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Fun, cooking, antiques and celebrities

By Pam Ferla

It was all to raise funds for Tairua’s proposed Heritage Centre. Glamour, fun, nostalgia and food came together in a very memorable four days in Tairua, that raised $8,000.

Cooking and Jo Seeger

The series of events were held at Tairua Bowling Club from November 17 – 20, with cooking personality, Jo Seagar, as special guest.

Thursday evening’s programme included humorous skits, Charleston demonstrations and songs from the 1920’s. Hilarious scenes included shenanigans in an upper-class household, the challenges of silent movies and gangsters in this prohibition era.

The 1940’s was celebrated in style on Friday, 18 November, with Jo Seagar hosting a dinner for 20 at Tairua’s Sunlover Retreat. She also hosted a high tea and fashion show the following day, with the focus on the 1950’s. Her Christmas cake demonstration delighted those attending, as well as useful baking tips. A charming 1950’s recycled fashion parade added to the entertainment.

Reflecting on the events, Jo Seager told Mercury Bay Informer it was “a wonderful community event. I had a ball helping with this exceptional fundraising objective. There is such amazing talent in this district and I can see that the heritage of this stunning area of New Zealand is in the extremely capable hands of Tairua Heritage Society.”

Antiques and Vivian Leonard

A china cup with a rim shaped to accommodate a moustache while sipping tea was one of the quirky items brought to Tairua Antiques Road Show in the final fundraising event. Entertaining the audience with her knowledge was Vivian Leonard of Arkwrights Antiques in Paeroa.

Vivian, told the audience that Maori and Negro artefacts were currently popular with collectors as well as black dolls. There is also a demand for anything relating to history and Crown Lynn pottery. Items linked to Air New Zealand or New Zealand Railways have become collectors’ items and there is a market for bone-handled knives, chess sets and anything relating to smoking. Crystal whiskey glasses, wind-up toys and greenstone have also become popular.

“Then there are people who collect scissors. Some love things made of plaster of Paris and I know a man who has about 300 egg beaters.

“I see things go in and out of fashion. But really, it’s all in the eye of the beholder. I remember a man calling in my shop and asking for pigs heads. He was getting props for television’s Fantasy Island. Well, I just happened to have two in the boot of my car that day and made a sale!” Vivien’s knowledge was appreciated by the audience.

She has just celebrated 30 years in the antiques business. A farmer’s daughter, her personal collection is of cows.

Events organiser and vice chair/secretary of Tairua Heritage Society, Auriol Farquhar, said it was good to see the generosity and good community spirit shown towards the building of a heritage centre in Tairua.

Caption: Tairua Heritage Players sing “Bye Bye Blackbird” in their entertainment finale. Photo Peter Jackson.

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