A weekly round-up of news snippets, events and oddities from the Bay of Islands and around the Mid North

Village Arts gallery turns 10

One of the Far North's top art galleries is celebrating its 10th anniversary this weekend.

The mark the occasion Village Arts in Kohukohu, North Hokianga, is opening a new exhibition at 11am this Saturday.

Artists taking part in the show, which is simply called Boxed, were given a wooden box measuring 20x20x10cm to fill or decorate as they wished.

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Truth Window, by Marg Morrow, is part of a show marking Village Arts in Kohukohu's 10th anniversary (detail). PHOTO/SUPPLIED
Truth Window, by Marg Morrow, is part of a show marking Village Arts in Kohukohu's 10th anniversary (detail). PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Visitors can expect to see wildly differing transformations of the same object by many of the gallery's regular artists.

Village Arts began in 2005 as an art and craft venture in a dilapidated shop. It is now a white-wall gallery that looks more like a publicly funded gallery than the volunteer-run space it is.

It has hosted more than 100 exhibitions as well as Outpost Hokianga summer pop-up shops, film showings, book launches and artist talks.

Highlights have included the Far North's first Ralph Hotere exhibition and a show dedicated to a rusty vintage truck which was until recently a Kohukohu icon.

Boxed is open daily from 10am-4pm until November 5.


Search and Rescue talk

Next Monday's guest lecture for the Bay of Islands branch of the University of the Third Age (U3A) will be by Far North Search and Rescue president Kerry Sinclair.

The talk, which is open to all, starts at 10.30am on October 5 in the St John Hall at 367 Kerikeri Rd.

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Far North Search and Rescue is a volunteer group which helps police look for missing people anywhere on land, ranging from wandering dementia patients to hunters lost in dense bush.

U3A was set up for retirees who enjoy sharing interests and learning together.


Writer recalls 1950s farming struggle

Irrepressible author Robin Robilliard is touring the Far North to give a series of talks about her book recounting the hardships of farming in Golden Bay in the 1950s.

Her book, Hard Country, has sold more than 5000 copies and is described as entertaining and inspirational. It tells the tale of struggle to make a living on a "unforgiving, ghastly, rocky, mountainous, weed strewn, most impoverished 1500 acres in New Zealand".

Robin Robilliard, writer, is about to launch a speaking tour of the Far North.
Robin Robilliard, writer, is about to launch a speaking tour of the Far North.

She will be based in Kerikeri from October 5-18. Talks will take place at Kaikohe Library at 2pm on October 12; Kaeo Library, 10am, October 13; Mangonui Library, 5.30pm, October 13 (with wine and cheese); Paihia Library, 10am, October 14; Procter Library, Kerikeri, 10am, October 15; Kaitaia Book Club, Te Ahu Centre, 5.30pm, October 15; Kawakawa Library, 10am, October 16.

She will also gives talks to a combined Probus/Rotary meeting in Paihia on October 8 and a Nexus breakfast meeting in Kerikeri on October 15.


Prague comes to Opua

A Czech street band is playing two shows in the Far North this weekend.

Praguematique is promising a mix of gypsy, Balkan, Klezmer, ska, reggae, Latin and folk when the five-piece acoustic band plays Opua Hall from 5.30pm on Sunday. Entry $15.

Czech street band Praguematique is playing two shows in the Far North this weekend.
Czech street band Praguematique is playing two shows in the Far North this weekend.

They will also play at the famous Swamp Palace medieval banquet on October 3. Tickets are $50 from Mangonui Information Centre. Swamp Palace is at Oruru, inland from Taipa in Doubtless Bay.


Walking weekend

The Bay of Islands Walking Weekend kicks off this Friday with three days of guided walks ranging from a gentle stroll around the town's chartered clubs with plenty of refreshments en route to the challenging overnight tramp to Cape Brett.

A few of the 20 walks on offer are over land not usually open to the public.

Headquarters for the October 2-4 event is the Duke of Marlborough Hotel in Russell. See www.boiwalkingweekend.co.nz for more information.


Mummy's minute

A "mummy's minute" is being held at Haratu, on The Strand in Russell, at 10am this Tuesday and every first Tuesday of the month.

New mums, old mums, young mums and any other kind of mums are invited for a cuppa, a catch-up with other mothers, and a chance to get some support or adult conversation.

A team of nanas will be on hand to play with the little ones while their mums get to do something different. Bring a plate for shared morning tea.


Do you have news or an upcoming event you'd like to see in this column? Send it to us, including your full contact details, to baynews@northernadvocate.co.nz.