Kupe Drive Christmas letterbox decoration competition
Beach Theme Wins the Day
Santa surfing into town with presents in tow, offering complimentary wrapped lollipops to those passing by on foot, won the hearts of the judges, when the winners of the Kupe Drive (North of the Whitianga Fire Station) were presented with their prizes last Saturday morning as part of the street’s best dressed letterbox competition.
For their efforts the winners of the supreme prize, John and Jennie Fahey (house #97), were presented with a $200 gift voucher from the main sponsor of the competition, the local Whitianga Hammer Hardware store. This was the third time Whitianga Hammer Hardware has sponsored the neighbourhood friendly competition.
Hammer Hardware representative, David Maconaghie, said they were delighted to be involved again. “We pride ourselves on being a community-based business and the dressing up of letterboxes adds to the wider community spirit, especially as we head towards the festive season. We also like to acknowledge the efforts gone to by a neighbourhood group, to spread the Xmas cheer. It’s been something of a team effort which we also like to pride ourselves on in business, so there are a lot of similarities between both groups.”
It was second-time lucky for John and Jennie after finishing runner up last year. “With the recent opening of the canals beyond the Joan Gaskell Bridge, which now forms part of our wider backyard vista, we thought it a perfect time to have a ‘Xmas On The Canals’ theme plus, we enjoyed handing out the free lollipops with the bucket having to be topped up several times over the last week or so,” Jennie said.
Runners up were Kevin Smith and Lyn McGowan (house #91) followed by Mike and Helen Goble (house #85) who also received gift vouchers of $150 and $100 respectively from Hammer Hardware. For their efforts Mats Café also donated 3 consolation prizes to Pat Lilley (house #108), Stacey and Sue Bunting (house #102) and Colin and Kathy Everett (house# 105) while New World also chipped in with gifts for other residents who took part.
Organiser and local resident, Ken Andrew says the idea of decorating the letterboxes was designed to help generate some good old fashion Christmas spirit both within the local neighbourhood as well as the wider community and especially to those who use the Kupe Drive extension as part of their regular walk, cycle or drive. “It all began three years ago with a few neighbours gathering and chatting about exchanging contact details as a way of watching out for each other in general as well as for added security. Out of that get-together came the idea of decorating our letterboxes leading up to Christmas to help get that Christmas spirit up and running and to award a prize to the neighbour with the best dressed letterbox. ”
This year’s judges were Jon and Sherryn Maud from the Whitianga Bike Park. “It wasn’t an easy task,” says Jon. “Sherryn and I walked the street several times admiring the amazing handiwork and efforts that had been made by the residents. They should also all be congratulated for braving some pretty miserable weather in recent weeks and making the effort to head outdoors to decorate their letterboxes in style. But, there can only be one winner and we finally settled on house #97 as the supreme winner. With Santa standing on a surf board, paddle in hand and with presents in tow, it was a great theme for the street which now backs onto the newly opened stage of the ongoing Whitianga Waterways development. The addition of a bucket offering free lollipops was another nice touch.”
As Kupe Drive pushes further north, the prospect of having an impressive row of decorated letterboxes come Christmas time next year is something to which the wider community can definitely look forward.
Caption: John and Jenny Fahey, winners of the Kupe Drive Christmas Letterbox Competition, are presented with their Hammer Hardware voucher by David Maconaghie