Milestones were celebrated at the annual Christmas Rally for the Wanganui Area New Zealand Motor Home Association (NZMCA) members, held at Matthews’ Rose Gardens near Whanganui on December 1-3.
It was the 50th anniversary of the Wanganui Area NZMCA, which takes members from Marton, Bulls, and Raetihi/National Park to Waverley. The club has 2000 members, of which 300 are active. The branch number for Wanganui Area NZMCA is 50.
Gary Robins, deputy chairman, and his wife Maggie, area secretary, have been in the NZMCA for 50 years, so that’s a lot of 50s to celebrate. They joined the Wanganui area association in 2016.
This year’s Christmas Rally started on Friday with a cheese and wine evening with memorabilia and photographs over the years. On Saturday the annual general meeting was held and, in the evening, a Christmas shared dinner, all in the grounds of Matthews’ Rose Gardens.
“We normally have a Secret Santa gift exchange for our members, but this year each van brought a gift, up to $20 value for a child, to be donated to Women’s Refuge,” said Maggie Robins. “Jo Voice, manager at Whanganui Women’s Refuge, was pleased to receive the gifts.”
A cake was made in the shape of the NZMCA wings logo, to mark the 50th anniversary and, Peter Silk - a member since 1997 - cut the cake. Selwyn Fowler, Wanganui’s oldest member, joined the association in 1979 and is still very active in the Wanganui Area NZMCA.
Not all members join the association for the social benefits, there are other good reasons to join. First, the bi-monthly magazine offers hints on looking after your motor home, what the latest regulations are, and it informs members about where people have been on their trips.
Second, Interislander and Bluebridge offer members huge discounts - almost cutting the cost in half - which makes it worthwhile to join.