Paula Hulburt

Writer Gavin Kerr has reprinted his popular poetry book twice. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

Poetry in motion a money spinner

A poetry book written during lockdown has raised $1000 dollars for Alzheimers Marlborough.

Author Gavin Kerr self-published work Under Lockdown has been reprinted twice since it was published last month.

Earlier this week, the Blenheim writer, whose wife Liz died in March from complications relating to Alzheimers, took a cheque to the Wither Road centre.

“The public were very generous in their support, with two reprints being necessary to cater for demand both in New Zealand and in Australia.

“I would especially thank the Marlborough community for their contribution to the project. It was most heartening indeed,” he says.

The former school principal and academic says the support he and Liz had from staff at Alzheimers Marlborough was vital following Liz’s diagnosis.

Alzheimer Marlborough manager Diane Tolley says the organisation appreciates Gavin’s kindness.

“Alzheimers Marlborough was thrilled to receive a very generous donation of $1000.

“Personally, receiving of a copy of the poem “The Lockdown” written twenty days after the passing of Gavin’s wife brought home to us the range of emotions families go through, as the dementia journey progresses.

“We were pleased to be able to support Gavin and his family through their journey and encourage all people affected by dementia to seek the support of the caring staff at Alzheimers Marlborough.

“Having support in place, as soon as possible after a diagnosis, can assist the person living with dementia and their family to continue to lead fulfilling lives,” she says.

Books are still available for $25 from both Marlborough Alzheimers office on Wither Rd or by emailling  [email protected].

The Burleigh’s Jane Dickenson, left, and Pie Challenge organiser Fiona Fenwick closely examine a Burleigh pie in the buildup to this year’s challenge. Photo: Anthony Phelps/Phelps Photography.

Pie pairing challenge launched

The chefs behind some of Marlborough’s most famous pies are looking for a perfect partner for their crusty creations.

For the fourth year, the Great Burleigh Pie Pairing Challenge is back, and teams are set to compete the find the best wine match for their popular pies.

As well as a trophy and bragging rights, winners also get the chance take a coveted place on the judging panel.

Co-founder of the Great Burleigh Pie Pairing Challenge Fiona Fenwick says this year’s competition includes an additional challenge.

“While Marlborough is known widely for its wine, there are also people producing other beverages – alcoholic and non-alcoholic.

This year, there is a wildcard entry these Marlborough non-wine beverage producers can do – match a Burleigh pie to any non-wine beverage from Marlborough.”

But, she says, this one is for the glory and bragging rights only – entries in the “wildcard” category are not eligible for the Supreme Award.

All fees from the winery team entries go to charity, with Marlborough Food Bank set to benefit this year.

Fiona says they are also looking for entries for the most original savoury pie recipe.

The main criteria here is that three of the ingredients need to be from Marlborough – whether it’s Lake Grassmere sea salt, a lemon from the tree next door, or greenshell mussels from the Marlborough Sounds,” she says.

As the Burleigh Pie pair, Jane Dickenson and Rod Burdis, say “We love the unexpected and we love quality so we can’t wait to see what Marlborough people come up with”.

The Marlborough Weekly has teamed up with the Great Burleigh Pie Pairing Challenge this year and is a collection point for pie enthusiasts.

Entry forms are available from The Burleigh on New Renwick Road in Blenheim or at Marlborough Weekly at 52 Scott Street.

Completed forms to be returned to The Burleigh, Marlborough Weekly, or emailed to [email protected]

All entries are to be received by 5pm on 4 September 2020.

Cats in Blenheim are being targeted prompting a police investigation. Photo: Supplied.

Police launch investigation into cat killings

Pets are being killed and poisoned in a series of deliberate and cruel attacks.

Cats in Blenheim are being targeted prompting a police investigation it has been revealed.

Redwoodtown residents in Blenheim yesterday received a letter from police appealing for information about the ongoing abuse.

Officers are also looking for people who think their cats may have been deliberately hurt to come forward in a bid to catch the culprit.

The move comes after a series of attacks on cats and a rise in the number of pets being reported missing.

“Recently, and in the past, cats have been targeted in your area. Some have been injured and some poisoned,” the letter reads.

“We have received a number of reports recently of cats being injured and on several occasions the animal was hit by a person with an air rifle.

“This is a serious offence and persons found committing acts of cruelty to animals face a maximum of five years imprisonment along with firearms charges.”

Blenheim woman Brenda Green’s cat was shot in June with a high velocity slug gun which shattered its shoulder on impact.

The 13-year-old family pet had to be put down.

Knowing someone had set out to harm TC was devastating, Brenda says.

“He came inside, and I thought he had broken his leg as it was just dangling.  He could not do anything with it.

“The vet informed the police and we went and put in a report that day.

“When the vet told us he had been shot and his shoulder bone was completely snapped in two we were really furious that someone could do this.”

Another cat, Smudge, was shot on Bythell Street in Redwoodtown in September last year.

Cat rescue and rehoming charity Marlborough Dog Pawz staff say they have been contacted by pet owners who have had cats killed and maimed.

“There seems to be a lot of it happening and someone must know something

“We would be happy for anyone that knows anything to contact us if they don’t want to talk to police or SPCA directly,” as spokeswoman says.

“It’s a concern someone can be so cold and cruel, next it will be people being shot. At least if that happens people can speak up but not the animals.”

Concerned cat owners have been on high alert for weeks, taking to social media to highlight missing or hurt animals.

If you think your cat had been harmed either phone the police on 105, or email Amy Pottinger on [email protected] and quote file number 190908/2661.

Event supporter Paul Jackson of Harcourts Marlborough handed over the cheque to Sandy Inwood of Hospice Marlborough earlier this month.

Charity begins at home

Hospice Marlborough is benefitting from the popular Marlborough Art & Wine Fair, getting a donation cheque from part of the proceeds.

A portion of art sales by local artists Brian Baxter, Clarry Neame, Liz Anderson and Joanna Dudson-Scott has been given to the hospice after the successful show at The Wine Station.

Event supporter Paul Jackson of Harcourts Marlborough handed over the cheque to Sandy Inwood of Hospice Marlborough earlier this month.

 

Community College Marlborough youth advisor Carolynn Tipene is a favourite with the students. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

College counsellor changing lives

Students at community college have been reaping the rewards of an on-site counsellor, who is helping change lives for the better.

Carolynn Tipene was employed as a part time youth advisor but has since secured more hours as a Kaiarahi.

She is part of a team looking after about 50 students; young men and women who need some help finding their niche in life.

It is, she says, her role to take a holistic approach when caring for the students she sees as an extension of her family.

“I don’t look at them like they’re students, I think of them as my own.”

From helping with accommodation to lending a listening ear, her days are unpredictable and busy, and she loves every single second; well almost.

An open-door policy means students can call in to see her if they need help, guidance or just to chat.

“They are teenagers with all the problems and drama that comes with that and sometimes they feel they can share stuff with me that they find hard to do with others.

“Mostly it’s just growing pains but sometimes I hear stuff I don’t want to and this is when it gets hard”

Taking on the four day a week role in 2017, Carolynn, who had previously worked in healthcare, is Whānau Ora trained.

The students aged between 16 and 19 years old may have been let down by the schooling system, she says, and struggling with self-esteem.

Helping them grow and appreciate their potential is incredibly rewarding, she says.

“The best part is when a kid comes in here and academically, they don’t think they can do it. When they graduate it brings me to tears.

“We get them, we pick them up and put back together in a way that works.

“We’re like family here; a village.”

But breaking down some of the barriers can take time, she says.

“It cracks me up. When they arrive, you can see them looking at me, thinking ‘what’s that old lady doing here?’ By the middle of the year they’re one of my best friends.”

Carolynn’s laugh is infectious. Her natural empathy shines through and it’s easy to see why she’s a firm favourite with the students.

With some coming from difficult home environments, she is someone to turn to, someone they clearly trust.

“I represent students and support them at conferences, with Oranga Tamariki and the Department of Corrections. I get asked to do that a fair bit,” she says.

As well as covering classes as the need arises, Carolynn also puts her experience as a professional chef to good use, providing cooked lunches at the Scott Street site.

For some, it may be the only food they get in a day, she says.

“I still have a passion for cooking and the kids help prepare and with the cleaning afterwards. It’s a great way to teach about budgeting too.”

As Carolynn chats, a student comes in to see her; a young woman she has helped.

With an apparent close bond, the pair laugh and joke together, the student is clearly happy to have Carolynn on her side,

“She gives me hope, she says.

 

 

 

Former Sony Music Executive Paul Ellis is returning to Marlborough to set the stage for an annual music festival. Photo: Supplied.

The sound of music

From Cyndi Lauper to Sarah McLachlan etc he’s worked with some of the biggest names in music.

Former Sony Music executive, New Zealand Idol and NZ Got Talent judge Paul Ellis is back home in Marlborough.

And he has his sights set on bringing more top music talent to the township of Linkwater- making the Summer Sounds concerts an annual event.

While Paul says he can’t divulge any artist names yet, he can reveal they’ve one of the acts has had had four number 1 albums.

“It’s all under contract”, he says.

Swapping the big city of Auckland for the small rural township, the former Queen Charlotte Sounds man is excited to be back, organising the Summer Sounds gigs.

Supporting long-time friends and Queen Charlotte Tavern owners Mary-Ann Surridge and Jane Tito, Paul has been hitting up his contacts.

He’s also on the lookout for some local support music talent to support on the day.

“I have been away from Marlborough on and off for a long period, but I am keen to hear of any top of the south acts, let me know,” he says.

Paul’s signings include Bic Runga, Dave Dobbyn, Shona Laing and The Strawpeople.

“The location lends itself to a great place to enjoy a day of music. There’s tons of off-street parking and the opportunity to camp overnight”

“It’s not too big, it’s intimate and you have the incredible vista of the sounds hills as a backdrop,” he says.

Kicking off on Saturday 19 December, the first festival which will herald a mixture of New Zealand music royalty – with names to be revealed soon.

On 16 January 2021, the debut South Island performance of one of the hottest and exciting acts to emerge in NZ in the last 18 months will take to the stage, Paul says.

“As well as the music there will food and beverage stalls. If you want to camp overnight, it’s included in the ticket price.”

As Vice President of A&R for Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Paul runs his own PR and music consultancy firm and last year bought OpShop Lead Singer Jason Kerrison to Linkwater.

“As well as the music there will food and beverage stalls. If you want to camp overnight, it’s included in the ticket price, Paul says. “I want people to be able to relax, have fun and enjoy this beautiful slice of paradise.”

Tickets for the R18 events are $55 plus booking fee on Eventfinda.co.nz

“It was important that the tickets weren’t too expensive, we want this to be within reach,” Paul says.

Email Paul Ellis at [email protected] if you know of any local music talent. Tickets on sale today. Go to Eventfinda.co.nz

Zoe Osgood, 13, has been supported by the local community during her bone cancer battle in Christchurch. Photo: Supplied.

Community rallies after shock diagnosis

A teenager getting physio for what she thought was a sports injury is set for surgery after doctors discovered bone cancer.

Zoe Osgood, 13, from Blenheim was complaining about a sore knee when she got the shock diagnosis after an MRI scan.

Now her friends and family are rallying to raise money for the family so they can spend as much time together as possible as Zoe begins treatment.

Mum Michelle Osgood, who is manager at The Wine Station in Blenheim, says the family are very grateful for the support.

“We are so humbled by the response from the community.

“It has been overwhelming.

“We really feel like we have a village behind us. It’s a sensational feeling. The messages from people really give us strength, especially on a tough day.”

Just before lockdown, Zoe, a pupil at Marlborough Girls’ College, was limping and complaining of a sore knee.

Following physio, the bubbly youngster was given an MRI and diagnosed with Osteosarcoma.

“We assumed it was a sports injury and she had been receiving physio until 10 July when she got an MRI. That was Friday. On Monday our wonderful GP told us to come into the surgery and they had found a 2cm tumour called Osteosarcoma.

“It’s hard to believe, even now,” Michelle says.

Now in week two of treatment, Zoe has just finished her first round of chemotherapy. She faces between 9 and 12 months of further treatment including two cycles of chemotherapy, surgery, then more chemo.

She is in isolation now to protect her struggling immune system, Michelle says.

“She is very tired but coping incredibly. We take one day at a time.

“The five-week chemo cycles are something no child should have to go through however she is very positive in herself and in true “Zoe style” dealing with this in her quiet stoic way. She is one tough cookie.”

Dad Phil and brother Lucas are in Blenheim, hoping to get to Christchurch as much as they can. Zoe and Michelle are dividing their time between Ronald McDonald House and the hospital.

“It is particularly hard to not be here apparently – just waiting to hear how Zoe is…It’s no easier being here, you feel just as useless,” Michelle says.

The family also hope to make it back to Blenheim for a Shave Off fundraiser at Biddy Kate’s Café & Bar on 29 August.

Organised by family friend Donna Tupouto’a, there will be live music on the night and raffles. Entry is $20.

Blenheim’s Ritual Café is holding a Zoe Week between 10 and 16 August, donating $1 dollar for every cup of coffee they sell to hep the family concentrate on getting Zoe well again.

The support means a lot, says Michelle.

“This is a blip in our lives which we will overcome with the help of everyone there in the Boom.”

To donate through Givealittle visit givealittle.co.nz/cause/help-13-year-old-zoe-kick-cancers-arse.

Medlab South union staff have confirmed a 24-hour strike. Photo: Matt Brown.

Hospital lab staff to strike

Hospital lab staff are set to strike for 24 hours in protest over pay.

Union staff have voted to walk off the job next week from Wairau Hospital’s Southern Community Laboratories Ltd run lab.

Nelson Marlborough Health bosses say only urgent tests will be carried out.

General Manager Clinical Services Lexie O’Shea says staff are working in partnership with Medlab South to minimise disruption but warned there may be delays.

“All life-preserving services and emergency services will remain operational.

“Clinically urgent requests sent to the laboratories will be processed during the strike period.

“However, turnaround times may be delayed.”

The strike also affects Nelson Hospital which is run by the same provider.

The Medical Laboratory Workers employed by Southern Community Laboratories (SCL) Ltd are bargaining for a fair pay offer.

Staff have turned down the current rise offer, with union advocates APEX branding the move as unfair.

The offer “goes nowhere near” matching what staff employed by the District Health Board get, says APEX Senior Advocate David Munro

“The current offer from the employer goes nowhere near to matching the salaries of colleagues employed in the DHB run laboratories.

“Under their proposed pay offer a fully qualified scientist would be paid 4 per cent behind a colleague in a DHB lab doing the same work, and a qualified technician 6 per cent behind,” says David.

The strike is scheduled to take place on 17 August from 0800 Monday 17 August to 0800 Tuesday 18 August 2020.

Since lockdown level 4, all blood tests have been done via an appointment system.

Urgent blood tests can usually be done on the same day at either the Maxwell Road or Wairau Hospital collection centres.

Lexi says people should check with their GP before presenting to a collection centre.

“Some non-urgent procedures and tests may need to be rescheduled.

“Any affected patients will be contacted directly. We want to reassure people that unless they hear from us directly, they can assume that their appointment or procedure will be going ahead,” she says.

Cardinal John Dew. Photo: Supplied.

Churches to close as costs spiral

Rising costs are forcing two Marlborough churches to close.

Catholic churches at Renwick and Havelock are to shut permanently it has been revealed today.

The move comes after a cost-cutting review by the Pastoral Council into church properties. The congregation was informed over the weekend.

Churches at Blenheim, Picton, Kaikoura and Seddon will remain open.

Star of the Sea Marlborough Te Whetu O Te Moana Catholic Parish Pastoral Council chairman Greg Stretch say it was a difficult for all involved.

“Parishioners have been kept informed all the way; they’re upset but that’s completely understandable.

“It was not an easy decision.”

Renwick’s Catholic Church of St Francis de Sales was opened by the son of one of Marlborough’s early settlers, Archbishop Francis Redwood

The Sacred Heart Church on Lawrence Street is also to shut.

Both hold mass about once a month, Greg says.

“We will still make sure that the pastoral needs of their community are looked after.

“Now we need to work on the next steps and what happens now.”

The Archbishop of Wellington, Cardinal John Dew, last year asked all parishes in the archdiocese to review their properties.

Spiralling maintenance costs, high earthquake-related insurance levies and calls by Pope Francis for Catholics to look beyond their physical churches sparked the review.

“I am very grateful and appreciate the hard and difficult work done by the Star of the Sea Pastoral Council in conducting this review,” Cardinal Dew says.

Cardinal Dew says it has not been a simple task choosing which churches to close.

“I know it has not been a simple task to balance the requirements of local parishioners across such a geographically wide parish with the need to keep church finances in order in these difficult times.”

The proposals have been approved by the Pastoral Council of the region’s Star of the Sea Te Whetu O Te Moana Parish.

“Most smaller churches were built in an era when people had no cars and walked to Mass. “Today, with fewer priests, rising costs and parishioners more likely to drive to Mass, parishes have been asked to reorganise how they engage with their communities.”

Cardinal John said a further reason was the continuing call by Pope Francis for Catholics to go out into their communities on a mission to engage with those who are marginalised and disadvantaged.

“Nobody can be a member of the Church and be a ‘passive recipient,’ expecting everything to be done for them,” he says.

“We are all called to make our contribution to the Church and to the world.”

James Galloway, Alina Joe, Lucy Bridgen, Maisie Davison and Dave Pauling, with Elijah Galloway and Andrew Kubis, front, take delivery of new technology. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

Top up for local schools

A Marlborough based fuel company is helping keep hundreds of school children topped up with technology & sports equipment.

Southfuels a New Zealand wide bulk fuel distribution company has donated $80,000 to schools across the Marlborough region through their Fuel for Schools sponsorship programme.

The nationwide initiative has helped put more than $1 million dollars of resources into more than 350 rural schools in the last twelve years.

Pupils at Richmond View School in Blenheim are the latest to benefit, with a special technology package worth over $5000 delivered on Thursday, this package included 11 Chromebooks, an iPad and other technology for the classroom.

Southfuels Marlborough account manager Maisie Davison says customers nominate a school to receive 50 cents for every 100 litres of bulk fuel they have delivered.

“I’d like to give a big shout out and massive thank you to all our customers throughout the Marlborough region who contribute and all the schools who take part.”

Southfuels customers and programme supporters, O’Donnell Park Barging and Kenny Barging manager James Galloway and Amber-Lousie Connor from Waikawa Fishing Company were at Richmond View School to hand deliver the children get their new technology packages.

“One of our values is betterment for all and we do that in a number of different ways; we have a community van and of course, donate through Fuels for Schools’ says James.

“Being able to see just how much there is and how excited the children are is great. It’s like Christmas.”

When a participating school reaches a $1000 in donations they can pick between a technology or sports package.

Richmond School principal Dave Pauling says the donation makes a big difference to students.

“It helps enormously. We know what we need, and we get to choose.

“Some of these things go to children who might not have them otherwise.”

There are a number of schools in the region whom have benefited from the Fuel for Schools programme in recent times, including Mayfield School, Seddon School, Witherlea School, Linkwater Primary, Ward School, Spring Creek School, Fairhall School, Wairau Valley School and Riverlands School.

To get involved or find out more call Maisie Davison on 0275936229, and start supporting your local school today.