Botany and Ormiston Times
Howick and Pakuranga Times : Howick and Pakuranga Times Monday September 29 2014
www.times.co.nz Howick and Pakuranga Times, Monday, September 29, 2014 — 23 126800 A momentous cultural celebration SHOWCASING TALENT: At the Koanga Spring Festival 2014 hosted by Farm Cove Intermediate this year, 35 schools got together to celebrate spring in all its traditional splendour. More photos are online at www.times.co.nz. Times photos Wayne Martin By Farida Master tHE congratulatory messages are still flowing in. The positive com- ments and notes of appreciation haven’t stopped. Stephanie Young, Farm Cove Intermediate’s deputy principal, is overwhelmed with the response to the annual Howick Ward Primary Secondary School Koanga Spring Festival 2014 that Farm Cove Inter- mediate hosted on election day. “Bigger and better” is how she describes the spring festival that started 21 years ago. “This year 35 schools were involved. We had a revolving crowd of 6000-7000 cel- ebrating the beginning of spring. “The vision of the festival is to reach out to the community to show Kapa Haka is strong in this area,” says Ms Young, who was involved with the logistics of organising this year’s grand Maori performing arts festival. The school that hosts the event gets to keep the exquisite waka, a tra- ditional Maori canoe, for a year. “It’s almost like an Olympic baton that stays with us for a year and is then passed on to the next host school,” she says, pointing to the well varnished waka that’s got a place of pride in the school reception area. While she appreciates the time and effort students and tutors of different schools have invested in the event, Ms Young admits she was particu- larly happy to see Howick Interme- diate School participate after a break of many years. A stand-out moment was watch- ing Alfriston Primary School come forward to participate though they are not a part of the area. Baverstock Oaks School, sitting on the border of the Howick ward, also took the initi- ative to get involved in the significant community event. Another highlight according to Ms Young was the time the students of Pakuranga College immediately stood up after Farm Cove performed “to do a spine-tingling haka followed by Howick, Edgewater and Macleans colleges”. “It was such an emotional moment,” she says, getting misty- eyed. Every school that was a part of the cultural song and dance festival brought with them a native plant in a pot that was put up on the stage, sig- nifying that the segment of the stage belonged to them. “The native plants will now be planted in the native grove con- necting the two schools, Farm Cove Intermediate and Wakaaranga Pri- mary,” she says. Adding a lasting touch to the popu- lar event were the students of Farm Cove who designed beautiful cer- tificates of participation. They also created artistic clay gifts for all the schools as a special reminder of the time they were a part of a momen- tous cultural celebration.
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