September 2020

From the President’s Desk

Graeme Faulkner, President, Grey Power Marlborough

Well, once again our lives have been slightly altered by entry into level 2.

Hopefully this will be short lived and the Ministry of Health will be able to devise a package that will allow it to control any further outbreaks with a lot smaller impact on the community.

Our new discount book is being prepared by Kim, in the office, and if any business would like to place an advertisement in this book please contact her at the office.

We have further meetings with the Clubs of Marlborough with the hope that we will be able to make it more attractive for attendance by our members.

It already offers a great deal of different gains and opportunities for you to take part in.

Hopefully, in the near future, we will have a combined open day and when this is held, I urge all of our members who have thought of joining the clubs but have not, to come along and have a look. Once finalised the date will be published.

So, why vote?

Brian McNamara, Publicity Officer

This is a message to members and seniors. Many 18-24 year olds have not yet enrolled to vote. Could we exercise the wisdom of our years and advise them of the good reasons why it is important to enrol and to vote, rather than just leaving it to "the olds"?

  • "If you don’t vote, you can’t complain" might work.
  • "Be suspicious of someone who discourages you from voting; they probably have an agenda that does not favour you!"
  • Appeals to ‘civic responsibility’ might work; voting makes you the equal of every adult in the country, as we all have an equal vote.
  • "It does matter" who is in government.
  • "Others fought and died for our right to vote. Honour them by exercising it."
  • "If you don’t vote, you have to put up with the government that others want, and maybe not of your choice."
  • If they say to you "My vote won’t count", then relate the story of a local candidate for council who lost by very, very few votes. My wife and I still regret that we had not got motivated enough to get out and vote for her.
  • "If you get informed enough to vote wisely, then you will feel more part of the community."
  • "Where you expect to be in three years time will be largely affected by who you vote in now."

In 1972, I couldn’t wait to vote. In 1969, aged 18 in Christchurch, I went to a street corner meeting with Harry Lake, the Minister of Finance, and asked a question, then to a town hall meeting with Keith Holyoake, the Prime Minister, and to a meeting at university with Norm Kirk, where I asked a question of him.

Sixteen elections later, here we are again, and it’s still just as important as the first time!

2020 General Election candidates’ meetings

After the local paper ceased to host electorate meetings, Grey Power has stepped up and run meetings for its members and extended a welcome also to the general public to attend.

The proposed meetings in August and early September were postponed as a result of the Covid-19 inspired shifting of election day to October 17.

They are your chance to meet the candidates and seek answers to your questions.

The new meeting dates are:

  • Wednesday September 30, 10am, St Andrew’s Church Hall, 5 Henry Street, Blenheim.
  • Thursday October 1, 10am, Picton RSA, 66 Wellington Street, Picton.
  • Thursday October 1, 7pm, The Wesley Centre, 26 Burleigh Road, Blenheim.

Explore the Taylor River reserve

Brian McNamara, Publicity Officer

Kilometres of grassed, treed river berm expanses with views out to the hills and vineyards where people can walk, ride and bike on wide, firm paths and enjoy the exercise and the special character of a Blenheim treasure: the river.

Look at the photo. It invites us to walk up or down on either the left or right bank, to have a coffee at a cafe as part of the experience, to cross the bridge to either side of town. It pictures some of the beauty of water and sky, of bird life and plantings, of the history of our major town.

Access to the river is so easy here. Buses run close by, car parks are available and the river reserve is comfortably available to scooter, bike or footwear. It is no trouble to walk out on one side of the river and return on the other, as far as you like; even to the Taylor Dam if you want a good long walk! You can start and finish anywhere on the river. There are many access points.

Information pamphlets and maps are available at the Marlborough District Council offices.

See you out walking!

September members meeting

When: Thursday September 17, 2pm. Where: Marlborough Community Centre meeting room, Alfred St, down the hall from Grey Power. Who: Sergeant Mike Porter, New Zealand Police, will address issues of concern to the elderly, such as hoax phone calls, robbery and how to stay safe. This is a rerun of an earlier cancelled meeting.

All aboard the railway

The Blenheim Riverside Railway Society is running return trips to Omaka using its historic steam locomotive ‘Donald’ on the first Sunday of the month to raise money.

Grey Power members can help counter the loss of revenue from cruise ship passengers, and enjoy this most enjoyable local ride.

There are great wee trips to journey behind a diesel locomotive for one-hour return along the Taylor River at 1.45pm, or for 25 minutes return across to the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre at 1.15pm and 3pm.

At Omaka, enjoy refreshments at the museum and return to the home station at Brayshaw Park on the later train; or do it all in a single round trip.

The diesel train runs to Munro Street at the moment. It is possible for a keen walker to take a one-way trip to Munro Street and then return to Brayshaw Park on foot, enjoying our special Blenheim river ambience in two ways.

Once the work is done on the footpath-widening downstream, the trains will recommence going to Beaver Station in central Blenheim by The Boathouse Theatre.

This month there are trips on Sunday September 20 and 27, Wednesday September 30, and steam on Sunday October 4.

Prices range from $12 adult and $6 child to Munro Street; $7 adult and $4 to Omaka; combination fare $17 adult, $8 child, $50 family (2A + 3C). The steam train to Omaka costs $15 adult and \$7 child.

For further information visit

Join the clubs; get involved

Brian McNamara, Publicity Officer

What’s happening at the Clubs of Marlborough in September? It seems many of our Grey Power membership are members also of the Clubs of Marlborough. The committees of both are talking together to work out some arrangements of mutual benefit.

We know that many people, as they advance into older age, can get lonely with loss of family, partners, employment, and all the other changes that occur with longevity. Many men, in particular, endure loneliness and isolation at this time of life.

This is why we advocate that members get into volunteer work and join clubs and organisations; that we get involved in the community in all the ways that makes Marlborough special.

This is why we run articles on walks of Marlborough, on sharing the pleasure of a good walk with a friend. It’s why we run each school term an article on what our school children are up to, for us to join in and be a part of with our conversation with our young.

This is why we suggest the Clubs of Marlborough as a good place join, with its clubs, facilities, entertainment and cafe opportunities; even as a base from which to strike out for a walk along the river or across to Pollard Park, or around the centre of town, and enjoy its ambience.

With that introduction and exhortation to get out there as fully as you can, here’s what Clubs of Marlborough offers in September (dependent on Covid- 19 levels):

Friday 5-7pm: Happy Hour

Every Thursday: Housie, 12.30pm, RSA Lounge.

Saturday September 12: Live entertainment 7pm, Vintage Vibes

Tuesday September 15 & 29: "Go for Gold" Tuesday \$10 lunch specials from 11am, raffles and Chocolate Wheel from 12.30pm

Saturday September 19: Live entertainment 7pm, singer- guitarist Wayne Love

Friday September 25: Abba Tribute Show, \$25, tickets available at reception.

Thursday October 1: Club Open Day for Grey Power members and public. Details to be advertised.