Tuesday December 19 2017
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Mural brings Mairehau alive Community steps Pupils inspire up to give couple Innes Rd art dream wedding
By Julia Evans A DRAB wall in Mairehau has come to life with colourful artwork – an idea sparked entirely by local children. When asked what was wrong with their community, Mairehau Primary School pupils said the area needed more colour. So Richard ‘Popx’ Baker was enlisted to paint a mural on a wall between the school and Innes Rd. The Neighbourhood Trust and Child and Youth Friendly Cities organised the artwork, which features Mairehau pupils planting a garden. Trust manager Ginny Larsen said it has been a great result from a collaborative effort. “The project started two-anda-half years ago when the trust was working with children from Mairehau Primary asking them what they liked about the area, what they didn’t like and what they would like to change,” she said. One of the main themes was that the pupils found Mairehau a “bit grey” and wanted “more
LIKE BANKSY: George Croton, teacher Alice McGinty, Luseane Alexander, Chelsea Radcliffe and Amy Scott in front of the mural on Innes Rd. PHOTO: GILBERT WEALLEANS
colour and vibrancy” in the area. The pupils took photos and made up a board of ideas. “One of the things they suggested was a mural,” Ms Larsen said. But the trust quickly hit a road block. Said Ms Larsen: “We thought this would be lovely but we’ve got no money.”
That’s when Child and Youth Friendly Cities came on board. Ms Larsen said the group really liked the fact that it was the voices and ideas of local children being heard. Many large-scale murals by Baker feature across the city. They include a building at Phillipstown School through to the “wall of love” in New Brighton.
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had that before.” Miss Van de Loo said Millie was disappointed her parents may not have had the big wedding they hoped for. “She was quite sad, even I was sad, but that was what was important to us at the time.” Now they do not have to worry about organising the wedding, they can spend more time supporting Mitchell. “It could well have been his last Christmas. He could have a heart attack at any time,” Miss Van de Loo said. Millie would be her maid of honour, while Luke would be Mr Thoms’ best man. Mitchell is one of four New Zealanders to have Takayasu arteritis, which most commonly affects Asians and women. It has damaged his heart so much so that it is only working at 28 per cent, Miss Van de Loo said. The future Mr and Mrs Thoms are already thinking about paying it forward, with a surprise planned after they tie the knot for those who had offered help.
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•From page 1 Said Miss Van de Loo: “I thought maybe someone has bought fairy lights for Christmas and were not using them.” Within an hour, more than 100 people had offered help, including photography, decorations, wedding vehicles, a wedding cake, suits and a wedding dress, make-up, hair, a spray tan, pounamu necklaces, help to set up, and the use of Richmond’s Avebury House. They will now get married there on January 20. “We were just blown away with the response. We feel like we’ve won the Lotto. It’s practically a dream come true; I’m still speechless,” she said. The couple, who met as teenagers, moved to North New Brighton with their children Millie, 5, and Luke, 3, six months ago. “It’s amazing, I love how everyone bands together,” Miss Van de Loo said. “Within a month I would walk down the street and people would say hi. It’s just little things like that. We’ve never
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