Dear Pat,


How quickly the time has flown since my last email – I see it was dated the 4th, three weeks ago.  I guess it’s because I spend quite a lot of time getting over some issues which keep occurring, and being very slow at whatever I manage now.


Our intensely hot summer has faded somewhat, pushed aside by the nasty tropical cyclone Gita which lashed and stole from poor Pacific Islanders, then travelled on to present a backlash across middle NZ,  leaving eventually on Thurs/Friday, stranding people in Golden Bay/Takaka, west of the Nelson region. Some were to be escorted out today, but no motor homes or big vehicles.  There were countless slips on Takaka Hill which prevented any travel for several days, while they were being repaired.  Barges were loaded up with supplies for the local supermarket, and delivered very quickly by sea.  We’re informed that the store ran out of bread, milk and toilet paper by the morning following the storm.  As well as stranded tourists there are many campers and holiday makers. The old westerly wind has been blowing here since the cyclone flicked by, but at least it is keeping the temperature lower, without it we would all be overheating again.


Sylvia Claridge visited one day ahead of the WI  meeting and told me about the plan for the day, and I’ve heard since that the barbecue meal with the usual salads, and the speaker who followed in the afternoon were both excellent.  The lady who spoke was born in Vietnam, but who has been a Kiwi since a small child.  She was in a refugee camp for some years and contracted measles, which caused blindness.  It did not impede her progress evidently, as now, in her mid-thirties, she has two or three university degrees, one being in law.  She married a blind compatriot, equally gifted, and they had three normally sighted children, sadly the marriage is over, and she manages to live in her home with her children,  who are old enough to help out with everyday living.  She sounded so inspirational, and I’m sure the members would have been very impressed with her life story.  Perhaps by the time driverless cars come here and have been road tested, she might be in the forefront to obtain one as she doesn’t let anything get the better of her by what I’ve heard, the rundown came from Norma. 


Last Wednesday 21st was Founder’s Day, and the Federation had a very good programme planned.  There were guest Federations invited to meet at the Esplanade, then ride through the gardens in the miniature train to the Café there for coffee and muffins,  the Mayor was invited to come for a brief visit to greet the women gathered on this special day.  After this, everyone made their way to the Cosmopolitan Club for a two course luncheon, and socialising.  It all sounded so good, I know I would have enjoyed it, and just hope there will be a write-up of the day in the Home & Country.