Next Meeting Monday 20th September 2021. Guest speaker Melanie Harper – Driving Miss Daisy
Guests were welcomed to the meeting by President Lynn, including our Guest Speaker Angus Gordon, and prospective new member Pasquale Monachino.
GRACE– was given by Brian Lavelle: “Before we feed the body – Let’s remember to feed the soul”.
TWO MINUTE TALK was given by Colin Wake, who spoke of a young Japanese boy called Kintaro Hattori, who was fascinated with clocks and became an apprentice to a clockmaker in 1873, and in 1881 rented a small shop selling watched, clocks and jewelry, setting up his own business. Japan had an unusual method of telling the time. Hours in old Japan had varying lengths of time, but the Western system of 12 hours and 60 seconds was soon adopted. Within 4 years Hattari was importing the most sophisticated Swiss and German clocks, and pocket watches. Wristwatches were yet to be invented. He set up a company to make timepieces himself, calling it Seikosha, eventually shortened to Seiko. In 1913 the first small wristwatch was designed. By 1983 Seiko was well established, producing quartz watches known for their accuracy and reasonable price, at a rate of 25,000 watches per day.
NEW MEMBER John Pollard introduced prospective new member Pasquale Monachino who has been a member of another Rotary Club. and recently moved to Hawkes Bay. Once President Lynn inducted Pasquale into the Club, he thanked the Club for their warm welcome, indicating he was looking forward to enjoying the company of fellow members and being involved in working collectively in Club projects.
GUEST SPEAKER – Stephen Randal introduced the guest speaker Angus Gordon who is the 5th generation of the Gordon family at Clifton Station. Angus spoke of the long journey of the family over the generations at Clifton Beach and the many adaptions farming families had to make since those pioneering days. Angus has written 3 books on family farms and historic homesteads:
“In the Shadow of the Cape – A history of the Gordon family at Clifton”
“Historic Homesteads of Hawkes Bay”
“Famous Times – Historic Woolsheds of Hawkes Bay”
Angus has observed in his research, the dying industry of wool farming, Clifton changed its breed of sheep to Wiltshire.
A naturally shedding sheep that did not require shearing, noting the loss in wool prices. Many farmers had to think of a way to farm differently like Clifton Station, which uses its former woolshed, now converted into a venue of catering, and have also established a glamping business. The farm also grows squash and has built a cafe’ and function centre by the beach. They have also planted pine trees for carbon farming. Clifton Homestead was built in the early 1900’s like many other homesteads around New Zealand at the time. Today, not many homesteads and farming properties are remaining together. Indian Military personnel settled in Hawkes Bay, hence many names around the place are of Indian descent. The Government bought land off the Maori for New Zealand settlers. Angus’ great Grandfather retired and came to New Zealand in his own Schooner, to purchase a 14,000 acres property. For him, the Hawkes Bay land was the most attractive place to purchase land, given the climate. A lot of big estates were bought directly from the Maori. Having purchased the land, he ordered the first homestead, made of teak, to be built and had it shipped to Hawkes Bay in prefabricated form. As a soldier in India, he had purchased furniture of that unique Indian style for his new house. Unfortunately, that house was burnt in 1899, but fortunately, all the furniture was saved with the assistance of the shearers, who were shearing at the time. The second home, elegantly 2 storied was built on the site of the original home, with rimu and matai timber. Angus’ son does the farming now and has Maori children coming to the farm, once they have left school, to learn to farm, and the students are enjoying the role, giving them a positive start in life. A lot of the big original homesteads are now separated from the farms and many do require renovation. The Historic Places Trust has supported many of these houses eg Ashcott at Ashley Clifton, which is now being managed as a guest house but has retained the style and quality of the original building.
Since Angus has been discovering all these original buildings, he has become totally interested in the history of them, as he showed the meeting, many photos of various homesteads. Most of the original homesteads throughout Hawkes Bay, including Clifton, Greenhill, Forest Gate, Oruawharo and Mangakuri were all made of rimu and matai and even Kauri which was shipped from Auckland, and then buried under sand for a year to preserve the wood for building.
Charlie Fergus thanked Angus for telling his very interesting story, noting that he himself has helped the Gordon family with engineering projects over time and that some copies of Angus’ books were available at the meeting for sale.
SERGEANT’S SESSION $74.20
Charlie Fergus spoke of Rotary’s involvement at the Blossom Festival to now be held on October, 9th. He will be contacting members to volunteer and advise them of their time of involvement. 20 people are required for this which will earn the Club $1000 in fundraising.
Charlie also spoke of the Kierianga Garden project, inviting volunteers to support the landscaping and planting to be done shortly, and he will be in touch with us when that occurs.
Christmas in the Park – 4th Dec – Requirements as per last year. It will be at Anderson Park this year.
Summer Science School: Ian Holford advised that he has received an application from Havelock North High School. The Youth Committee was asked to stay at the end of the meeting to discuss the application.
MEMBERSHIP AND WELFARE
DUTIES: Please note these arrangements: If you are rostered on for duty but find you are unavailable it is your responsibility to arrange a replacement for yourself. Once this is done, email Stephen Randal at email@example.com and advise him of the change.
|20th September||27th September||4th October|
|Event/Speaker||Melanie Harper – Driving Miss Daisy||Committee meeting (no speaker)||Speaker Belinda Van der Monde|
|Badges, Grace & Parting Thought||Graham||Joplin||Lavelle|
|Vote of Thanks||Giddens||Konig||Norrie|
Editors comment: Certainly, the various stories of many of the elegant homesteads, particularly in Hawkes Bay were fascinating. Particularly when those beautiful homes and the land surrounding them were established mostly in the 1880s became very lucrative businesses, with all the farm produce going back to the UK. Then as times and markets changed, so to did the properties. It is so reassuring to know that many of these fine architectural masterpieces are still being maintained along with the history of the country.
The opinions expressed in this Bulletin are not necessarily those of the President or Directors or of members of the Rotary Club of Havelock North Inc.