Sunday, October 26, 2008


May and George are two people who are wonderful examples of the philosophy "Bloom where you are planted."

And in their lives they have been 'planted' in many out of the way places.

As a Seventh Day Adventist pastor, with May close by his side, George has been posted to many places in Australia and New Zealand. But the best years of their lives have been spent in places like Rarotonga, Fiji and New Guinea, and now, in what is the last posting before they really retire (???) they have come to spend a few years in Norfolk Island. Wherever they have been, these two have been a valued, productive and caring part of the community.

A couple of years ago, the old Church House in New Cascade Road was carted away on wheels, and work commenced on a new building. This had been in the planning for a long time. It was also a long time in the building process, and for a whole year George and May moved their goods and chattels into two tiny adjoining flats quite a distance from the church. Their daily work, as well as their hobbies and wonderful hospitality went on cheerfully and unabated, even under the difficult conditions.

Finally the day came to move into the new house, and they had it looking like home in no time at all.

Now just look at the garden, just six months after they have moved in! Lots of colourful hanging baskets, rose bushes just loaded with blooms, annuals and perennials, all a riot of colour. As Peter Cundall would say "Bloomin' marvellous!"

Just as George and May bloom where they are planted, it is obvious they have told their plants to do the same!

Their first prizes in our Show for "Best Newly Established Garden" and for "Best Road frontage" were well deserved. They also earned a prize in the "Best Senior Citizen's Garden".

I believe that George and May are somewhat nervous about being the potential cause of a road accident, as they watch from their front window and see cars suddenly slow right down or stop when they see the profusion of planting and colour!

Before they finish their term here next year, May has asked her crafty friends to contribute a block to a memory quilt. Because she is not given to procrastination like most of us, she has already begun to put the quilt together in its basic form.

I just love the block Annette did for her. It pictures the house and garden just beautifully!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I am told that around Australia and New Zealand, many rural and country Shows are struggling, partly because of changing demographics and lifestyles .
However, our "Royal A&H Show here on Norfolk Island is still a proud tradition, and many in the community look forward each year to taking part. Produce, livestock, gardens, flowers, cooking, Art and crafts, preserves and pot plants - there is something for everyone who is ready and willing to have a go!

It was an especially good day for our Sarah, in the riding, as you can see by the ribbons around Brambles' neck!!

Brambles has only recently come to the island, and this was his firrst Show, so it was quite an achievement for them both!

And the "Colourful Cousins" Sarah, Emily, Anna and Amy, won second place in the Equestrian Fancy Dress with their portrayal of "The Wiggles."
And Emily was very proud when "Gottaloveit" was awarded first prize for best PonyClub mount.
There was plenty going on both inside and out of Rawson Hall.

The Poultry cages are always popular.

The bikies come to town. When they all drive in through the gates just after opening time, I must confess I just love the thrill of it, and admire the bond that exists between the rider and his/her bike!Our Show Society President David admires the display of entries for traditional Norfolk plaited hats.

John entered the olive wood table he had made for Poppa and Melissa. Meanwhile, Simon's magnificent greenwood rocking chair won the Best Exhibit in the Hall!!

A wonderful array of cakes and sweet goodies! Oh to ne a Judge in the Cooking section!!

This is where they keep the balloons before they go on sale!!

The kids line up for Fairy Floss

This intrigueing model was in the Floral Art Section

And this vegetable model of a chook was in the schoolchildren's section

At the Show we get to see the best of what this island and its people can produce! And it makes us realise that whatever the future holds, with financial crises and the like, we are surrounded by all we need to sustain us!!

And by the way - forgive me for having a little boast - but ny marmalade got first prize for the second year in a row!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008


It has become a tradition for our New Zealand granddaughters Sarah and Emily to visit us for the October schoolholidays. A major attraction is that this is our A&H Show time, with an opportunity to participate in the horse riding events. It is also catch-up time with uncles. and with cousins Anna and Amy.

On the very first day, Anna and Amy joined us for Emily's birthday lunch, and eleven days later, the girls have not been apart for a minute, day or night!!
Sometimes they are at Devon, some nights are spent at Jo and Glen's, and many of the days are spent at Silky Oaks stables and on trail rides.........

going up the hill to Sweeties (the lolly shop)........

Catching up with other friends.......such as Gracie!

One evening the Pony Club had a farewell barbecue for Evie.

Fun and games around the computer....

or some other activity.

Early one morning, the girls decided to teach the dogs to jump hurdles -with mixed results! But it was fun, and even Misty the Cat joined in. Later that morning they created walking tracks in the woodland, and devised a Treasure Hunt! No couch potatoes here!!

The girls really looked forward to seeing Kim, Charles and William when they came back from Samoa this morning..

Their energy and imagination is boundless, and the four of them are cementing what will no doubt be a lifelong friendship.

Yesterday, one of the highlights of the fortnight was their participation in the Led-in classes for the Show. Sarah mainly worked with Bramble, while Emily and Gottaloveit were a great team. Both earned ribbons!!
Sarah shows us the plaiting for which she earned a blue ribbon!

Gottaloveit is part Clydesdale, and somewhat laid back, but Emily does wonders with him.
Tomorrow is the main Show Day, and the actual riding events. There have been great preparations going on, getting gear cleaned and polished, grooming the horses, and getting things ready for the BIG FANCY DRESS. The four girls have planned a Star Act involving the four of them ...and also involving Granny as artistic director!

Watch this space!!

Thursday, October 02, 2008


We have been honoured to attend not one, but two ninetieth birthday celebrations this past week.

I managed to get this shot of Greg and Paulette together at Paulette's party. To the right is Greg's daughter Gracie.

Now if you associate a ninetieth birthday party with a sedate afternoon tea, with a nurse or two hovering round to make sure the guest of honour does not get too tired from all the excitement, then think again!

Greg, who turned 90 on Sunday, and Paulette, whose birthday was Wednesday both had BIG parties, with lots of merriment. After all, they are both still prominent in this community, and have lots of friends and family and admirers who would want to be included.

Paulette and Greg are still leading busy, active and productive lives. Paulette would have the biggest and most colourful flower garden on this island, while Greg, who has been a farmer all his life, is not ready to retire for a while yet!! I might add that both have done a lot of other things in their lives too. Greg has been well known as a politician and an auctioneer, and is truly a Jack of all Trades. But Paulette can rightly be called a Jill of all Trades, and her practical skills and abilities would put many DIY men to shame!

Greg's celebration was held at Governor's Lodge on Sunday afternoon. A large number of people had travelled to the island specially for it, which will indicate the regard in which he is held.

Silly hat and silly present - but Greg is a believer that life was meant to be fun, and his wonderful sense of humour and hearty laughter are his trademarks, and lighten even the most serious of occasions.

Greg surrounded by a large extended family

Greg has lived on the island all his life, and loves this place and its people with a passion.

Meanwhile, Paulette's family hosted a dinner for 100 people in the Parish Centre on Wednesday evening. Paulette is a real 'people person', and she has a wide circle of friends who all love her wit and her cheerfulness, and her 'life be in it' attitude.

Paulette is French. She was born in Noumea but spent most of her young life in Vanuatu, where, among other things, her family grew cocoa and copra. It was here she learned to be resourceful. She came to this land nearly 60 years ago, married a widower, and his family have become her own, and they love her dearly.

As usual, plenty of good things to eat!

Here Paulette's son-in-law Barry talks about her fascinating life. Paulette sustained an injury to her leg when she was a young girl, and it became infected. It did not heal properly for over 50 years, when she had a successful skin graft. Now that is fortitude!

Both Paulette and Greg have had their fair share of health problems, but the idea of slowing down, becoming an invalid and losing their independence has never occurred to them. They have both worked extremely hard all their lives, but consider that ninety is far too young to start slowing down.

Now it occurs to me that one of the real bonuses of living in a small community is that you get to see how how people like Greg and Paulette deal with life, and you can draw inspiration from their wonderful example.

They are truly "National Treasures."
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