Day Trip - Saturday 23 May 2009

Celebrating Ngaro-te-Kotare

Saturday, 23 May, was a fine day when approximately 50 members walked along the track to NTK to celebrate her 80th birthday.

Phyllis Wilson cuts the cake (Photo: Maureen Harris)

Murray and Penny had mown the lawn, Geoff and his team had blown up the balloons, put up streamers and gave out the party hats: Noel had chopped the firewood and Liz and Sue had put a few last minute touches to the housework. Bruce provided a delicious birthday cake complete with candles and Erica produced another gourmet cake and kept the brews coming.

Doug welcomed us all and then Jim acted as MC and gave a brief history of the hut and its important place in the club, particularly during the early years. Phyllis Wilson added her memories of first visits to the hut as a six-year-old. She recalled how the race was on to get to the blanket box first in order to claim the blanket with the least number of holes in it!

Listening to these tales and to everyone chatting in the sunshine, my own kaleidoscope of memories came back: the bush balls of the 1960s and 1970s when the hut rocked; gourmet dinners by candlelight; a modern-day re-creation of the tramping trips of the 1930s when we caught the train to Swanson and then walked to NTK for the night; a venue for navigation courses; rebuilding the track; the major extensions of seven years ago and all those coats of paint. Perhaps some of the most memorable socialising that club members have enjoyed has been on these ‘working bees’.

Despite its age, Ngaro-te-Kotare is in great shape thanks to a dedicated group of club members and to those visitors who leave the hut clean and tidy.

Thanks, NTK, for the shelter you have provided over the past 80 years.

Scribe: Sue Webb

With: Various club members.