The COVID bears are back – Rotary Havelock North members took these pictures on Middle Road, Havelock North. The pictures were then posted to Facebook, the post was picked up by Stuff this is their story…
As the country plunged back into level 4 lockdown, there were some who refused to let Covid-19 dampen their spirits. And with that, the bears are back.
Teddy bears popped up in windows all around New Zealand homes as people come up with creative ideas to keep children entertained during the country’s first lockdown, last year.
But there’s one particular bear who received quite the following, and that’s Ted from Havelock North.
Ted once gazed out the window of a local op-shop before entering the arms of his beloved owner Archie, thanks to his grandfather about three years ago. Like thousands of other families, Ted was later used to entertain during the lockdown period.
From flying a kite to digging up water pipes, Ted’s family came up with a different chore for him every day.
But as he’d spent enough time window gazing, Ted’s role was slightly different – he had to work.
Shanel Murray – Archie’s mother – said while she worked during the first lockdown, her husband and Archie entertained themselves by coming up with different ideas for Ted every day.
From raking leaves, doing the washing, and chopping firewood, it didn’t take long for Ted to gain attention.
Ted once again appeared on the front lawn on the first day of the country’s second level 4 lockdown on Wednesday painting ‘’Welcome Back’’, much to the delight of passers-by.
“It’s just something light-hearted for people in an uncertain time. It brightens their day and gives them something to look forward to,” Murray said.
“We live on a corner section and get quite a lot of foot traffic. Our neighbours started to notice and would check in to see what he was doing every day, as did the passers-by, and since then he’s gained quite a following, and we had to keep him going.”
Ted takes a spa and also takes the dogs for a run.
Murray said people would regularly offer their own idea for Ted, but his daily chores really came down to what was in the dress-up box and the props available.
“We watch people go past, and the smiles on their faces just lights up our day. Kids run ahead of their parents to check out what he’s doing, people park outside and take pictures. There are definitely people who come each day just to see what he’s doing and take a picture, it’s really cool.”
Murray said Ted would continue to keep walkers and families entertained if the lockdown period was extended.