Time for us to exterminate plague of cones
As if we don't have enough problems with imported pests running rampant in New Zealand, it appears we have a new one. I believe it is called the banded red road cone.
Having recently returned from a trip up north, I have to report that the infestation is out of control. Originally intended to protect humans working (or pretending to) on the road, they have now multiplied into herds of sometimes up to a kilometre either side of the human activity.
In other places, small groups of them are appearing at random where no human activity is taking place, and the only hazard they are warning of is themselves. Often associated with them is their sidekicks, the ridiculously low 30/50km/h speed signs that are turning normally law-abiding motorists into serious law breakers at risk of fines or even losing their licences, when there are no credible hazards for which to slow. They are also causing confusion as motorists don't know when a real hazard is ahead.
I don't know the solution to controlling these pests but I suspect that a dose of common sense would probably go a long way.
Devotion to art
I read with interest Liz Wylie's article in Saturday's Chronicle about James Kirkwood and his ongoing career in art. I was very pleased to read it had blossomed; however I was saddened that no mention was made of the Whanganui High School teacher and artist who helped him at the start of his career, Peter Donne (F.R.S.A.S.G.A.). Peter was head of the art department for 16 years, during a period when the subject and the materials needed were very hard to come by; many was the time Peter and his second-in-command Judy Webby would be out with a trailer scrounging materials from various sources (including paper from the Chronicle).
I do know Peter always helped and inspired the students he taught, some of whom now have full-time careers in art, e.g. James, Marian Fountain (sculptor in Italy) and Wendy Fairclough, who recently had exhibitions of her work in our Sarjeant Gallery before going to Japan to exhibit. Now we have beautiful murals on our walls in the city and how good they look.
In the 70s-80s, Peter and Judy completed a huge mural commissioned by the Power Board to celebrate 100 years of electricity; it was exhibited at the Fieldays in Hamilton. The pupils painted a large mural on the dining room wall at the camp at Raukawa Falls and also decorated various water tanks at schools around the district. The students also created a large cardboard waka which was placed in front of the Memorial steps for the visit of Prince Charles and Lady Diana.
Today it is so exciting to see artists and their work much more appreciated than was the case in earlier years.
Besides being a teacher, artist, actor, musician, Peter was my best friend and my very loving husband.
On behalf of Alzheimers Whanganui Inc, I wish to thank all the wonderful volunteers who turned out to help us with our recent street appeal.
Thank you also to our community for their generosity. Although we have yet to finalise the figures, Alzheimers Whanganui Inc raised about $4000, which will go towards improving the care of people with dementia and their families in our community.
Dementia is one of New Zealand's biggest health challenges. Making changes that keep people well for longer and delay entry into residential care could achieve cost benefit ratios of 6.6 times the investment.
That's a return of $6.60 for every dollar invested.
More importantly, it could increase the quality of life for people with dementia, their family/whanau and caregivers, so thank you all.