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Mahurangi Matters


May 7, 2014




Designer urges Warkworth to get creative As a young girl growing up in Switzerland, Denise Bauer got the idea in her head that she would one day live in New Zealand. “I knew nothing about this country, and I don’t know why it came in to my mind,” she recalls. “But I had this feeling already when I was very young.” She ended up training as a professional shop window designer, and was chuffed when one of her apprentices turned out to have spent several years living here. But it wasn’t until the year 2000 that she and her husband finally decided to make the move themselves. “When our children were 5 and 7, we thought we have to do it now or never. Our intention was not to stay very long, but we are still here.” For the first eight years, the family lived on Waikehe Island, but they were eventually attracted to the outskirts of Warkworth, where they have what many people would regard as the ideal lifestyle. As well as a huge vege garden, they have seven goats which they milk to make their own cheese and yoghurt. They also have chickens, a cat and a dog. Denise initially believed there would be very little demand for her skills in this region, but she has gradually been coaxed into helping out local businesses by the Warkworth Area Business Association.


A shop window display should be seen as a form of advertising, says Denise Bauer, and therefore needs careful attention to be effective.

Her fabulous displays for Warkworth wool shop Robyn Egge Yarns, in particular, have drawn a lot of comment, and she admits it has reignited her passion for her original career. In Switzerland, shop window displays are a skill that takes a four-year apprenticeship to master, including one-and-a-half days each week of study. A good display should catch someone’s eye from afar, she says. “This you do with

decoration, not with goods. If people have their eye on that, they go nearer, then they should notice the goods.” The display should also make potential shoppers curious about what’s inside, she says. A common mistake is to overload the display, and include too many goods. “If you put in the window everything that you sell and people don’t see what they want, they are not going to go in to the shop.”

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Many people don’t seem to realise how effective a good display can be, she says. “It’s the face of a business and people should give more attention to it. I think many people are unsure about the cost, and they don’t realise it’s actually very inexpensive.” Denise stresses that she is not touting for business — her work/life balance is already pretty good. But she doesn’t mind the odd big project. Last year, she volunteered to make the new sleigh for Warkworth’s Santa Parade. Although Matakana tends to hog the limelight, Denise believes Warkworth has huge potential, and she would love to see it become a place where tourists come simply to admire the shops. “It could become a town where people come from Auckland, like they go and see Franklin Road at Christmas,” she says. “Or like people go to London at Christmas time, just to see the window displays.” She loves the town’s new clock tower, and finds much of her own inspiration often comes from nature. “I really love this area. Because I grew up in Lucerne, I like to live in hilly country. And this area reminds me very much of Europe. It’s a little bit Italian.”

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mother’sday feature

May 7, 2014

Swan collection lifts spirits

Swans make Beverley Phillips so happy that her collection has expanded to 650 ceramic and glass examples. “They make me smile. The more I have, the happier I feel,” Beverley says. They now fill every room of her Wellsford home. “They are so gracious. I just find them nice to look at,” she says. The obsession began when she saw a ceramic swan at her sister-in-law’s mother’s house. “I looked everywhere and couldn’t find one like it.” She later inherited the swan, kickstarting a 15-year collection binge. “No one else wanted it,” she says. She soon began to find many more Beverley Phillips has collected 650 while trawling through secondhand swans, some worth as much as $300. stores. “Once you start buying them, you can’t stop.” Swans became the gift of choice for birthdays and Christmas and her ex-husband and step-children would often bring her swans from trips overseas. The swans range in price from $5, to View more $300 for white porcelain Crown Lynn photos online swans. “Some secondhand shops don’t realise how valuable they are.” Beverley moved to Wellsford from Auckland nine years ago. Her first With all of the shelves in her home husband died suddenly from heart full, the collection is nearing its problems and her second marriage end, she says. “I don’t want too ended last year. Through it all many more.” have been the swans, and luckily However, she admits she just bought the collection wasn’t divided in six last week. “But they were just little RKOUT ones. I’ve still got some room.” the divorce.


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Mahurangi Matters

mother’sday feature

May 7, 2014

Local JP’s long service honoured After 40 years of witnessing documents, taking oaths and declarations, and certifying copies, Mahurangi’s first female Justice of the Peace, Margaret Cross, has retired. Her many years of service were recognised at a recent meeting of the Warkworth JP Support Group and the Justice Department. “Women bring a different perspective – perhaps a softness – to things they are involved in, which might otherwise be lacking,” she says. “I’m pleased that over the years, the gender balance, in the JP service at least, has evened out.” Margaret says that young girls leaving school today should be encouraged to set goals and “make it happen”. Gone are the days when marriage meant quitting a career to become a wife and mother. Born in Wanganui, Margaret left home to study botany and zoology at Otago University. She jokes that she went to Dunedin and got a degree and a husband. Although she started a teaching career, and has maintained a life-long interest in education, marriage to the newly qualified Dr David Cross meant putting aside her career to work alongside and support her husband. “That’s the way it was done in those days,” she says. The couple spent two years in

“I suppose it was disruptive to a normal family life, but it was the life we’d chosen and we just got on with it,” Margaret says. By this time, the family had expanded to four children and Margaret was doing most of the duties associated with raising a family. She was involved in Playcentre and Cubs, and was on the board of Warkworth High School and board chair when it became Mahurangi College. Outside of family duties, she also found time to be a founding member of the Warkworth branch of Business and Professional Women (BPW) and the Warkworth Save the Children Fund, and was until recently a marriage celebrant. In 1997, Margaret was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, as a Member of the NZ Order of Merit, for services to the community. Retired Warkworth JP Margaret Cross.

Kawakawa before moving to London where David did further study in children’s health and obstetrics. “We left NZ with one son and returned with two. We didn’t have enough money to buy into a medical practice so, in 1955, David accepted the position of assistant to Dr Vernon Shaw, who ran a sole practice in Warkworth. We’ve been here ever since.” When ill-health forced Dr Shaw’s

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retirement, Dr John Andrews joined the practice and the clinic moved from a building beside the Catholic Church in Alnwick Street, to the site where the current Warkworth Medical Centre is located. The doctors regularly did home visits to patients throughout the area from Puhoi north to the Dome and coastto-coast, and worked alternate nights on call, as well as alternate weekends.

The Warkworth JP Service Desk is based at the Auckland Council service centre, in Baxter Street, and operates on Saturday, from 10am to noon, and on Monday, from 10am to 2pm (excluding public holidays). No appointment is necessary and the service is free.


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mother’sday feature

May 7, 2014

Mahurangi Matters


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This issue’s recipient of a gift basket of chocolates from Chocolate Brown is Del Drummond of Warkworth. She was nominated by her daughter-inlaw Nicky Drummond, who wrote: In the Warkworth community lives a gracious, kind and ever-so-loving woman whose presence impacts all those she so warmly greets. Without realising the difference she has made, she humbly goes about her day always with others in her thoughts, seeing a need and taking action. She plants seeds of encouragement and shares in other’s worries; she relieves people of their pain and strengthens their spirit. She is creative, often sending cards of good cheer that she has handmade. Her garden reflects her love of nature and brings joy as she picks flowers to gift others. Walking down the street you may see her out on a mission. It is amazing how one person in such genuinely simple ways can make such a massive difference to a community with their generous heart. Know someone who deserves a big “thank you” for their community spirit? Tell us and they will receive acknowledgement in Mahurangi Matters and an amazing hamper from Chocolate Brown, 6 Mill Lane, Warkworth. Send your nominations to (subject line: Sweet Appreciation) or post to: Sweet Appreciation, Mahurangi Matters, PO Box 701, Warkworth.

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Young Mum’s Educational Programme Wed 7th May • 10am-12.30pm • 9wks • FREE For young mothers up to 25 years to encourage positive parenting, behaviour management skills & strategies for raising healthy and happy children. Runs weekly. Facilitated by Maria Collins Mum’s Post-Natal Support Group Thurs 8th May • 10.30am-12.30pm • 9wks • FREE Come along for a cuppa and a chat with this friendly group. Meet other mums, make friends and gain strength every week. Facilitated by Danielle Kleyn Personal Development Tues 6th May • 10am-12.30pm • 9 wks • FREE A weekly support group that encourages learning, sharing and inner-growth in a confidential and caring environment. Contact centre if childcare required. Facilitated by Heidi Downey Career Development & Job Search Tues 27 May • 10am to 12pm • 6wks • FREE A course for women returning to work or changing career, including creating a career plan and a CV, job search, interviews, assistance with clothing and much more. Tutor: Fiona Brading

Computer Skills: Basic & Intermediate Word (Word 2010 and Windows 7) Fri 9th May • 9.15am to 11.15am • 8wks • FREE For those who have some computer experience, learn word-processing skills in the Basic Word course. The Intermediate course is for those who have done Basic Word or who need their already competent skills extended. Tutor: Senior Net DJ Workshop for Teenage Girls Wed 9 July • 10am to 2pm • Cost $20 Have fun & learn the basic techniques of operating turntables & DJing at this one day workshop for young women aged 14 - 17 yrs. Tutor: Maria Collins Advanced Flax-Weaving/Harakeke Sat (to be confirmed) • 9.30am to 3.30pm • Whangateau Hall • Cost $32 During this one day workshop you will make a waikawa or large basket. Basic flax-weaving skills necessary. Tutor: Leanne Ashby Massage Low cost massage available for women on Tues afternoons by appt $45 for an hour.

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Mahurangi Matters

mother’sday feature

May 7, 2014

E-book success for Wainui mother Family reading time these days is just as likely to be spent gathered around a tablet or e-reader as much as a paper book. A local mother, Kirstin Ballhorn of Wainui, has taken this on board, producing a children’s e-book that was purchased by Auckland Libraries last month. Kirstin says her three children, aged nine, six and two, love to have a “proper book” in their hands, but they tend to prefer the iPad, because they can enlarge the pictures and it’s more interactive, like a game. She says because children work every day with tablets at school, it has become natural to turn to one at home also. Kirstin is a landscape architect/engineer by trade, but says she has always loved writing books and began in earnest with a fairy story for her daughter one Christmas. Initially her stories were written in German — her native tongue — but as time went on she began writing in English. She draws the illustrations freehand in watercolours. She found the process stimulating and fun and decided to take it further, joining a writers’ club and taking classes with an illustrator. Earlier this year Kirstin uploaded her most recent book, Frido’s Dream to Surf onto Amazon, Smashwords and Wheelers. The story is about a turtle that dreams of being able to surf, and Kirstin says she wants children to take from the book that anyone can fulfil their dreams. “I tried it out on my kids first and they loved it and definitely got the underlying message about bravery, and that everyone is important.” Kirstin will be reading her book during Storytime at Orewa Library on a day still to be confirmed – check with the library for details.

Kirstin Ballhorn reads to her children, from left, Kian, Tahia and Angelia.

celebrate mother’s day at the matakana village pub free glass of bubbles for your mum (with evidence).

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30/04/14 4:27 PM

Mahurangi Matters, Mothers Day Feature, 7 May 2014