R Tucker Thompson gets a rig replacement
For the first time in 36 years, gaff-rigged schooner the R Tucker Thompson is having the entire rigging replaced. Traditional techniques and methods will apply.
The project is being led by Rangi Ferris from Opua. He's a professional rigger and shipwright, and a square rig and steam engine enthusiast, who joined the organisation in May as Bosun to take on the project.
"Rerigging the Tucker is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," he said.
"We are using conventional methods such as parcelling and serving for the wires used as standing rigging, which involves waterproofing wire using strips of canvas and coating in tar to create a seal, and wrapping with twine for protection against weather and wear."
When the ship's original builder, R Tucker Thompson, died, the building project continued in a partnership with his son Tod Thompson, Greta Simmonds and Russell Harris until 1992, when Harris purchased Tod and Greta's shares in the ship.
Tod Thompson is now captain of the world's largest aluminium yacht, Sea Eagle, which tied up at Opua wharf in April as the crew quarantined. Russell Harris is overseeing the new rigging in Opua and he remains involved on the Board of Trustees of the R Tucker Thompson Trust.
The project, including the annual maintenance of the ship, will take nine weeks in total. The R Tucker Thompson will go back in the water in October, ready to complete the season in Youth Development voyages and to sail into the summer season in November.
Russell's oldest store changes hands
It's one of the first shops you see when you step off the wharf. It's the famous Russell Four Square store that's been a Four Square store possibly since the early days of Four Square in New Zealand, which was the mid-to-late 1950s.
It's affectionately known as the "front Four Square", except it's no longer a Four Square. Last month it changed hands and the new owners, Minhaj Ameen and two other partners, relinquished the franchise, preferring to be independent.
That leaves the "back Four Square" in York St, a mini supermarket, as the only trading Four Square in town.
The old store has had numerous owners over the years, the last being Murali Krishnamurthi, who owned the store since 2009.
The new owners source their supplies from "around the North Island and a couple from the South Island". They've installed a Ben and Jerry's fridge and a Streets icecream fridge since taking over. They have also taken over the Lotto franchise.
"We will give Russell people what they want so they don't have to drive to Kerikeri for their groceries," said Ameen.
The building is listed as a Category 2 building in the Historic Places Trust Register. It is the only surviving 19th-century trading store still fulfilling its original purpose on the Russell waterfront.
It was built in the 1880s and the store was strangely designed even then. The sleeping quarters were upstairs, reached by an outside staircase. The stairs have long gone and access is now by way of a vertical ladder leading onto a flat roof leading to a porch.
Consequently, the upstairs area is no longer used. The kitchen-living room was a standalone single-storey building situated in the backyard of the shop.
It's a new era for the front Four Square, which may now be affectionately known simply as the front grocery.
Kerikeri Garden Club annual spring flower show
Last month, the Kerikeri Garden Club celebrated its 70th anniversary. Life members, past members and current members got together for a shared lunch.
Originally there were two clubs, Waipapa and Kerikeri. They amalgamated to become Waikeri, which was later amended to Kerikeri as there was confusion with Waikeri, which is near Russell.
In September the club is holding its annual spring flower show, which is always well attended, with contributions of flowers and plants grown by local gardeners. It was cancelled last year because of Covid-19.
There's a Trade Table with locally grown plants and cuttings for sale, together with jams, relishes, baking and raffles and a display of arts and crafts created by school children.
There will be a special exhibit by the local and district Men's Shed, displays by the Kerikeri Floral Art Group, the Kerikeri Pottery Group, a bonsai display and "artful constructs" such as teapots and china as garden art. Included in the show is a demonstration by Kerry of Kokodama moss balls, which is a plant enclosed in sphagnum moss and woven around with string, like a ball of wool.
The club welcomes new members at their regular meeting on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 10am, held at the Kerikeri Sports Complex, off the by-pass on Waipapa Rd.
• Spring Flower Show – Friday September 10 – Saturday September 11, noon – 4pm, Turner Centre
Getting down and dirty
If running, walking, crawling and generally sloshing your way through farmland mud in the middle of winter in Paihia sounds like fun, this event is for you.
About 1000 people are expected to enter the Bay of Islands Beast, an off-road, cross-country event hosted by Sport Northland on Saturday, August 28. At 7km it is a one-distance event encompassing steep hills, uneven terrain and mud.
There is no room for parking and the start line is 10km along Puketona Rd. Buses take participants to the venue and return them to Fullers Great Sights offices in the Paihia central CBD.
There is not much in the way of facilities or amenities during the run. You have to bring your own water bottle and there are no toilets on the course.
There are no showers available. However, the Paihia Volunteer Fire Brigade will hose down participants once they have finished. Organisers warn it will be cold and participants will get wet and muddy so they recommend bringing a towel, a dry set of clothes, a warm hat, a jumper and dry shoes to wear after the event.
It is a timed event and placegetters are acknowledged at the finish area, with the finish expected to be around 12.30pm. There are several trophies up for grabs: men's, women's and a team trophy (based on the average of all team members). There's a prize for the best dressed and more than 50 spot prizes.
Visit www.thebeast.co.nz for more information.
• Email Sandy Myhre at email@example.com if you have any news you'd like to see in Bay News.