Don't dig dirt on town

By Gary Caffell

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Featherston folk are resilient.

That's why some harsh words by a regular columnist in a metropolitan newspaper probably didn't get the reaction some of us who live elsewhere in Wairarapa might have anticipated.

Referring to a recent homicide in the small southern township, she labelled Featherston as "one place where I wouldn't want to live".

And she went on: "No dark act comes as a surprise from that small, seemingly quaint colonial town with a beaut war memorial, but a dire recent history of murdered children."

Music to the ears of anybody thinking of taking up residence there ... yeah right!

My pick is that had those sentiments been expressed about, say Masterton or Greytown, there would have been a flood of letters to this newspaper expressing a mix of anger and disgust at what had been said.

After all there would be few towns throughout New Zealand where horrendous crimes have not been committed.

Yes, in recent times Featherston has probably suffered more than most in that respect but anybody who takes that to mean there has been a avalanche of "undesirables" suddenly shift there is way off the mark.

And even daring to suggest the Mastertons and Greytowns will never be in a similar boat in times to come is tempting fate, and how!

You don't have to think hard to find positives for Featherston.

For starters for those commuters travelling from Wellington, it is very much the gateway to Wairarapa, the best little province in the whole of the country.

Shopping in Featherston is a treat. There is enough variety to keep one interested without boring the pants off people like me who see that activity as nothing more than a necessary evil, and not even necessary if the "boss lady" is around.

In fact, I have heard a whisper that South Wairarapa Mayor Adrienne Staples says the best coffee in the whole of New Zealand is brewed there, and she's not the sort to embellish, is she?

Walk the streets of Featherston and you will be amazed how many times people will say a pleasant gidday, and wish you well. And they smile - a forgotten art these days.

Featherston is, well Featherston, and that's good enough for me.

- Wairarapa Times-Age

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