Weekend in port for Art Deco? Oui say visiting sailors

By Roger Moroney

Art Deco Weekend is set to kick off with a French touch this morning with the arrival of the patrol ship FN La Moqueuse.

"The ship's company will be taking part in a lot of Art Deco activities while they are here," Navy Liaison officer Lieutenant Commander Neville Smith said, adding that the ship's 35 personnel were looking forward to the weekend.

"They will be helping judge the fashion show and the bathing belles," Lt Cdr Smith said.

The event, Costumes and Coiffure and Bathing Belles Competition, takes place at the Napier Sound Shell on Saturday at 2pm.

The arrival of the 55m patrol ship, one of four of the French Navy's L'Audacieuse class based in the Pacific, will be the first time an overseas naval ship has been in Napier for the entire Deco weekend.

It was scheduled to tie up at 9am today, an hour after the arrival of the New Zealand Navy's patrol ship HMNZS Rotoiti which is home ported to Napier.

The local touch extends further - the commanding officer of Rotoiti is Napier-born Kane Sutherland.

Lt Cdr Smith said the crews from both ships would be treated to a special Art Deco tour of the city on Friday, courtesy of a fleet of 25 vintage cars.

"They are very much looking forward to being here for what is shaping up to be a very special weekend," he said.

Meanwhile, tickets were still available for what promises to be a popular new addition to the Geon Art Deco Weekend line-up.

The acclaimed Royal New Zealand Navy Band is staging a lunchtime concert at noon tomorrow at the Napier Municipal Theatre.

"We thrive on performing for the public," director of music Lieutenant Commander Owen Clarke said. "This concert will be entertaining, fun and with music to suit all tastes."

Tickets are $13 adults and $6 children and available through Ticketek.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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