Tamahere, rugby stalwart dies

Rex Pickering, a Tamahere community and rugby stalwart, died yesterday (Tuesday, July 5) in Cambridge, aged 79.

Pickering and wife Christine were honoured for their more than 40 years of community service and dedication to the St Stephen’s parish two years ago, in August 2014.

Pickering, who in life was Waikato’s oldest living All Black, had a lifetime dedication to rugby, representing Waikato at provincial level and the All Blacks for over a decade.

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Thomas, Blackwing soar high

Tamahere’s Thomas Giltrap has won a national award for poultry with his black bantam, Blackwing.

A Tamahere School student, Thomas, 10, travelled to New Plymouth for the National Poultry Show earlier this month.

He went to be a steward but came home with the New Zealand Championship for Best in Breed with the black Australorp​ bantam rooster Blackwing​.

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Eco-warrior up for award

Tamahere eco-warrior Leo Koppens is up for the Volunteer of the Year Award in this year’s Volunteer Excellence Awards.

Volunteering Waikato’s annual awards recognise the effort and impact on their communities of an army of people who give of their time freely and without payment.

Koppens, who began restoring the Tamahere Reserve four years ago, was nominated by his fellow members on the Tamahere Mangaone Restoration Trust.

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World Cup boy aims high

The boy who stole the show at the 2011 Rugby World Cup opening ceremony – Tamahere’s Ethan Bai – is on track to make his country more proud.

When Ethan ran on to Eden Park five years ago, memorably dressed in a number 11 jersey in Canterbury colours, the 13-year-old spectacularly represented the best of rugby and New Zealand.

Now after teaming up with the late, legendary Jonah Lomu on the rugby field he’s on course to represent the country again in a different sport.

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Award for photographer

Tamahere photographer Clare Gordon has come up picture perfect in the Wedding Industry Awards.

At an awards ceremony in Rotorua tonight, the Newell Rd resident won the award for Outstanding Photographer for a stunning portfolio (see here).

Gordon, who has a Diploma in Photography from The Photographers Institute of NZ, says she was motivated to get the qualification because she did not have enough quality images of her two children as they have grew.

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Feeling down on the farm

Farmers across the country are experiencing challenging times as plummeting returns knock the rural industries and their support sectors.

A Tamahere couple know well the toll hard times can take on individuals both mentally and physically and are speaking out about their experiences.

Ken and Sue Ballantyne, who moved to Tamahere in 2013 after a lifetime farming in the King Country, recently talked candidly to The Nutters Club host Mike King about depression, managing bi-polar disorder and life on the farm.

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Awards highlight community depth

Tamahere “eco-warrior” Leo Koppens’ environmental work has been recognised with a Waikato District Council Mayoral Community Award.

Koppens was one of 13 community volunteers from around the district who received awards today at a moving event that was packed with their proud families and supporters.

Matangi’s Graham Membery, chairman of the Matangi Community Committee, received an award for his many years of community work.

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