Friday was our Arts Festival fund raiser breakfast, for Cystic Fibrosis.
It all went very well, in spite of the buckets of rain falling down around us.
Ursula was back with us. The meeting was run by Eric, in his usual precise style, and our district governor, Leonie Tisch, and both local mayors graced us with their presence.
Our guest speaker was Dr Vincent O’Malley. Perhaps an unlikely name for someone who has risen from being a cleaner at Canterbury University to being a prominent expert on the Waikato land wars of the 1860’s. If you want more information on this subject, critical to NZ history, you should read his book, The Great War for New Zealand-Waikato 1800-2000. Just be careful not to fall asleep when holding it. It is apparently indeed a weighty tome.
He led us through a brief summary, starting from the time when the Maori tribes were the main producers of food for the fledgling colony, leading on to the pressures of growing numbers of colonists desperate to get their hands on some farmable land, and not being too concerned about the means of doing so. He quoted colonists “not being prepared to play second fiddle to natives”. This broke down a system which the Maoris had thought of as being a partnership, and led to a war after the British armed forces came out in support of the colonists.
All of this was assisted by a voting system that only gave votes to landowners, and did not recognise most Maoris as landowners, as their huge land holdings were only held under a communal system.
The subject has had little in the way of formal history study. Indeed his book was the first on the subject since 1879. Dr O’Malley delivered a plea for us, as a nation, to address the inequities that were the consequence of the war.
We went on to some lighter topics, with the drawing of the sold out  raffle, won by some one called Ron, and the auction by Ross Brown of a Mercedes weekend and sumptuous dinner for 2 at Somerset Cottage. It was eventually won by well known local man of the law, Graeme Elvin.
Then came the presentation of 2 Paul Harris awards.  For some reason, I temporarily forgot his Christian name, and could only come up with George, then Rolf. Not really appropriate.
The recipients , both extremely well deserved,  were Peter Tinholt, for his fundraising work for Cystic Fibrosis, and Sally Morrison, for her work in being the chief organiser of this event ever since it’s inception, quite a few years ago. In both cases, they were repeat awards, Sally, number 3, and Peter number 2.