Wakatipu Watch


My Old Man’s An All White

Arrowtown muso John Currie (left) hopes a song he’s written will be picked up as the New Zealand All Whites soccer team’s World Cup anthem next year.

The 66-year-old’s written All Whites Mad – roughly to the tune of Lonnie Donegan’s My Old Man’s A Dustman.

With Currie on vocals and guitar, the song’s been produced as a 1min 34sec CD by Lake Hayes Estate project engineer John Booth.

Originally from Northern Ireland, Currie’s lived five years in Arrowtown.

Weekend warriors wanted

Anti-wilding pine activist Deborah McKenna is putting out a call for 50 fit volunteers to help attack wilding pines on Ben Lomond this weekend.

She’ll provide free lunches and gondola rides, she says, for those putting in at least four hours on Saturday or Sunday.

Willing workers can meet at Skyline’s bottom terminal at 9.30am either day with gardening gloves and cutting tools.

Be prepared for an uphill walk of 2km, McKenna adds.

Now showing

“Animal Love” is the name of an exhibition by experienced Kingston artist Karen Scott on display at the Lake Hayes Amisfield Winery and Bistro till January 18.

Scott, who farms Loch Linnhe with husband Murray, says her 14 artworks – including Animal Lover (above) – were inspired by her animals, native birds and the local landscape.

Santa comes early

Santa Claus is the star guest at Saturday’s “Christmas Family Fun Day” at Remarkables Park from 10am-3pm.

The bewhiskered old fellow will hear Christmas wishes from youngsters in the morning before leading carol singing in the afternoon.

There’s also face painting, bouncy castles and a petting zoo.

Trust largesse

Nine Wakatipu organisations have received grants of more than $15,000 each from Central Lakes Trust, which took over $155 million of cash and assets when the former Otago Central Electric Power Board was sold off.

The biggest amount, $80,000, is for the Gibbston Community Associ­ation’s Kawarau River trail.

Queenstown Lakes Family Centre has received $50,000, the Winter Games NZ Trust gets $40,000, Happiness House Trust receives $36,000, Wakatipu Abuse Prevention Network $35,000, the Arrowtown Village Association was given $30,000 to restore the original pack trail to Macetown, Queenstown’s Disabilities Resource Centre and Salvation Army, both $20,000, and Queenstown JazzFest Trust $16,000.

Art play

Budding young artists Robyn Blackstock, Ashley Brundell, Tom Finlin and Emily Wilkins are part of a Queenstown Primary project to make the school more beautiful.

Their class created the mural to decorate the outside of a classroom.

Based on the theme “the legend of the lake”, the mural was painted as part of a year-long Let’s Beautify project, teacher Susan McIntyre says.

The class spent the year researching and designing the mural before spending the past four weeks painting it on recycled Harcourts real estate signs.

“The kids were involved every step of the way”, McIntyre says.

Third autobiography

A new book by well-known local artist Da Vella Gore, This Blessed Journey, completes a light-hearted trilogy on her and son Wayne’s development of their Lake Hayes property.

The remains of five churches have been used for her house, wedding chapel and conference centre, while the latest book – being launched at her property this Saturday – also explains “how not to plant a vineyard”.

Da Vella Gore, a fourth-generation local, says two million copies of her first book This Blessed House have sold in Taiwan.