwise.
Among the dancers were neophytes who’d been taking lessons in the previous month; much credit must go to Caroline Thomas and Trisha Dawson who gave their time as instructors. With no-one needing medical assistance for crushed toes, it looked as if lessons had been well given and well received.
Myrtle had been coming to dances at the Tapu Hall all her life. She met her husband there, on a blind date. She was there on Saturday, up on the floor, walking stick and all.
Thames Coast Kiwi Care’s annual fundraiser is a community affair. Volunteers from up and down the Thames Coast, and from much further afield, were roped into donating food for the supper and goods for the auction. A small army set up the hall, and they cooked, carved, and served the supper, which included lamb, pork and venison from a supporter as far away as Wairoa!
The Coatesworth brothers, who fronted the show and ran the auction, kept things ticking along. It’s a measure of their talent as auctioneers (and as comedians) that successful bidders were so frequently be seen shaking their heads and asking themselves how they’d managed to become embroiled in a bidding war for something they hadn’t realised they’d wanted...
Once again the Thames Coast and the wider community have simultaneously had a good night out and supported a vitally important conservation initiative; the protection of the struggling remnants of the Coromandel Brown kiwi.
The several thousand dollars raised are vital to our ongoing work protecting this southernmost remnant population of Coromandel brown kiwi.
Ukes on Fire Concert 2015
It's not only kiwi whose calls are being heard closer to the Thames Coast! The Ukes on Fire/ Thames Coast Kiwi Care Concert at the Tapu Memorial Hall would have drowned out any bird calls.
What a treasure that hall is, especially used in conjunction with the school grounds with the spit roasters on the playing field where the big school newsboard advertised the event. Thanks Tapu School BoT and Hall Committee.
The description - "a 'Ukes on Fire' Concert with an Auction and Meal" doesn't do justice to what became a rollicking community event, ably M.C'd by Ian Coatesworth and with a great outcome for the ongoing work of Thames Coast Kiwi Care. All tickets pre-sold, almost half by Bev Walker, Neil John, and Chris Brodie. TCKC really values these three. Being a community event, there was even a 111 callout in the middle, when a quiet exit was made by half a dozen members, raising spontaneous applause from the audience to show how we value the dedication of our Tapu Volunteer Fire Brigade. Trifle and cheesecake were saved for their return.
Ukes on Fire played for an hour with audience feet tapping. Band members weren't the only people singing - with such catchy songs the audience couldn't help joining in.
"What was on the menu?," you ask. - Perfectly cooked on the roaster lent and overseen by Steve Broughton: wild pork, hogget, chicken and potatoes, donated by Mike Tyson, Martin McLeod, John Selliman and Tommy Herbert respectively; kumara, pumpkin, a selection of vegan dishes and salads from Tanya Boyle, Shelley Carr and Linden Moyle. All served on compostable dishes and cutlery donated by Sabine Holzapfel. (All the cutlery and crockery is now in a compost getting ready to grow next year's TCKC vegetables!) Topped off with cheesecake and homemake trifles constructed by Neil John, we ate well!
Some members of the audience were spied in the kitchen doing the cooks' washing up unasked. In the best country culture, they knew where yet more fun was to be found.
A wide range of art work, craft and oddments was auctioned. (Do Auckland Zoo's Family Passes, Behind the Scenes and Close Encounters vouchers; a massage chair overlay, hypnotherapy voucher and a garden gate constitute oddments?!)
You can't find better auctioneers and crowd rousers than the brothers Dave and Ian Coatsworth! They persuaded the audience to part with dollars from tens to hundreds. Thanks to the generosity of those donating and buying auction items $3,000 was raised.
The bar did good trade too with the help of Norman Campbell as the band played on - for another hour.
And the funds raised for on-going TCKC work? Almost $7,000! The kiwi in the TCKC area would and should, if they could, say an enormous Thank You all, and Well Done!
Hamilton County Bluegrass Band Fundraiser
Rapaura Water Gardens, Thames Coast - March 2014
The Hamilton County Bluegrass Band concert at Rapaura Watergardens was blessed with gorgeous weather in a fairytale lakeside setting. The two hours of bluegrass music at its New Zealand best combined with an audience that got up and danced as the music moved them, enjoyed the Koru Café refreshments and became an interactive force during the art auction. Expert auctioneers, John F Jones provided much entertainment and banter and all works were sold. All up, Thames Coast Kiwi Care and those that support it raised more than $4000. This ‘ untagged money’ gives TCKC flexibility where other funding bids don’t and covers essential things like bait and trapping supplies, newsletter production and distribution, trap auditing, track maintenance, public liability insurances etc.
Our warm thanks . . .
- to the Hamilton County Bluegrass Band - Paul Trenwith (banjo), Alan Rhodes (guitar), Keith MacMillan (mandolin), Pam Crowe (vocalist and guitar) and Tim Trenwith (bass) - for their generous support of our kiwi care group,
- to Sally and Sacha Sank and their staff at Rapaura Watergardens for offering their magnificent property as a perfect country venue, and for keeping open the Koru cafe well into the night,
- to the artists who kindly donated their work: painters Lyn Wardlaw and Wayne Robertson, fabric artist Lee Bissett, photographers Rachel Holmes and Keri Moyle, jewellers Serene Woolf and Kate Ewing,
- to our auctioneers, Ian and Dave Coatsworth, and John F Jones, whose subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, ways with words help open audience hearts and wallets to the many outstanding pieces of art on offer, and
- to the many TCKC members and friends whose practical help behind the scenes, both on the day and during the weeks before, made the event run so smoothly and so successfully.