The Bay of Islands Country Rock Festival celebrates 32 years this year and it's still going strong. This year features over 40 musicians performing at multiple locations in Paihia and Russell.
Topping the bill are the A-team, the old perennials Brendan Duggan, Gray Bartlett, Susan Prentice, Jodi Vaughan and Aly Cook and Eddie Lowe the Midnite Special Band.
There's the curiously named Curly Ann and the Cowboy Band, Craig Robertson and 43 Holes and Rica-Shez that join the extensive line-up.
Organiser Shirley May said the festival was cancelled last year because of Covid-19 lockdown and is back bigger this year with more musicians.
There are four Paihia venues – Scenic Hotel, Paihia Sports Bar, Kingsgate Hotel and Paihia RSA and two venues in Russell, the Duke of Marlborough Hotel, and the Duke of Marlborough Tavern.
The Bay of Islands Country Rock Festival runs from Friday, May 7 to Sunday, May 9. For more information: countryrock.co.nz
New Lions Club formed
A new Lions Club will be formed to serve both the Kerikeri and Waipapa districts. A public meeting will be held to inform the role that Lions has in the community and sign those interested in joining the new club.
Peter Griffiths, secretary for Waipapa and District Lions, said the opportunity came about because the Kerikeri Lions Club has closed, due to numerous reasons.
"The club's contribution to the Kerikeri community since its charter in 1968 is substantial but dwindling membership and the increasing age of those remaining forced the closure," he said.
He said this does not affect other Lions clubs in the district, although the Lions clubs of Waitangi and Kawakawa have also folded. There's the probability the new club formed will have a more contemporary outlook, including mixed membership.
The meeting will be held on May 12, from 7pm at Waipapa Hall, Loop Rd, Waipapa. Guest speakers will include the FNDC mayor John Carter, QSO.
For more information: waipapalions.org
Paihia Sea Scout group grows
From only a handful of hardcore Scouts four years ago, Paihia Sea Scout has grown considerably.
Today there are 38 participants spread over Keas (described as the ankle biters, 5-8 years) through to Cubs (8-11 years) and Scouts (11-14 years).
Rob Galley, assistant group leader and Scout Section leader, said the last spring and summer terms have been "cracking".
"We have been enjoying the warm water and thanks to the hard work of our team of leaders, adult helpers and committee we have been sailing Sunbursts, paddling kayaks, rowing cutters and racing keel boats.
"Our Scouts have sailed and bivied, cooked food, burnt food and eaten it. The cubs have camped, sailed, rowed, kayaked and swam and all this time the Keas were busy sharing, caring and discovering."
The Paihia Sea Scouts have had a windfall in the shape of a bequest. It came from George Hansen who endowed $14,000 for a replacement cutter, to be named Rawinia.
"I understand it was George's wish that he wanted to give money to an organisation that would be training our young people in rowing, sailing and seamanship within the Bay of Islands," said Galley.
Paihia Sea Scouts meet Monday 5.30-7.30pm, Cubs meet Tuesday 5.30-7.30pm and Keas meet Wednesday 5.30-6.30pm. They are always on the lookout for more leaders to assist. Phone Rob Galley, 022 624 1231.
Free entry at Russell Museum
Children will have free admission to a new exhibition launched recently at the Russell Museum, Te Whare Taonga o Kororāreka.
The exhibition is part of New Zealand Archaeology Week which runs from April 24 through to May 2. The free offer coincides with the school holidays and is subsidised by Heritage New Zealand.
The exhibition was developed by Te Arakite Trust and Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Northland staff and spans centuries of history relating to Moturua Island – from the earliest Polynesian explorers and settlers at Mangahāwea Bay through to the archaeology of the area.
The display is part of a larger project led by Te Arakite Trust, which has included three archaeological excavations and an international wānanga on Polynesian navigation.
"As well as relics from pre-human settlement times through to taonga associated with the early Polynesian explorers, the exhibition includes a range of other artefacts from early contact with Europeans and the tumultuous years of the 1800s," said Bill Edwards, Heritage NZ Northland manager.
"It's like a snapshot illustrating every phase of human settlement in Aotearoa-New Zealand. It's that sense of continuity over centuries that make this place – and this exhibition – so remarkable," he said.
The Mangahāwea Bay project has been supported by Ngāti Kuta and Patu Keha, Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, the Department of Conservation, the University of Otago and the University of Auckland.
Visit facebook.com/RussellMuseum for more information.
Stone Store free entry on Anzac Day
Kerikeri's famous Stone Store will be open from 1pm on Anzac Day. Visitors will be able to learn about Northland's "secret war" free of charge.
The store is currently hosting a display entitled World War II in Northland – The Untold Story. It tells of "Fortress Northland" which sheds light on the secret plan to counter a feared Japanese attack on New Zealand during WWII.
Immediately after the bombing of Pearl Harbour in December 1941, Northland was identified as being the most likely place the Japanese would launch an attack on New Zealand.
World War II in Northland – The Untold Story - tells of the incredible network of secret gun emplacements, military camps, airfields and other infrastructure that was hastily constructed in Northland in anticipation of a Japanese attack which, in the end, never came.
The display was developed by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Northland staff based on information gathered by Northland-based volunteer researchers Jack Kemp and Dr Bill Guthrie.
World War II in Northland – The Untold Story is currently featuring at the Stone Store and will continue until the end of the month. Free entry to see the display is on Anzac Day only.
Top Energy grant
A Business Development Fund is awarded by Top Energy in support of business ideas or initiatives aimed at growing and diversifying the economy of the Far North.
Any private sector firm organisation or association operating in the area served by Top Energy's network can pitch for financial support on any idea or initiative. That area is from Hukerenui in the south to Cape Reinga in the north.
It could be a mentoring concept, an export promotion programme or an initiative that helps local businesses move from primary to secondary or tertiary production through adding value.
The 2018 winner, for instance, was Offshore Cruising Tenders (OC Tenders) Limited. The company developed a tender to meet exacting standards.
The tender is made of high-tech composite construction and essentially built in the same way as the America's Cup and Volvo Ocean Race boats. They work from a purpose-built factory in Haruru Falls.
The Top Energy grant of $30,000 is competitive. A judging panel will decide if submissions in Stage 1 qualify and will then invite those winning submissions to enter Stage 2.
Stage 1 submission dates: entries open April 6, entry deadline April 30.
Stage 2 short list notified May 13.
Stage 2 submission dates: entry deadline June 8.
Winner announced June 21.
Visit https: topenergy.co.nz/tell-me-about/sponsorship/business-development-fund for more information.
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