6 November 2012
This year’s annual Spring Gala at St Mary’s School Hastings was held in brilliant sunshine on Saturday September 22 and drew another big crowd. The gala has been a feature for more than 30 years and brings together school, parish and local community for a couple of hours of food, fun and bargains.
It is third time around for gala coordinator Cherie Godwin who starts planning months ahead.
‘I couldn’t put it all into place without my awesome team,’ she says. ‘I owe a lot to Brent Miller who sets up the field and all the tents, and to my right-hand helper Deanne Scurr who keeps me sane.’
This year there were more children’s games like Spin-the-Wheel. One of the lucky winners was Year 7 pupil Jake McIvor.
‘I won two toys and gave one to my sister and one to my cousin for her birthday,’ he said. ‘And my younger brother Matthew narrowly escaped a wet sponge in the face when he went on the trailer ride.’
The face-painting was also popular with the younger children. For Year 8 pupil Niamh Dumphey it was a new experience in helping.
‘It was fun and I liked making the kids happy. My favourite face was the panda because it was so easy,’ she said.
The food stalls from the traditional Kiwi barbecue to the increasingly popular Pacific Island foods prepared by the Pasifika parents’ group were busy.
Nothing from the day is wasted. The St Vincent de Paul Society takes leftover non-perishable items for their shop and the Lions Club takes the books. Television sets go to the recycling depot.
The money raised will go towards educational resources.
‘We want to further our IT capacity throughout the school,’ says principal Liz Crowley.
‘This will include upgrading the hardware in our computer suite as well as expanding the provision of iPads and Notebooks through all classes.’
Image: Niamh Dumphey paints another animal face for a gala visitor while, above right, Megan Gaffeny serves in the afternoon tea tent.