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Simon Gundry is a Devonport and North Shore identity, and character, who is known for calling a spade a spade. He is a director of contracting company Gill & Gundry, is an enthusiastic and active sailor (past crew-member of Ceramco New Zealand, Lion New Zealand and Shockwave) and is a life member of the North Shore Rugby Football Club.
Welcome to 2015 and Gundry’s Grumbles. But seriously there is not a lot to grumble about after the summer we are experiencing. It was a wonderful Christmas and New Year for me, I saw a lot of family and friends and did a lot of barbecuing, going to the beach, swimming and the odd glass of red wine.
Make the most of time with friends and family – sad to say I lost a good one in mid-January, such a good man who died far too young at 58. The start of a new year is a really good time to take stock of where your life is going. There was a huge turnout at the North Shore Rugby Club, I walked out of the Club and walked home and had a good think about what I’m doing and where my life is headed.
Christmas Day was a bit of a strange day for me really, I saw one of my five boys for about an hour and the others are spread between London, Australia, Canada and of all places, the Marshall Islands. So it was a very quiet day family wise in my Devonport household, but I suppose I’d have done something wrong if all five boys were at home, unemployed and looking for a feed.
Here’s one for you, I live in a pretty narrow dead end street in Devonport and towards the end is a parking bay, which allows vehicles to back in and then drive straight back down the road. Late last year, Auckland Transport came along and put a huge sign on a four metre steel pole that said “Turning Area – No Parking” along with an enormous quantity of yellow paint designating the area as a “No Parking – Turning Area” This is also written on the ground in very large letters. A couple of days later after the installation of this ghastly sign, a truck backed into it, attempting to turn around and drive back down the street, resulting in a big bend in it. A few weeks later, the Auckland Transport people came back up the road, removed the sign, filled in the hole and took it all away. I wonder how much that little exercise cost the ratepayers.
Talking about road signs, I wonder why Auckland Transport have put such enormously tall signs in the car parking areas between the Esplanade Hotel and the parking area in Devonport. When drivers drive in there is no way they can read these as they are nearly 3.5 metres high and there’s no way you could read them sitting in your car – they are towering above you. Why would you not put in a nice low street sign. They tell me that people sitting in the bar at the Esplanade (which I’ve never done, of course) have their views across the harbour obscured by these outrageously tall parking signs.
If anybody was around the Narrow Neck Beach area between Christmas and the end of January they would have been greeted with the unbelievable and great spectacle of the Sea Scouts New Zealand Jamboree where 500 young scouts camped on the rugby field in the old Fort Cautley area and sailed every day off Narrow Neck Beach. It went unbelievably well apparently, with so many fine people helping to organise and take part in this wonderful event. Also, if you drove past there over Anniversary Weekend, you would have been greeted with the spectacle of 250 Optimist sailors vying for a NZ championship – again an unbelievably well organised event. Much credit to all the participants and the organisers of these two events. It was absolutely fantastic to see our facilities used in such a way – it refreshes your opinion of young people. Do you think something like this would make the front page of the NZ Herald? I don’t think so, you don’t see too much positive stuff in that rag. Over a quiet news time, you’d think something like that would make the news. We are more concerned about what the Kardashians are doing or the Sally Ridge mob.
It’s coming up for winter sports time again, and I encourage parents to get involved with their kids’ team sports, whether it be rugby, league, soccer or hockey. There is always room for parents to get involved with these sports and it’s hugely rewarding. When you see these big Regattas like the Optimist one, there is an enormous amount of organisation behind the scenes that is done by volunteers. NZ Junior sport is built on a volunteer base, and it’s hugely important that parents take part – if you’re not sure, just ask someone and put in a bit of time. Even if you’re just making the toasted sandwiches, every little thing helps. It’s a great way to meet other parents, meet the other kids and understand a little better what your children are up to. It’s a wonderful way to build community spirit.
Keep well everyone, looking forward to this year – Cricket World Cup and Rugby World Cup – I think I’ll go to both of them – you never know when your time is up.
Channel Magazine: Issuu 51 February 2015