Saturday, 06 June 2020


Daffodil Day a day of hope

By Stephan Bosman and Jordan Gower

Spring is only a few days away. Daffodils have been popping their yellow heads up, bringing a bit of brightness to the end of winter. In New Zealand, daffodils represent more than just the beginning of longer, warmer days.

The regional cancer societies across the country use a daffodil as their logo and every year we celebrate Daffodil Day - a day symbolising hope for the one in three Kiwis affected by cancer - on the last Friday of August.

The first Daffodil Day was held in 1990. In addition to being a day of hope, it’s also a day of raising awareness and raising funds. One in three is a high number. Even if you’re not directly impacted by cancer, you probably know someone who is, which is why Daffodil Day is, and should be, an all-important date on the New Zealand calendar.

Daffodil Day falls this year on 31 August (this coming Friday) and the Mercury Bay Cancer Support Trust (MBCST) has once again assumed responsibility for the local fundraising activities.

“We have a close working relationship with the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Cancer Society and it’s our pleasure to help them with Daffodil Day every year,” says Ann Mulcahy, treasurer of the MBCST. “Many of the cancer patients we work with in Mercury Bay receive assistance from the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Cancer Society, specifically the ability to stay in their Lions Lodge in Hamilton while undergoing treatment and local visits from a cancer support liaison nurse.”

The MBCST, initially known as the Mercury Bay Cancer Support Group, started out almost 30 years ago. The 12 members of the trust are actively involved in improving the lives of local cancer sufferers and their families. “We provide emotional support and equipment like wheelchairs and hospital beds and we sponsor night carers,” says Ann. “We also do some advocacy work and try to help out as best as we can where there’s financial hardship. We place a huge premium on confidentiality, which is absolutely necessary to enable us to help our patients to the best of our ability.”

The MBCST is funded through donations, including bequests from former cancer sufferers and other members of the Mercury Bay community who have passed away, and a secondhand bookshop. “Our bookshop in Albert Street in Whitianga is doing exceptionally well,” says Ann. “A large team of volunteers make sure that the shop runs like clockwork. We have many loyal customers who both donate and buy books. We’re grateful towards New World Whitianga for recently allowing us to place a book collection bin in their foyer, which makes it even easier for people to donate books to us now.

“In general, we get a lot of support from the local community, including sports clubs, community groups and individuals. A good example is the Scrapbags Patchwork and Quilting Group who supply us with beautiful quilts for all our patients.”

Daffodil Day this year will see the MBCST and many volunteers from across the local community set up four fundraising points in Whitianga at New World, Countdown, Buffalo Beach Four Square and the sidewalk at the French Fig Café/Tango’s Shoes in Albert Street. There will also be fundraising points at the Cooks Beach and Hahei general stores and in the Kuaotunu business area. In Matarangi, volunteers will be driving around in golf carts, asking for donations. “We’ll also have a few volunteers going around all the Whitianga businesses on Friday collecting donations,” says Ann. “The Whitianga Lions have kindly offered to ask for donations from the businesses in the Moewai Road and South Highway industrial areas of Whitianga. On Friday evening we’ll be going around the Mercury Bay Club and all the pubs and restaurants too. The only exception is the Mercury Bay Game Fishing Club who will receive a visit from us on Thursday night already when it’s their club night.

“Everyone who supports Daffodil Day with a donation will receive a fabric daffodil and we’ll be selling beautiful fresh cut, commercially grown daffodils at our fundraising points on Friday also. I would like to urge all the members of the Mercury Bay community to carry some cash on Friday and to support Daffodil Day. Every donation helps.

“Traditionally some of our members and the volunteers helping us have a bit of fun on Daffodil Day and this year is no exception. Keep an eye out for some brightly dressed individuals who may or may not look like daffodils.

“And please keep our secondhand bookshop in mind if you’re looking for something to read or you’ve finished a book and don’t know what to do with it.”


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The Mercury Bay Informer is a highly popular community newspaper, based in Whitianga. The paper is distributed throughout the Coromandel Peninsula, coast to coast from Thames to north of Colville.