The Christmas Festival is in need of some helpers

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Festival needs fresh legs

Santa is in need of more helpers.

The event that puts the Santa or Christmas spirit in Tamahere more than anything else is the iconic, 27-year-old Tamahere Christmas Festival.

But an appeal for more locals with art and craft skills to help keep the event running has so far drawn only a limited response.

A meeting will be held at 1.30pm on Wednesday, August 6 in the St Stephen’s Church Hall for those interested in a role in the festival.

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Hot Topics

HEB Construction site foreman Raymond Puhara guides a 33-tonne beam into place on the Pickering Rd underbridge.

Beams in on Pickering Rd

A still, calm day was high on the wishlist of HEB Construction workers as they lifted 33-tonne beams into position on the Pickering Road underbridge on Monday.

Under a blue sky they individually lowered six 22-metre-long beams into place with the help of a 200-tonne crane. The 2.3 metre-wide beams were pre-cast in Tauranga and trucked on to the site.

The Pickering Rd underbridge is one of eight bridges to be built as part of the $230 million Cambridge section of the Waikato Expressway.

One of the many crashes at the Cherry Lane intersection.

Killer corner no safer

None of the measures mooted to increase driver safety at the Cherry Lane – State Highway 1 killer corner have been done a month after many were expected to be in place.

In early May, the NZ Transport Agency detailed short and long term actions ranging from road signs to reduced speed limits but a month after NZTA’s own deadline Cherry Lane residents are still waiting.

The measures agreed with a residents’ group followed widespread calls for action on the corner prompted by concerns at the high number of serious crashes, including a fatal accident in April.

Progress good on new road

Wiremu Tamihana Drive, the new road being constructed between Airport and Devine Roads, is progressing well despite wet weather.

From later this month until late August, contractors Fulton Hogan will be widening Airport Rd at the intersection with Wiremu Tamihana Drive to allow for slip lanes, reported the Waikato District Council in its latest update.

When the road is completed in December it will bring about a number of changes, including the closure of the right hand turn from Devine Rd down the SH 1 on-ramp.

Hazards spark concerns

Recent wild weather has a couple of locals checking out the hazards of our rural area.

Rob Grant is concerned about the huge limb of a pine tree that overhangs the stop sign at the Newell Road/State Highway 1 corner.

Joy Quilter, meanwhile, is frustrated by repeated power outages. Both wonder if others share their concerns.

Gutted fish dumped by the Tamahere boat ramp

More rubbish at river ramp

Piles of newspapers, car parts, lumps of concrete and abandoned furniture litter the lush banks of the Waikato River near Riverside Golf Club.

At the boat ramp around the corner off Narrows Lane, in Tamahere, a burnt-out car recently sat for two weeks before it was removed by Waikato District Council.

Narrows Lane resident Stan Woolston said the boat ramp, which he estimated was around six years old, was a dumping ground for fish carcasses and beer bottles.

WDC rate rises

The Waikato district general rate is to rise by 1.89%.

The increase was confirmed today as the Waikato District Council formally adopted its Annual Plan, which sets out what the council hopes to achieve in 2014/2015.

Waikato District Mayor Allan Sanson said in a statement that the council had agreed on a robust plan which met the needs of the community.

Local Events

The Christmas Festival is in need of some helpers

Festival needs fresh legs

Santa is in need of more helpers.

The event that puts the Santa or Christmas spirit in Tamahere more than anything else is the iconic, 27-year-old Tamahere Christmas Festival.

But an appeal for more locals with art and craft skills to help keep the event running has so far drawn only a limited response.

A meeting will be held at 1.30pm on Wednesday, August 6 in the St Stephen’s Church Hall for those interested in a role in the festival.

Early chance to see hub plans

Plans for the central Tamahere sports grounds and village hub are to be presented at this month’s Tamahere Community Committee meeting.

The Waikato District Council presentation of draft concepts for the communal area will be made at the beginning of the meeting on August 4, which will start at the earlier time of 6.30pm. The meeting is open to the public.

It will be an early chance for locals to see proposals for the sport, recreation and village hub area adjacent to Tamahere School and bounded by Devine Rd and the new Wiremu Tamihana Drive.

Local People

Becky Horn

Friends rally for Becky

Friends and former Tamahere School classmates of a former Tamahere family are rallying to their support in a time of need.

Becky Horn, and her family, twin brother Simon, older brother Jason, and parents Pam and Graeme lived in Tamahere for many years – the children attended the school and their parents were active community members.

Becky Horn is now battling a rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma cancer and friends of the family, now living in Hamilton, are fundraising to support alternative treatments.

Wife part of husband’s crimes

The wife of a former Tamahere accountant, convicted of stealing millions of dollars from a wealthy family to fund a lavish lifestyle, played a role in her husband’s crimes.

Susan Lesley Soffe, whose husband Gary William Soffe stole $4.1 million from his client, has been serving home detention and doing community service after she pleaded guilty to receiving more than $3 million in stolen money.

She also pleaded guilty to laundering $855,000 and trying to claim a domestic purposes benefit when her husband went to jail.

Our Patch

Cherie Baker and two of her we waifs in need of adoption

Gimme shelter

Running a shelter for dogs is addictive, says Cherie Baker.

Cherie takes in canines from all over the North Island and they arrive at her Gordonton property in all stages of health. “It can be pretty sad. But it’s nice when they become healthy again.”

She started the shelter two years ago after helping foster a few dogs, reports Tamahere Forum‘s sister community website Number 8 Network.

Pretty and pert. Tiny fungi revealed by the macro photography of Bryce McQuillan

Secret Tamahere close up

An eagle eye, patience and skilful camera work have revealed a secret and stunningly beautiful side of Tamahere.

Wildlife photographer Bryce McQuillan spent weeks exploring the Tamahere Reserve to uncover and record a bountiful and beautiful collection of inhabitants – animal and plant – that most of us would overlook.

Restoration of the reserve is Tamahere’s major environmental project and McQuillan’s photography shows what a vibrant and precious ecosystem is already flourishing there.

Local History

ForUsTheyFell

WW1 stories wanted

Waikato Museum has launched an interactive website to help uncover the untold stories of the men and women of the Waikato during World War 1.

The website ForUsTheyFell.org.nz has been developed to crowd-source information for a major exhibition, For us They Fell, to open on Anzac Day, April 25, 2015.

The exhibition, which will run until Armistice Day, November 11, 2018, is intended to commemorate the first century since World War 1.

The Narrows, Hunt to Way

When Deborah Hunt died in Cambridge in 1897, the Waikato Argus reported that “the old lady will be greatly missed as she was a favourite with everyone”.

Deborah Hunt was in her 91st year. She had been resident in Cambridge for several years but had lived at the Narrows from 1873 to 1862.

The Hunt family built The Narrows homestead (now Glenhope) in 1873. The house at 433 Airport Rd is listed on the Waipa District Council’s heritage schedule and it is registered by the Historic Places Trust. It is one of the oldest farm houses in the Waikato.

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