Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 10 July 2009 Contents LOCAL NEWS
10 July, 2009 | Page 11
Team effort pays off for charities
Two Fiordland charities are each
almost $7000 richer thanks
to enormous public support
for the New Zealand Ballet’s
performance in Te Anau earlier
The event was hosted jointly by
the Fiordland Health Trust and
Fiordland Conservation Trust.
Conservation trust manager
Rachel Cockburn said Southland
District Mayor Frana Cardno,
who is also a conservation trust
member, was pivotal in the
success of the event.
She secured, not only the
performance itself, but also
sponsorship of the ballet
company’s fee. That meant that
all proceeds, with the exception
of venue costs and promotion,
were able to be directed to the
two trusts, Mrs Cockburn said.
Health trust representative
Glenda Facer said other
organisations had also chipped
in. Te Anau Kepler Lions raised
almost $900 from a raffle,
Fiordland Players helped
with theatrical expertise, the
Southland District Council helped
with ticket sales and former
ballet teacher Jenny Labruyère
provided advice. Many others
helped with things like setting up
and clearing out the hall.
“It was a real team effort and it
just shows that the community
can come together for these
special occasions,” she said.
Mrs Cockburn said the biggest
response had been from the
public. Support had been such
that the performance was sold
“It was really well supported by
the community,” she said.
In total, the event returned a
profit of $13,600. Last week
representatives of the two trusts
got together to celebrate their
achievement — and to share the
spoils of their success.
Members of the Fiordland Conservation and Fiordland Health trusts (from left) Kim Hollows, Glenda Facer, Rachel
Cockburn, Ian Collie and Ron Peacock, celebrating the profitable success of their joint hosting of the New Zealand
Ballet performance earlier this year.
In his father’s
Sixty-six years ago a young New
Zealand soldier escaped from an
Italian prisoner-of-war camp and
ended up living with a family in the
north of Italy.
In July this year Mossburn’s John
Douglas, the son of that soldier, will
go back to the Italian village to meet
the family his father stayed with.
Mr Douglas said that when the
Italians surrendered in 1943 there
was an opportunity to escape
before the Germans came in to
replace the Italian guards. Most of
the prisoners chose to stay but Mr
Douglas’s father Graham and three
others fled into the countryside and
later split up into two groups, he
Mr Douglas and fellow soldier Jim
Okane were hungry, knocked on the
door of a farmhouse and the family
fed them, he said. The two went
away again but later that week met
up with the family at a bridge.
“We actually have photos of the
bridge,” Mr Douglas said.
The family took in the two New
Zealanders for the rest of the
war. The father had two sons on
the Russian front and he hoped
someone would do the same for
them, Mr Douglas said.
Mr Douglas and Mr Okane helped
on the farm which had silkworms,
olives and animals.They hid in the
hayloft and at one point German
soldiers came in and poked at the
hay with their bayonets while the
men were hiding there.
At the end of the war Mr Douglas
senior and Mr Okane met up with
the NZ troops. They filled a couple
of trucks with supplies and took
it back to the village. A photo was
taken of the Kiwis and their Italian
hosts celebrating in front of the
farmhouse after the war finished.
When Mr Douglas’s brother
visited eight years ago one of the
daughters still had the blanket their
Dad had given her, he said.
Most of the children of the family
were dead now but Mr Douglas
and his wife June hope to meet a
grandson. Mr Douglas was looking
forward to seeing for himself the
places where his father had been.
Graham Douglas (third from left) and
fellow soldier Jim Okane (third from
right) celebrate with the Romano family
that took them in in Italty following their
escape from a prisoner of war camp
during WWII. In the centre of the photo
is the father of the family, Stefano
By Sandy Eggleston
Eight hardy Mossburn mountain bike enthusiasts
left this week to ride the Tour de France.
Well, not the actual tour but as close as they’re
able to get. The annual Tour de France cycle race
started in Monaco on July 4 and covers more
than 3500km over 23 days throughout France.
The Mossburn group will arrive in France a
week after the race began and will join a tour
organised by the Adventure Travel Company.
After a day of biking around Paris they’ll travel to
the Loire Valley where they will join up with the
Tour de France, for the next two weeks following
the tour by bus while doing some sightseeing
trips on bikes away from the main route of the
cycle race. During the time they will be able
to either watch the start or finish of a Tour de
France stage or observe part of the race.
Mossburn farmer John Douglas, who is part of
the group, said the eight Mossburn friends did
the Central Otago rail trail three years ago and
really enjoyed that.
“That is what got us interested in cycling and we
have just carried on from there,” he said. Since
then they have competed in other mountain bike
races and been on the organising committee for
the White Hill Wind Farm Classic, he said.
“We thought this would be a great way to spend
a winter holiday following the Tour de France.”
About 38 people were on the tour from other
parts of New Zealand and Australia and everyone
meets up in Paris on July 12. Mr Douglas had a
Southland flag from Venture Southland. “It would
be great to have of photo of us, the flag and
Lance Armstrong or Hayden Roulston,” he said.
Rugby Southland had given Mr Douglas
Southland rugby jerseys to wear on the tour.
The Mossburn team had been out on their
road bikes training for their time in France
but a challenge for the group would be the
summer temperatures Mr Douglas said. “We
are training at the coldest time of the year but
inside a week we are likely to be in peak summer
temperatures,” he said.
After the Tour de France finishes Mr Douglas and
his wife June will travel on to Italy.
Two members of Mossburn’s Tour de France “team”
John Douglas (left) and John Healy ready to wave the
Southland flag through France.
Keen cyclists off ‘en tour’
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