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Thursday April 14, 2016

Vandalism to school garden “heart breaking” By Nikki Papatsoumas

A garden created to aid in Island Bay School students learning was thoughtlessly vandalised earlier this month. The school officially opened its very own garden with a Karakia and blessing two weeks ago. Following this, learning hub coordinator Karen Grice said she arrived to water the garden during the weekend, only to discover the pyrethrum and stevia plants had been ripped out. “We have got a dedicated herb garden to teach the kids about different types of herbs from a medicinal point of view as well as a cooking point of view.”

From left Noah Duff, 9, Millie Crowe, 9 and Freddy Pearson, 8, with principal Perry Rush.

She said the pyrethrum plant was particularly valuable, because they were going to use it to teach the children how to make natural pesticides. “It [also] really meant a lot to us because it was the first plant to go into the garden,” she said Sadly the vandalism continued, with carrots and seedlings also being ripped from the garden. Karen said the school was now asking the local community to help keep an eye on the garden outside of school hours. “We ask people to be more vigilant – if you are up there keep an eye on things for us. It’s just hard to believe that someone in our community would do that deliberately.

“The kids put their heart and soul into this new space and now we don’t know what we will walk into after each weekend.” They now plan to paint the garden beds, install a scarecrow and personalise the space to deter future acts of vandalism, she said. Karen said the garden was built and designed to teach children about how to grow food, where food comes from and horticulture. The school planned to use all food harvested to run its own ‘garden to table’ initiative, she said. “This makes it pretty heart breaking when someone comes in and destroys it,” she said.

Tens of thousands attend Thai Festival For an estimated ten thousand people, the Wellington Waterfront was transformed into a window into Thai culture this weekend by the Thai Festival. The festival, celebrating 60 years of diplomatic relations between Thailand and New Zealand, featured food, music and fun. An electric tuk tuk traversed the Wellington streets, and festivalgoers enjoyed demonstrations of ancient Thai crafts and performers from near and far. Thirty-five performers brought over by the Thai Ministry of Culture dazzled the audience with traditional music and dancing. Local groups such as the Educate

Thai New Zealand group, Wellington’s Thai community and StarJam performed both days. Beautiful autumn weather kept festival-goers happy and warm while they wandered under twinkle lights enjoying delicious dishes sold by Thai restaurants from the area. Thailand proved why it was known as the ‘land of smiles’, delighting the festival-goers well into the night. The Royal Thai Embassy said it was pleased with the festival and planned to repeat the event. Few summed up the experience as well as six-year-old Stella from Island Bay, who simply said on Sunday, “I wish I was from Thailand.”

A photo of a ghostly figure captured by Kathy’s team at Fever Hospital, as part of a previous ghost tour.

Ghost tour of haunted Wellington building By Nikki Papatsoumas

inbrief news Police seek man Police are seeking a man in relation to an indecent assault which occurred on Lambton Quay on Monday. Police said about 2.30pm on Monday, April 11, a woman walking along Lambton Quay towards the Wellington Railway Station was approached by a man, who grabbed her by the waist and tried to kiss her. Police said the man,

thought to be in his 20s, was described as Caucasian, of skinny build, with pale blue eyes and short brown hair. He had a distinctive accent and was last seen wearing a maroon coloured dress shirt and grey dress pants, police said.  Anyone with any information was asked to call police on 381 2000.

Newcomers Network events There are many Wellington Newcomers Network events taking place throughout the month of April. On Wednesday, April 13 a coffee catch up will take place at 5pm at Clarkes Cafe on the mezzanine floor of the Central Library. On Wednesday, April 20 an Ice and Sky screening and discussion will take place at 5pm at Te Papa. On

Tuesday, April 26 there will mix and mingle drinks will be on at 5.30pm at the Fork and Brewer Cafe on Bond Street. Finally, on Thursday, April 28 there will be coffee and conversation from 2.30pm at Clarkes Cafe.  Contact wellington@newcomers. co.nz for more information.

Kathy McBride will take locals on a tour of Fever Hospital next month, after a two year hiatus.

Locals will have a chance to acquaint themselves with some of the ghostly residents at one of the capital’s most wellknown haunted buildings next month. Wellington psychic medium Kathy McBride has the gift of connection with the other side, bringing messages from loved ones and guides in spirit. She said she has had a gift for as long as she could remember, but has worked as a psychic medium for the last 15-years. After a two-year hiatus spent writing her book, Kathy will once again present shows across Wellington this year, connecting audience members with lost family members, guides and loved ones. As well as her work as a psychic medium, Kathy also works as a ghost investigator. She has hosted tours of some of Wellington’s most famous haunted buildings, including St James Theatre, Downstage and the City and Sea Museum. However, she said one of her most favourite haunted spaces in Wellington was the Wellington SPCA’s home at Fever Hospital on Alexandra Rd, in Mount Victoria. A heritage building, Fever Hospital was designed as a hospital for isolating patients with contagious diseases. Kathy said she felt “quite at home there”. In particular she had come to know some

of the sites many ghostly ‘residents’ including an old night shift nurse named ‘Sister Slippers’ and a “bad tempered” caretaker. She said locals should not fear Fever Hospital’s supernatural inhabitants. “They are very happy for what it is now being used for.” With this in mind, Kathy will host a ‘Messages from Beyond’ show, followed by a ghost tour of Fever Hospital, on May 28. Half the profits will go directly to the Wellington SPCA, Kathy said. A spokeswoman from the Wellington SPCA said the old Fever Hospital proudly holds eighth place of the top 10 most haunted buildings in Wellington. “Kathy McBride and her team have had a long standing relationship with the SPCA and with the building she has already conducted numerous ghost hunts on the premises,” she said. “Kathy is a keen supporter of the Wellington SPCA, and is always keen to do fundraisers for the charity to help the animals in need in the Wellington and Kapiti areas.” Kathy will also host boutique ghost investigations at Fever Hospital later in the year.  Tickets for Kathy’s show ‘Messages from Beyond’ on the May 28 are available on www.eventfinda.co.nz or at the Wellington SPCA reception.

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