Wednesday, 20 November 2019

WHITIANGA WEATHER

The story of just where in Te Whanganui-o-Hei/Mercury Bay did Lieutenant James Cook and astronomer Charles Green observe the 9 November 1769 transit of the planet Mercury across the face of the sun is certainly a convoluted one. If it had not been for the perseverance of a famous Cook historian, it is possible this year’s 250th anniversary commemoration of the observation, which established Aotearoa/New Zealand’s geographic coordinates, may have been held on Shakespeare Cliff.

As parents, one of our favourite sunny afternoon outings was grabbing a lazy coffee on The Esplanade in Whitianga while keeping an eagle eye on our young boy as he entertained himself climbing all over the playground at the water’s edge. A favourite was searching for pirates and other dangers from a vantage point on the Jolly Roger, the quirky playground boat. 

Nine students and three adults from Mercury Bay travelled to Auckland last Sunday to participate in the departure ceremony for the yacht Maiden, the recently refitted Whitbread Round the World boat. The boat is currently on a global tour, advocating girl’s education and welfare. 

Whitianga parents, Jeff and Vanessa Mills, are extremely proud of their 14-year-old daughter, Sally’s participation in field athletics. She has become a champion and recordholder in javelin throwing with little specific training and knowledge around technique.  

Dr Dorothy Cochrane Logan was a “doctor with a difference” who shifted to Whitianga in the early 1950s. Born in Dublin in 1888 to a military family, Dr Logan was an educated woman. She studied medicine in London in the early 1900s. She later set up a practice in Kent and then in Harley Street in London by 1920.

We are all aware that last week was a remarkable time in our education sector. For the first time in more than 30 years, teachers in schools across New Zealand (primary, intermediate, secondary and area school teachers) took direct industrial action - ie we were “on strike.”

As reported in The Informer of 15 May, ecological consultancy, Wildlife Management International Limited (WMIL), began tracking 10 flesh-footed shearwater fledglings as they departed the shearwater breeding colony on Ohinau Island (east of Opito Bay) last month and began their long migration journey to the Northern Hemisphere.

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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.