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Wednesday June 28, 2017

Northern community gets moving on new turf


Johnsonville Library The Wellington City Council is asking the public for their feedback on plans for the new Johnsonville Library. Visit

Voix de femmes Voix de femmes’ winter concert will take place on Sunday, July 1, at 2.30pm in at the Wadestown Presbyterian Church. Entitled From spiritual to spirituals, the audience will go on a journey from the sacred and spiritual music of Fauré, Caplet, Franck, Head and Norman to the soulful and energetic music of African-American spirituals. Tickets for $20 can be booked by calling 04 476 9062, and are also available at the door.

Jewish life in Wellington 1840-2017 an exhibition

Sponsors for the new artificial turf were Newlands College Board of Trustees, Lotteries Communities Facilities Fund, Johnsonville Charitable Trust, Pelorus Trust, Infinity Foundation, NZ Community Trust, and Northern Suburbs Netball. PHOTO: Julia Czerwonatis By Julia Czerwonatis

Newlands College students had the hockey sticks ready to test their new artificial turf after its ceremonial blessing last Wednesday. The artificial turf has been two and a half years in the making and will now give school teams and teams from the northern community the opportunity to practise. “It’s a multi-use turf with a hockey fibre,” Phil Lewis, managing director of Team Sports Surfaces that laid out the turf,


explained. “It is suitable for various kinds of sports – netball, football, hockey. There’s less sand on the surface which makes it also suitable for tennis. “It’s also designed to be less slippery which is important for the Wellington climate.” Wellington Mayor Justin Lester said the project was a huge commitment of the school in behalf of the community. “The northern community is lacking recreational facilities as the area had been underinvested in the last 30 years,” Mr Lester

said. Sponsors, including Newlands College Board of Trustees, Lotteries Communities Facilities Fund, Johnsonville Charitable Trust, Pelorus Trust, Infinity Foundation, NZ Community Trust, and Northern Suburbs Netball, invested half a million dollar in the new facility. Floodlights are expected to be installed soon so that teams won’t have a problem training in the dark winter months. Graham Witt, director of sport, said hockey was becoming more popular at Newlands College.

PHOTO: Julia Czerwonatis



10am - 6pm, Tues and Thurs until 8pm, Friday until 4pm (closed Saturday) Entry $3: families $5

Wellington Jewish Community Centre 80 Webb Street

With Big Buddy Allan Johnson Khandallah local Allan Johnson runs a consultancy business assisting clients with payrolls. He collaborates with contractors on projects and has recently joined the co-working space SubUrban. But more than that Allan dedicates a lot of his time to the community. For the third year in a row Allan will be the Johnsonville Mall Father Christmas, and his currently planning a new charity project for the northern suburbs. The Independent Herald talked with Allan about a matter close to his heart, the Big Buddy programme in Wellington.

What do you do with your little buddies?

Big Buddy is a nationwide programme and started in Wellington about 10 years ago. I have been involved for over nine years now. It’s an organisation for boys that have very little or no contact with their fathers. We give those boys a male role model to help him in the process of growing up. We don’t replace the father, we are a big buddy, kin or a mentor – the organisation prefers not to get involved if the boy’s father is around. Mothers enrol their children to the programme, and as their big buddies, we meet the

July 9th - 16th

By Julia Czerwonatis

boys once a week for one-on-one activities.

What is the Big Buddy programme about?

“We hope the new turf will encourage more students to engage in sport activities, and also to get them active outside the PE classes, during lunchtime for instance,” Graham said. “It’s such a big space so it’s not only meant for our school but for everyone who wants to come here to train.” Newlands College head boy Ben Murdoch was at the opening too and said students were excited about their new artificial turf. “We have got so many sport teams, this is a real boost for the school,” Ben said.

It can be anything that the boy is interested in such as building projects, climbing, go-cart – about a hundred different things. We go bowling, do one of the many walks in Wellington and any sort sport.

Can you tell us about your experiences as a big buddy? I was associated with my first little buddy for seven years. His father had died, so it was important for him to have someone – not to replace his father but to keep the memory of his father alive. As big buddies, we form a trusting bond and ensure that we are a consistent part of that boy’s

life. That means setting a time each week, turning up on time, being encouraging and supportive during our time together, and trying to help them moving forward. We try to answer all questions from our little buddies that they maybe would seek from a male role model but not ask their mothers. With my second buddy, I’m in my second year. He lives with his grandmother and has little or no contact with his mother and no contact with his father. Last weekend we went on the ferry to Somes Island and had some ice cream at Eastbourne.

What happened with your first buddy? He has moved on. When he was 17, he attained an apprenticeship. The success of him achieving it was down to a very supportive mother and fam-

ily, his attitude and I hope my encouragement. I have nothing but admiration and respect for what he has achieved as a young man.

So how do people become big buddies? The process of getting involved as a Big Buddy takes about five months. You have to go through interview panels, professional assessment, and reference assortment to ensure that the people are genuinely interested in a medium to a longterm commitment in someone else’s life which is important because you can’t just give it a go for three weeks and then quit. I’m the longest serving big buddy in Wellington and very proud of my association with the organisation that adds value to the boys' lives. I think I have learned to value family and that not everybody’s family is the same.

What’s On – Winter Fashion Come in for our Winter Fashion Kick-off! Spend $150 in any fashion retailer on July 1st or 2nd and get a free gift! Terms and conditions apply – see our website for details.

Independent Herald 28-06-17  

Independent Herald 28-06-17

Independent Herald 28-06-17  

Independent Herald 28-06-17