• Crystal Sharp, Kim McIntosh, Aidan Bennett, Heather Barker Vermeer, Liz Cannon
Tags: Channel

Silly season and more, it’s nearly 2024!

Who’s ready for a large shot of sun and summer fun?

It’s that time of year when most of us down tools, head outdoors, refresh, and reset with some much-welcomed rest and relaxation. Whatever the festive season looks like for you, I hope you can reflect on 2023 with a sense of pride and accomplishment, or at least gratitude that you survived another circle around the sun!
As the year draws to a close, this December issue of Channel provides Christmas gift buying inspiration and travel tips for the summer season. We asked locals what they’re looking forward to these holidays, present our ever-popular ‘Out & About on the Shore’ round-up of recent events, share school news, expert advice and showcase places where you can eat, drink and be merry.
Christmas spirit in hand, Channel publisher Aidan stepped foot inside one of the Shore’s welcoming places of refuge and met the compassionate community at De Paul House in Northcote. I learned a lot about this special place of sanctuary from reading his piece on page 72. I hope you do too and, if you are able, are moved to support their work this Christmas.
Sharing the celebrations of local community organisations has always been a key part of Channel’s purpose. This month, the spotlight flicks to North Shore Rowing Club as it approaches a major milestone next year – its 150th anniversary. As the Club reflects on the successes of its past, it hopes to shape even greater future achievement and widespread benefit with the creation of a North Harbour Rowing Centre. Read more on page 68.
Young entrepreneurs are the focus of Christine Young’s feature this month, following her interview with a group of smart Shore 20-somethings who have turned their tutoring experience at Takapuna Grammar School into a wider service to support senior school students with their studies.
November story update: We’re delighted to report that 87 year-old Beach Haven resident Garth Barfoot, featured in November’s issue, took part in the New York Marathon 2023 as one of the oldest participants in the event!
And Matt Fenn, who also featured last month, managed his mind-blowing feat of running the length of Aotearoa – twice – to raise funds and awareness for the work of mental health charity, I Am Hope.
Gentlemen, Channel salutes you!  
I’ll also offer a goodbye salute at this point, on my final issue with Channel. After starting with the magazine back in 2012 and dropping back into the fold this year after a four-year absence, I have had the privilege to meet a great many local people and have enjoyed many brilliant moments. I’m grateful to have shared so many stories through these pages, set up to serve local businesses and the community by Aidan Bennett QSM, back in 2009. I look forward to picking up a copy, as a reader, as I move into 2024 with writing projects galore and my own Human Interest storytelling business.
Make this summer one to remember - laugh lots and live in full colour!
Haere rā,
Heather Barker Vermeer,

Issue 148 December-January 2023