Saturday, 19 March 2011

Tractor Heaven

This weekend the Thornbury Vintage Tractor Club celebrates its 55th anniversary with two full days of tractor heaven. Steam engines tooting and churning around the paddocks, demonstrating their shear power while later model diesel and petrol tractors line the paddock bringing back memories for many admirers.

This is an interesting day out for everyone. The sense of pride in these machines is strong, and the farming heritage of our communities is so evident in the work that these machines used to do. Kids will appreciate tractor rides, challenging themselves to a tug-of-war against a steam engine, and lolly scramble.

Sunday is the last day for this fascinating tractor display so be sure to make your way to Thornbury. Adults $10 (not sure about kids). Food and crafts for sale on premises as well as a very informative safety demonstration by the Fire Brigade.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Two Painters Paintin'

"You Missed a Spot!"

The day started out foggy and damp, but by the afternoon it was another warm, sunny day in Otautau. The day was so nice that Peter Gutsell and George Stearne got out the ladders and paint brushes and picked up where they left off painting the Courthouse. This has been a DIY job by two of the town's hardest working men.

A few weeks ago, they started by waterblasting the building to get rid of the dark mossy, mould that had been growing steadily over the years. Then the painting started. The transformation of this historic building has been beautiful to behold. And they still aren't finished. More to do, they assure me. And many more men have been involved than just these two. Aren't the results brilliant so far? The building hasn't looked this good in years.

The Otautau Courthouse was built in 1908. It is in what was known as the civic part of town next to the Post Office (built 1906) and Town Hall (built 1912). All of these buildings were of the classic red bricks and mortar style - a style that is increasingly under threat with the concern of earthquake damage to buildings with unreinforced masonry.

Earthquake Commemoration

This has been a catastrophic two weeks for Canterbury residents. We here in Otautau lost one of our own as well. A woman from Otautau who was living in Christchurch at the time died in the quake. Her funeral was this week.

One of our residents felt compelled to erect a light display to convey our sympathies to our distant northern neighbours. This can be seen on Main Street, just north of the bridge. It says 'We care Christchurch, 12:51 22.2.2011' but the 'we care' isn't visible yet.

Today, the St Andrews Scout Group is putting on a big garage sale to raise money for the relief efforts in Christchurch. So if you haven't donated yet, go out and support the garage sale today.

And overnight, we heard of the tsunami that spread 10km inland from the eastern coast of Japan as a result of an 8.9 offshore quake. Our hearts go out to the people of Japan as well.

I guess if we learn nothing from all of this it's the importance of being prepared - having emergencies supplies ready in one bag that you can grab and take away in the event of a disaster.

Monday, 7 March 2011

New Name for Old Cemetery?

The Wallace Community Board has received a suggestion that the Old Otautau Cemetery should be re-named 'The Settlers Cemetery'.

The Board has suggested that if there is any re-naming of the cemetery, that 'Wallace' should be part of it.

But the Board wants your opinion before it makes its decision. Do you support the idea or are you against it?

Put your views in writing and submit them no later than noon, Wednesday, 9 March, to the SDC Otautau office.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Big Day

Sunday was a big day in Otautau. We had the All Ford and Classic Car Day as well as a Lacemaking Display and Demonstration at the Museum. See here for pictures of the lacemaking.

And if you have pictures of the car show, please email them to me. I heard from an out of town attendee that the show was well worth the trip.

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