After much procrastination I am diverting myself from all the mundane thoughts used as excuses for delay and getting on with putting together some of the events of another big year to “share” with family and friends. Apologies for the delay in offering our love and best wishes for the New Year, but as they say “better late than never”.
Jude has not had so good a year but all seems to be coming to a successful conclusion with a scan earlier this week showing no signs of the dreaded “Big C”. Surgery a couple of months back for a severe hiatus hernia and to remove her gall bladder leaves her now with the need to rebuild her abs and re-establish her abdominal muscles. No need to say she has turned down my offer to make my boat available at a reduced cost!
Very sadly, in May, Judy’s Sister Kathy’s younger son Brent succumbed to health challenges. He was the most obliging of young fellows, with a real friendly approach to life and people around him and held a big place in our hearts, Judy’s in particular. The blessing was however the fact that Judy and Kathy were able to spend time together supporting each other through Brent’s passing on one hand and Sister (naturally and a nurse) Kathy’s attendance through Judy’s post operative challenges.
Talking about the boat, the year saw a number of advances in developing and testing the very best of recreational single sculls. You will find below my blog Pam Dixon’s Double Crossing of Cook Strait in Carboglass Recreational Single Scull which demonstrates the boat’s ability in open waters. Not for me though, I shall stay in the calmer harbour and river waters. We have also developed a loading attachment for the tow ball which makes loading so much easier for one person. Now all I need is the weather to allow me out 2 or 3 times a week. Someone is not on my side with only 4 or 5 days over the past 3 months suitable for rowing. That has also meant a large number of Bowls cancellations over that time, but here I sit today with other engagements, the temperature in the early 30s and bugger all wind.
Somehow while in Australia for the Winter I got elected (there were no other nominations!) Manager Administration and Chair for the Hutt Bowling Club. I’m almost back to working overtime but I have the satisfaction and potential fulfillment of a number of large events, including the International Disabled Bowls World Championships in February ahead to keep me interested.
Judy continues to keep alive the “6.30 Club” in Upper Hutt and gains enormous satisfaction from the goodwill generated by the simple formula of an informal dinner outing once a month at 6.30 pm. The group has existed for over 30 years now and continues to attract women, many of whom would not get out, if it were not for the Club.
My equivalent is the ROMEO (Retired Old Men Eating Out) group which meets every Friday for lunch at a local Asian Restaurant. $8.90 for a good lunch plus $2 corkage. Because we make too much noise we are not allowed in until 1 o’clock to avoid disturbing the other customers.
The family continues to grow with another Great Grand Child due in May – that will make it 6.
Robyn continues to put her heart and sole into The Tote just up the road at Trentham with its Bars, Betting Shop, Restaurant and Bottle Shop. Daughter Rebecca is Robyn’s right hand person and Rebecca’s partner Clayton is also on the staff. Their daughter Mya is the “Pub Brat”, pictured here. Although Mya is only 19 months of age she is on first name terms with most of the regulars.
David celebrated his 50th Birthday in April with an Extravaganza Weekend in a Holiday Park inland from Mackay in Queensland. He shared the occasion with a mate also 50, and a group of about 150 family and friends enjoyed music, motor cycle burnouts, fireworks and a very generous bar tab until the Sunday morning when we had to vacate quickly to avoid a Cyclone. As it was we had to divert 3 times because of flood waters. A weekend to be remembered!
As usual we continued the annual hibernation on the Sunshine Coast and were able to spend value time with family and renew acquaintance with friends made over the 12 or so years we have opted out of the New Zealand Winter. Very sorry to miss Angela and Mike but it looks as if an excursion to Maleny will be a goer in 2015. A weekend at Agnes Water and Town of 1770 with David, Pauline, Sarah, Wade and Louisa was especially memorable.
Robyn, David and his partner Pauline are joining me in April for a trip to Turkey for the commemoration of the centenary of the ANZAC landings on the Gallipoli Peninsula. It means so much to me to be able to give a proud airing to the Medals awarded my Grandfather, Sgt Sydney John Vine MM for Gallantry and Service in all Theatres of the Great War in which the New Zealand Expeditionary Forces were active.
My addiction with Family Research continues although I am at a stage where the challenges of breaking down brick walls are more formidable and successes are few and far between. I think though that I am about to make a breakthrough with the Crumpler arm of my Father’s family members of which I have traced to Winterbourne Kingston in Dorset, England in the early 1500s listed in the Muster Roll of Henry the 8th’s Militia. Out of the blue I received an email from Garth Matthews of Dorset, whose Mother was a Crumpler. Garth has suggested family lines that make far more sense than any I have attempted to build and verify over about 10 years of trying. I am really looking forward to the discoveries I believe I will make with this new research. On the Chalmers of Tarves, Aberdeenshire side I am frustrated by an inability to make connection with others of the very many Chalmers in Tarves and Aberdeen. None seem to belong to my Mother’s family. I recall Uncle Don having said following a visit to Scotland that our Chalmers were not of the same religion as these others. I shall have to keep on trying like Robert the Bruce. Similarly I am stuck at 1705 with John Vine and not able to verify his parentage as found, unsourced, in a number of Ancestry.com trees. Old Christopher Christmas Berry remains a mystery man about how he traveled to Australia (could have jumped ship and that makes things extremely difficult) and what happened to Wife Elizabeth (Newdick) and Daughter Elizabeth who he appears to have abandoned in Edinburgh around 1837.
It is now Boxing Day 2014, I had better get this off before it is 2015!
Much Aroha to Friends and Family and the very best of wishes for the 2015 Year.
Judy & Bob