By Pauline Stewart.
Gwyn Howells is on a mission. He has a question for our readers. Does anyone know who Ian and Rona Smith were?
Some years ago, this beautiful piece of Kauri was carved and given to the Mercury Bay Bowling Club. It is almost two metres across in dimension, very thick and once its shine gladdened every visitor. The sign has greeted people for many years saying, ‘Welcome to Mercury Bay Bowling Club’.
However, weather and time have deteriorated the carved message and the words are now faded, the sheen has gone and to redo it all is not possible. There is damage to the surface which would require cutting away a significant amount of the front of the sign making a rework too laborious, too meticulous and to no avail.
No one wants to throw this magnificent piece of kauri away or give it away, but soon it will leave its ‘welcoming’ role. Now back to Gwyn Howell’s question. Does anyone know who Ian and Rona Smith are? There are some words carved in writing at the base of the sign - ‘In memory of Ian and Rona Smith’. Perhaps descendants of these fine people are still somewhere in Mercury Bay. Obviously, Ian and Rona loved bowling, but no one seems to know of any connection.
Contact Gwyn Howells if you know of a descendent of these fine people or have other information.
Caption: Gwyn Howells is seen here with the sign at the Bowling Club. Inset: A detail of the sign, honouring the memory of Ian and Rona Smith.