Charlie and Elaine Insley celebrated 65 years together with several surprises on April 24.
The Kerikeri couple woke to find their white picket fence adorned with two large signs decorated with 65 golden hearts announcing their anniversary. They also found helium balloons in their bird bath, and a colourful windmill in the driveway.
Daughter Julie Insley said her parents were also "absolutely tickled" when old friends called to say they'd seen them on the Breakfast Show.
Originally from Auckland, the Insleys married at the Anglican church in Papakura and, after a few years of sharemilking there, moved to Kerikeri in 1963 to a newly converted dairy ballot farm just north of Kapiro.
They raised their four children in the Far North and became involved in the community; Elaine with Plunket and the Kerikeri Playcentre, and Charlie on the Kerikeri Primary School PTA. They both volunteered on the Kerikeri Pony Club committee.
After retiring to Snells Beach in 1983, and living for a short time in Matakana, they returned to Kerikeri in 1997.
On their big day the couple – Charlie aged 92 and Elaine, 84 – were also surprised when a few old friends turned up for lunch.
They are much loved and appreciated by their four children, 10 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. The secret to a long marriage is to "not be selfish" and be forgiving, they said.
A group of Kerikeri artists are challenging art lovers to think Inside the Square with an exhibition of their new works.
The Art in Kerikeri Group - Brenda Moir, Liz Suggett, Wendy Galbraith and Joan Honeyfield – have each painted on 30x30 inch canvases as part of the collective exhibition in the Turner Centre Theatre Bar showing from May until June.
Fellow artist Michelle Wright is also featuring her beautiful landscape works at Art in Kerikeri in May.
Wright will be in the gallery each Wednesday and Thursday from 10am to 2pm to discuss her work over a coffee or wine.
The Art in Kerikeri Gallery, 2 Cobham Rd, will be open Tuesday through Saturday in conjunction with Ferment Wine Shop's hours.
Thinking of becoming a vegetarian or vegan?
Head along to The Veggie Tree cooking school in Kaeo on May 5 from 3 to 5pm for the low down on living a healthy plant-based life.
The Plant-Based Life 101 class, led by chef Anna Valentine, includes nutrition, cooking plant-based proteins, sprouting, supermarket choices, getting the most of your veges and making a veggie broth.
Visit www.theveggietree.com for more information and tickets.
About 50 people turned out to the opening of the historic Stone Shed Museum in Paihia on April 13.
Friends of Williams House, Paihia Library secretary Anne Corbett said the opening was very successful and was attended by families whose ancestors were associated with the property including members from the Williams, Yorke and Joyce families.
Far North Mayor John Carter also attended the official opening, which was followed by morning tea held in the garden.
The shed has been located at its current spot on the Williams Estate since the 1850s and possibly as early as 1834.
Used as the first school house in Paihia, it is recorded that in 1885 members of the Yorke and Joyce families received schooling in the building, which was later used as a hay shed.
It was also used as the garden shed for the Williams Estate and is the oldest locally-built building to survive complete in Paihia.
It was restored in 2006.
Corbett said it now contains artefacts that depict the uses of the shed over the years, including gardening tools, marbles from the school, and various items from the Williams family such as an old-fashioned picnic hamper, along with storyboards with photos and information about people associated with shed.
The friends acknowledge the support of the Far North District Council, Heritage New Zealand, the Williams family and Foundation North for their help with the museum project.
The museum is open seven days from 9am to 5pm, and entry is free.
A community group aiming to improve accessibility for people in the Far North is seeking new members
The Disability Action Group (DAG) is asking residents with disabilities or impairments, senior citizens, and those involved in the disability sector to help make a difference on Far North disability issues.
Activities the group has recently been involved with include promoting accessible footpaths and road crossings, creating accessible community facilities, and providing more accessible parking in the district.
There are quarterly meetings in locations across the district and members receive a travel allowance.
The next meeting will be at the council's Kaikohe office on May 14 at 1pm.
Contact Community Development Advisor Aya Morris on 0800 920 029 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested in joining.
Get ready to kick up your heels - Ireland's most celebrated show, The Rhythms of Ireland , returns to New Zealand for the first time since its sell-out tour in 2010.
Celebrating their 10th anniversary, Ireland's most outstanding and elite company of dancers will perform at the Turner Centre's John Dalton Auditorium on May 8 at 7.30pm.
The critically acclaimed show, seen by over two million people worldwide, blends ancient traditions of Irish dance and music with innovative, contemporary choreography and production.
Experience a spectacular evening of traditional Irish dance, music and song enhanced by stunning costumes, lighting and sound.
Also at the Turner Centre is Stage Lights presented by The Bay of Islands Singers.
The show includes opera (Aida), operetta (Merry Widow; Gondoliers), musicals (Cabaret, Oklahoma, Les Miserables and Chess) and a guest orchestra with Tania Priebs (soprano) and Ipu Laga'aia (tenor). The conductor is the talented John Jackets.
Stage Lights is on May 4 from 7.30pm. Tickets cost $30 adults, $12 students.
Visit www.turnercentre.co.nz or phone 09 407 0260 for more information and tickets.
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