As per usual at this time of the year our order board is full of internet and gallery orders. The Gallery is well stocked and we are as prepared as we can be for the Christmas and bustle, summer always brings to Mangawhai. As a community we have experienced some pretty extreme lows but also some exceptional highs. For us the year has been challenging on a personal level but we have also seen some great rewards.

The Garden Ramble has consumed us since August when we were asked to take part. But the hours that have gone into mulching, weeding, pruning and planting have paid off dividends. And as one lady kindly pointed out “We are now really part of the community”… I guess being a Local-Local born in Mangawhai didn’t really count for the past 43 years. We enjoyed opening our garden to the public and we hope that visitors also enjoyed our orchard, traditional and formal garden beds and of course the splashes of colour and quirky artworks we displayed. We hope to take part next year and plans are already in place for more improvements. We welcome you to come and lend a hand to the parts that are works in progress…. We have extra tools.

Currently we are working on a public artwork over in Dargaville. We hope that we can contribute to the west coast of our district a piece that is visually appealing and representative of what that area has to offer. Dargaville is the gateway to the west coast’s native forests and I have designed artworks that reflect the bird life and fauna of the region. Check it out next time you are over that way.

Sadly this year we celebrate Christmas without my Mum. Suddenly I am very aware how the loss of a treasured member of a family effects us in so many ways. Our hearts ache and I get an inkling of how others must feel going through similar grief. Mum was a big contributor to our community and we thank those that have been a part of her life.  From church groups to community committees, volunteers and clubs, Mum Loved Mangawhai. Like us she loved the beach, our harbour and outer farmlands. We will miss her terribly. We would like to thank those that welcomed her and Dad to Mangawhai more than 40 odd years ago.

Our tiny coastal community is changing. Growth is knocking at our door and at times looks like it’s barging ahead, whether we welcome it in or not. My one hope for 2019 and the future is that Mangawhai retains the friendly casual acceptance of each of us as individuals.  There’s something neat about knowing the people you see in the Four Square or at the post office and I hope we get to keep this tradition amongst so much change.

In summer we have always had to share our slice of paradise with everyone else – Dad used to call them the “Yellow Dots”. This year will be no exception. All we can hope for is that some friendly casual Mangawhai attitude rubs off, they don’t act like muppets and that they respect our environment and  surrounds. Be safe, kind and courteous to one-another.

We would like to thank all of our customers for your continued support. We hope that you love the artworks you have purchased over the year and we hope that your friends and families enjoy the gifts you are giving this Christmas. We hope to enjoy our gorgeous coastline and harbour over the coming months and we’re sorry if you call in at high tide and we are closed (new swimming regime taking effect immediately!).

You are really welcome to visit us in the Sarah C Mangawhai Gallery or catch up with us at one of the two markets we are doing in Pauanui over the holidays. We would like to Wish all our customers a Really Happy Christmas and New Year.

Meri Kirihimete