Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Nature Centre Open Day

The new Nature Education Centre will hold an Open Day this Saturday, 30 November, from 2pm to 4pm.

The Centre is located at 185 Grant Road, Otatara, on the site of the Rances' Southland Community Nursery.

Beautiful murals by science writer and artist, Janet Hodgetts, adorn the interior of the Centre and complement many educational resources, making it a user-friendly place to learn about NZ nature and wildlife.

Native plants will be on sale at $5 PB3 size per plant. Proceeds go to the Education Centre.

For more information, contact Chris and Brian Rance on (03) 213-1161 or email.

Children's Golf

On 5 November, the Otautau Golf Club hosted a children's golf and events day for students across Western and Central Southland. About 120 young golfers enjoyed the greens and cameradie on the day. These photos were contributed by Judy Gimblett. Thanks Judy!

Several schools across the region took part.
The Otautau School Golf Team

Saturday, 23 November 2013


These great photos are from Wayne who attended the Otautau Fireworks Extravaganza put on by the Otautau Sports & Social Club and the Otautau Fire Brigade on the 2nd of November. Thanks Wayne!

Monday, 11 November 2013

Armistice Day

 The Otautau RSA commemorated Armistice Day at the war memorial today. Sixteen million soldiers died in WWI; 53 of them came from this area. Peace was finally declared on 11 November 1918. This solemn ceremony acknowledges the end of the war and sacrifices made.

Laying of wreath and salute.

Students from Otautau School listen to Korean War vet, Mr Gibson.
Jean Watt and Bill Anderson take time to catch up with each other.
After the quiet ceremony, people chatted and went to lunch together.

Lions Celebrate 50th

Lion Vic Keen
The Otautau Lions celebrated their 50th anniversary last Saturday with a special gathering of 93 guests.

Life Member Vic Keen had been the MC for the 30th and the 40th anniversaries so it was only fitting that he do the honours again.
Rowena Baird, May Chilton, Lorna Ballam.
Lorna Ballam, Eunice Lindsay, Fay Ballam, and Lion Diane Baird.
Amongst the many special guests were the wives of the charter members whose husbands formed the Otautau Lions in 1963.

Very special guest and Otautau Life Member, Alan Fisher, delighted us. He lives in Arrowtown but has deep roots in Otautau. His grandfather, John Fisher, was a consummate businessman and the publisher of the Otautau Standard (1905-46).

Life Member Alan Fisher
In 1963, a few men were considering starting an Otautau charter, they attended a meeting in Invercargill and read the Lion rules. Alan recalled,
"One of the rules of interest was that you were supposed to have one representative of each kind of employment. Very strictly - one representative. Well, I'm going to tell you the difficulties that we had. We finished up with 33, a pretty good number, of which 14 were farmers; and not one of them was a dairy farmer. Do you believe that?! We had everything from a poultry farmer through a deer farmer to about 65 different types of farming and we used 12 of them to separate our farmer members. Everything from a pastoralist to you name it, a Merino breeder. Keith Mitchell, who was the New Zealand representative for National Lions accepted the fact that there was no way around it, and they were quite happy for the Otautau Club to join their fraternity, so we got the charter. And we had the charter evening in what is now the furniture shop on Main Street on the 9th of November."
Life Members and their wives, former Bayswater residents, Roy and Nancy Burnett, Zola and Peter Ayson, and Fred (and Margaret not shown) Dalley.
Ex-Otautau Lions came from all over Southland to celebrate as well as representatives from the Makarewa, Invercargill, Tuatapere and Districts, Ohai-Nightcaps, Riverton and Cromwell Clubs. Also present were the District Governor, Andy Andrews.

Part of the evening's entertainment was guest speaker, Dil Belworthy, of Glowing Sky clothing company, Rakiura/Stewart Island. A natural storyteller, he kept us laughing with life in Samoa, how he came south, and how he met his second wife. Truly hilarious.

Margaret James, the first woman to join the Lions.
Life Members Roy Burnett, Peter Ayson, Alan Fisher, Fred Dalley and Vic Keen cut the cake.
In between speeches and toasts, there was plenty of time for friends to re-connect.
The evening was supported by local talent from the cake to the flowers.

Cake made by baker extraordinaire, Gretchen, of the Main Street Cafe.
Women of the Otautau Playcentre did a superb catering job.
Floral arrangements by the Western Southland Floral Art Group.

Charter members, 1963

W.L. Affleck, F.F. Allan, A.R. Baird, C.O. Ballam, J. Ballam, R. Ballam, L.S. Brash, W.W.H. Brown, V.F. Chilton, D.J. Clark, J.I. Clayton, A.D. Collie, A.F. Collie, S.W. Cowan, A.A. Fisher, T.W.J. Henderson, F.R. Insall, W.G. Kennedy, H.F. Laurie, J.A. Lindsay, J.R. Lindsay, J.C. MacDonnell, J.M. Maley, H.A. Morris, B.R. McPherson, R. Newman, D.J. Stronach, F.M. Thomson, L.J. Thwaites, W.R. Townsend, J.A.R. Walker, J.W. Wesney, and J.E. Wright.

It's hard to imagine the career of a group that's been around for 50 years - the projects completed, the funds raised, the good works done for others. We're lucky to have a Lions Club here and as many said, our community is the better for it. Congratulations, Otautau Lions, and thank you!

Friday, 8 November 2013

Pool Open Day and Car Boot Sale

The Otautau Swimming Pool kicks off the swimming season at noon on Saturday, 9 November. There will be water activities, a sausage sizzle and a car boot sale as part of the festivities. The cost to register for the car boot sale is $15 and goes towards pool operations. A good opportunity to clean the house 'and' help the community!

See this month's News and Views for all the details about the pool, and check out the Pool's Facebook page.

Tour of Southland

Peloton reaches Otautau in the 2013 Tour of Southland
A little rain didn't slow these guys down. They whizzed through Otautau in no time. They were headed for Orawia, Ohai, Nightcaps, Mossburn, and finally Lumsden to end the 5th stage of the Tour of Southland.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Wild Beauty

Beautiful wildflowers at the arboretum are starting to make themselves known. This understated area just by the creek, near the kiosk/sign, promises special delights for flower lovers. Bumble bees and other insects are already frequent visitors. The area is now fenced off to give the flowers a chance to mature without being walked on, mown or weedeated.

The arboretum is looked after by volunteers who have a love of trees, plants and flowers. Please support their efforts.

Election 2017

Election season has swung into gear with the next General Election on Saturday, September 23rd - 7 1/2 weeks away. Not much has changed with...