Community, Tourism

Call for flotilla flowers for handmade garlands

Susana Doris Evalu-Tyrell will make more than 100 lei to welcome crew members to Picton. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

Hundreds of bright blooms are needed to welcome crew members as they arrive in Picton to celebrate Tui 250.

Picton woman Susana Doris Evalu-Tyrell has volunteered to hand-make more than 100 lei for each crew member arriving in Marlborough.

And to stop the flowers from wilting before the big day itself, she will make all the garlands in just 24 hours.

Now calendulas of all colours are needed to help ensure there are enough to make the garlands.

It’s a way of ensuring everyone feel welcome, Susana says.

“Red, purple, yellow and white would be nice as these colours will be more vibrant and more welcoming,” she says.

A national flotilla of tall ships and waka are at the centre of the Tuia 250 commemorations to mark the first encounters of note between Māori and Europeans.

It is 250 years since Captain Cook and his ship Endeavour arrived at Ships Cove/Meretoto.

For volunteer the moment is worth marking.

“I grew up making lei in Samoa for special occasions and it [the idea] all began when I I started a Pasifika group along with another parent, Matt Manu-Murrell at Picton School.

“Something just clicked in my head, I want to do something that relates to me and my culture and who I am as a person,” she says.

Vessels taking part in the Tuia 250 Voyage, which is due to land in Tōtaranui/Queen Charlotte Sound on 21 November 21, with a huge community welcome planned for the Picton Foreshore on Friday 22 November.

Each garland takes around ten minutes to make using a needle and thread, says Susana who has two children at Picton School, aged 6 and 8 years old.

She learnt the art as a child and says blending different colours together will help portray what Tuia 250 is all about.

“The idea behind having all the different colours is it shows the different cultures and different people from different places who will be in Picton,” she says.

“I have lived in Picton for two years and it is a great place. I am looking forward to it and want to make a difference.”

If you have any flowers available to donate, please email [email protected]

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