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initiatives planned for 2019.
Kumara’s Christmas started early in
December when all 33 children from
Kumara School marched in to the
Theatre Royal Hotel’s weekly Monday
morning tea party.
Resplendent in Santa and elf hats, and
under the approving eye of Rudolf the
Red-nosed Reindeer (umm . . . Sika?)
they sang carols and Christmas songs
with enthusiasm and considerable
It was clear that they had been well
rehearsed, as they sang an extensive
selection of songs, knowing all the
words and actions. Congratulations
and thanks to teachers Mandy Dodds,
Janelle Trounson and Sue Glue.
The following week, the last of the
school year, another heart-warming
performance was given as the students,
teachers, families and friends of Kumara
School filled the Kumara Memorial
Hall for the annual concert and
fuels Coast to Coast
Preparations are well in hand for the
Kumara Community Trust to produce
the nourishing dinner on Thursday,
February 7 for the multi-sports athletes
participating in the annual Coast to
Macaroni cheese, goulash, hot-pots
and coleslaw are on the buffet-style
menu, which will be served after the
pre-event participants’ briefing.
Again, it is Rosie Searle who is co-
ordinating the project.
“It’s a bit tricky this year as it’s the day
after Waitangi Day, so everything we
need has to be pre-ordered.”
That includes 17.6kg of macaroni,
15kg of cheese,
50 litres of milk and 4.4kg
“It’s a basic menu, a lot less than in
previous years to keep within budget,”
“We are catering for 300 to 350
people. In the years before the
Christchurch earthquake it was a much
bigger event with many coming from
Christchurch and quite a few national
and international participants.
“We were catering for up to 1300 back
then, with 11 main courses and four
deserts. Numbers of athletes are slowly
building up again.”
Since the Kumara Community Trust
was established in 1997 to organise
the Coast to Coast pre-race meal
they have raised more than $600,000
for Memorial Hall restoration and
New Year’s Eve
The Theatre Royal Hotel was the
place to be for the last hours of 2018
— holiday spirit and great music
from Nelson duo Cutty Wren; Sandy
McCord and daughters Danni and Jo;
Kumara’s own John Acker on trumpet
and vocals accompanied by sister Bev
Loader on piano; and impromptu piano
items from Greymouth’s Bev Seebeck
and Merv Ashby.
Old songs, comic songs, a rollicking
music mix that had everyone (well, the
ladies anyway) up and dancing. Copious
laughter, non-stop chatter. Everyone
joining in the countdown. Much
toasting and hugging — and then more
music and camaraderie.
A perfect festive way to see in the
MPI to meet with
dairy industry at
The Ministry of Primary Industries
is seeking feedback on issues and
options that are being raised in
the review of the Dairy Industry
Restructuring Act 2001 (DIRA) and
its impact of proposed changes on the
The ministry seeks input on costs,
benefits and other impacts of the
potential legislative changes.
They are hoping for a good turnout of
those involved with the dairy industry
at the Kumara Memorial Hall on
January 22, from 11am to 1pm.
The 2019 New Year’s Honours recognised the
significant contribution Gerard Bullimore has
made to the Kumara community over the past four
Affectionately known to everyone here as ‘Bulli’,
our mullet-haired award-winner has chaired
and been hands-on involved with many Kumara
activities and committees, as was well documented
in the Greymouth Star on December 31.
He has been chairman of the Kumara Community
Trust, since 1997, chaired the Memorial Hall
committee for 20 years, the Kumara Sports ground
committee for 12 years and remains a committee
member, chaired Kumara softball for 15 years,
coached junior rugby, was the school’s property
manager in the 1990s and a fire brigade volunteer
for 30 years.
“ I like to keep busy,” he says. “I get into mischief if
I’m not busy.
“ We’ve only been able to do so many good things
because of the energy and dedication of others in
He acknowledges that he is lucky to have been
born with people skills — to get to know people,
their interests and skills and find the right person to
do a task.
Bulli’s partner, Rosie Searle, was recognised with
a Queen’s Service Medal last year. She and Bulli
have worked tirelessly for the Kumara community.
Congratulations — and thank you.
Our latest QSM
After two years of cancellation
due to rain, Kumara is looking
forward to a fine day for the race
meeting on Saturday.
“The long-range weather
forecast is looking hopeful, and it
will be pretty much the same as
in past years, providing we get the
right weather,” Kumara Racing
Club president Patrick Meates
“We monitor the track all the
time. Maintenance has been
ongoing, the track is looking
good, final spruce-up, painting,
cleaning and mowing is under
way — we’re ready for a great
“We have had between 5000 and
8000 in previous years and expect
a big crowd this year after two
years of cancellation.”
The Kumara Races is a social
day for families and friends, with
entertainment and local food
including whitebait and venison.
The winning owners of the
Kumara Gold Nuggets feature
race receive two ounces of gold in
addition to prizemoney.
The Kumara Racing Club
president’s mother, Joan Meates,
right, says getting everything
ready for race day is a bit like a
jigsaw, in which the pieces must
all come together in the right
order. We caught her cleaning
the trainers’ room.
A community permaculture
garden project has begun on
Sunday afternoons behind the
It is an ambitious project, as the
site had become overgrown with
blackberry and scrub.
The worst has been cut back,
cardboard laid down to discourage
weed grow-back and soil and
compost brought in to transform a
small area into vegetable beds.
Plants and seedlings including silver
beet, lettuces, brassicas and tomatoes
have been donated.
The organisers are hoping for more
contributions and involvement from
“ It will be constant work maintaining
what has been started and breaking
in new beds, but with the support of
the community we hope one day to
have a thriving garden producing good
crops for the community, particularly
for those in need,” explains ‘Possum
Pete’ Chapman, one of the regular
“ We also see it as a learning
opportunity for children and non-
The design and techniques involved
will be guided by permaculture
principles with focus on recycling,
sustainability and community.
PICTURES: Joan Fairhall
‘Possum Pete’ Chapman tends tomato plants in the community garden at Kumara, behind the hall.
Kumara School children entertain older citizens at the Theatre Royal Hotel.
New Year’s Eve at the Theatre Royal.
The historic Kumara Memorial Hall is
available for hire and is ideal for a variety of
events large and small.
In the past year the main hall has been the
venue for a two-day conference and seated
three-course meal for more than 100 attendees,
concerts, market day, indoor sports events,
large meetings, private functions and funerals.
A 21KW diesel blower heater is available
during winter months.
The smaller supper room is ideal for smaller
meetings and functions, workshops and
activities such as art and craft.
It has a well-equipped kitchen, wifi
connection, 50-inch flat screen tv and large
projector screen for presentations, electronic
whiteboard and heatpump.
Barbecue and covered outdoor cooking
facilities are located behind the hall, and there
is a large mown grass area out the back suitable
Charges range from $10 per hour to $130
for a function booking. www.kumarahall.nz or
Hall for hire ...
It looks like Kumara’s 100-plus ‘visitor’ beds are
fully occupied this holiday season.
Cars coming in and out from the hotel, cottages
and homes offering bed and breakfast, the hotel
dining room impressing tourists, people exploring
the town, reading the interpretation signs that
reveal Kumara’s fascinating history and enjoying
the bush walks.
They speak of good hospitality, the friendliness
of the locals, surprise at ‘how good the weather is’
and the variety of things to do and nearby places
The ultimate in holiday relaxation. Massage
therapist Lynette Papa rejuvenates tired muscles for
a cycleway enthusiast. Guests at Greenstone Retreat
can enjoy a massage or yoga classes as well as the
birdsong and peaceful forest setting for their tents
December welcomed West Coast line-dancers to
their Christmas social.
Dancing away their achy breaky hearts were
dancers from Greymouth, Hokitika,
Runanga, Nelson, Motueka, Timaru and
“We hold two events a year, our midwinter
Christmas and our December Christmas,” says
group leader and teacher Daphne Power.
“This was the first time we have held one in
Kumara, and it was very successful.
“The Memorial Hall is where I learned line-
dancing many years ago. It was good to be back.”
Why all women?
“Goodness knows. In other places lots of men do
line-dancing,” Daphne said.
“Its country and western origins made cowboy
hats and boots the thing to wear! Maybe West
Coast men are too ‘out-backy’ to be get up and
There is a challenge.
Daphne would be keen to bring lessons back to
Kumara: “We’ve had to move venue several times
as halls get altered or closed. We’re currently in
the Cobden Fire Brigade Hall, which is fine, but
Kumara has a bigger space and an excellent dance
Christmas line-dancing in the Kumara Memorial Hall.
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