Friday 24th to Sunday 26th April 2009

Last working bee of the season to finish off waterproofing between the back tank and hut wall, line the back tank, complete painting of bunkrooms and restock food for winter.

Fourteen people travelled down on Friday night in Big Blue driven by Keith and Jim; two went by private car. Rain held off as we walked up to the hut; quick cuppa then to bed about 12.30pm.
Saturday morning being Anzac Day, we made a point of being quietly mindful of its significance throughout the day. After the traditional hearty breakfast, all emptied their packs and set about carrying up first the meat then the rest of the food (nearly $5,000 worth), general supplies and tools from the bus. Discovered that while it is possible to fill a pack with meat, it is not then possible to lift the laden pack, much less carry it. The ideal load would seem to be toilet paper and corn chips - impressively bulky but feather light.

After direction from Jim, the elves dispersed to their work stations; Brian and Keith to the slot between tank and hut wall; Chris to the kitchen where she remained for the rest of the weekend; Jean to put new supplies away and do stocktaking; most others paired off to do the stretching and contortions required to paint all the nooks and crannies of the bunkrooms. Jim oversaw operations while repairing windows and with Craig and later Ray pumped out the back tank, laid a felt base in it and installed the liner which appeared to be an outsize custom-tailored heavy-duty plastic bag. This should now solve some of our dampness problems in the end bunkroom.
Saturday night, several displaced persons slept in the lounge.

Sunday was more of the same with misty rain all day but not too much outside work to do. Morale rose as the paint supply dwindled then ran out.
Delicious and sustaining food materialised from the kitchen all weekend at regular intervals and was swiftly consumed - in one case so swiftly that when Chris came to get hers there was none left. One could only admire her grace and restraint as she claimed she wasn’t that hungry anyway.
Jenny, who had not visited the hut for at least 20 years, was impressed by the numerous improvements

We got away earlier than usual, around 2.00pm. Keith drove to Te Kuiti where we had light refreshments, then Craig drove us home, his first drive for the club, earning a thumbs up from the 10 assistant drivers in the back for a smooth and comfortable journey.
All in all, a productive and satisfying weekend with very congenial company. Book early next time to avoid disappointment!

The Workers: Jim Morrow (leader), Adele & Jack Anderson, Chris Ashton, Keith Ayton, Jean Barton (scribe), Chris Burnett, Jenny Davis, Brian Delbridge, Shirley Jones, John Parsons, Ray Slight, Craig Starr, Anne Stone