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Bluff train disaster remembered

IT should never have happened. But tragedy struck on Monday, April 23, 1917, as the 5.10pm train from Invercargill to Bluff pulled out from the Woodend station. Francis Kipling Dixon was just 13 years old when the disaster took place. More than a century later, he has been remembered. Author Alex Glennie, who wrote and compiled The Invercargill-Bluff Railway and Bluff School Trainrecently...

Netball rally raises funds for Darnae

HUNDREDS of Southlanders rallied for a 12-hour netballathon on Sunday in support of a young community member recovering from major surgery overseas. Teams, including local body election candidates, took part in a non-stop rally from 8am to 8pm, to raise awareness and money for 13-year-old Darnae Lowe-McPherson. The Bluff youngster has, for the past month, been in Barcelona, Spain, recovering from...

Satellite station on show

IN light of International Space Week, the astronomically inclined were invited to tour the world's southern-most ground station – right in Southland's backyard. One of five events across Southland between October 4-10, Great South hosted a tour of the Awarua Satellite Ground Station on Tuesday. "Seeing what looks like big white golf balls from the road sort of mystifies everyone, so...

The power of family

THE Pikias have rediscovered the true power that comes from family. The Southland family had been separated by distance for decades, but following a family tragedy they have returned home to Southland, and their lives have become richer for it. Teri Pikia and her six siblings were born and bred in Southland. But, as they grew up they had gradually moved...

Finding solace in a supportive place

WHEN Helen White started to lose her sight, she was in denial. "I didn't want to believe it for a long time, I'd always worked with my hands, crocheting and knitting." Diagnosed with the genetic condition choroideremia, Mrs White began to lose her vision about six years ago. "Usually men get it and women are the carrier. Nobody in my immediate family...

Steamologists to host family fun

KITE flying, 'games from yesteryear' and a car trek are some of the old-fashioned, family orientated fun events everyone has been invited to. Hosted by the Southern Society of Steampunk Steamologists, the group has invited everyone to join in the fun at its "free family day out" as part of the society's Great Southern Excursion Playtime on Saturday, October 12,...

A celebration of culture

THE cultural diversity of 26 countries was celebrated and shown at a fashion show in Invercargill on Saturday. Hundreds of residents dressed in their endemic costumes and displayed their home countries' culture at the Multicultural Fashion Show. Co-ordinator Meggy Bartlett-McBride said the fashion show was held to mark the Southland Multicultural Council's 20 years. The organisation supported more than 2000 immigrants assisting...

Young explorer enjoys summit experience

A SOUTHLAND boy spent last weekend learning about the country's great explorers at the Young Inspiring Explorers' Summit in Christchurch. Michael Crean (11), who attends Woodlands Full Primary School, flew to the summit and met with 19 other pupils from Years 7-9 from throughout New Zealand. His group leader was William Pike. Michael said he was excited to meet Mr Pike, as...

Netball-a-thon to raise funds for team-mate’s surgery

WHEN 13-year-old Darnae Lowe-McPherson told her netball team she had been diagnosed with severe Idiopathic Scoliosis, their only question was, "How can we help?" "What an amazing bunch of girls, they support each other and all get on so well. The girls all hugged her and asked what they could do for her," coach Karen Skerrett said. Idiopathic Scoliosis is a...

Cochlear implants life-changer for Lucas

KELLY Henare remembers the first time her 2-year-old son heard bird-song. Seven years later, he is an avid outdoorsman with a zest for life – all thanks to "life-changing" cochlear implants. "We thought he was just a hands-on kid, a bit naughty actually, and it wasn't until my mother stood behind him and clapped – he didn't even flinch," Ms Henare...
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