A Word from the Mayor: Back to Waiau
Taking a nostalgic stroll back down memory lane through my Mayoral diary I discovered the first event that I officiated at as Mayor in October 2010, it was a great event, entitled, ‘Back to Waiau’
The event was initiated by the Lodge owner and organised by enthusiastic local Waiau, and Mt Lyford leaders, who did a magnificent job.
Initially centred on the Waiau Lodge Hotel centenary, the event grew to an impressive Labour Weekend three day gala.
Saturday’s program included a very popular inaugural Lodge to Lodge half marathon from Mt Lyford to Waiau, combined with shorter runs and walking races along the Inland road.
The picturesque Village Green hosted a huge crowd for a gala with stalls, food, music, games for the children and entertainment. A vintage car, tractor and machinery parade slowly wound its way around the village streets, bringing much enjoyment to the crowds.
Being part of experiencing 1400 sheep shorn that day through 24 stands in two hours in the nearby historic Highfield woolshed was the highlight for many of us.
It’s my understanding that it was the first time in living memory to see shearers on all 24 stands.
The day concluded with a Ball and entertainment for the young people.
A Community Church service was well attended on the Sunday, the venue was the beautiful stone Church, now in a sad state, seriously damaged by the earthquake.
The festivities ended with the annual pig hunt on Labour Monday.
The Back to Waiau Lodge to Lodge run and the Gala event continued annually in a more modest form for six years until coming to a natural conclusion.
Over the last decade, it has been a privilege to have enjoyed the generous hospitality of the Waiau and Mt Lyford communities, Jean and I have been made to feel welcome by many local organisations, families, and individuals, we have shared their darkest times, and shared their greatest times.
It has been special to experience the strength of spirit of these people in adversity, and in good times, these two communities will forever command a special place in our memories, which we will always treasure.