Life in Early Poverty Bay
Happy Days at Te Hapara
Happy Days at Te Hapara.
Every Gsborneite of the '80's probably, at some time or other, visited Te Hapara, then the home of Mr. and Mrs. W. L. Rees. Church fetes and open-air functions in aid of any good cause were almost invariably held in the garden. On these occasions, brakes, spring-carts and cabs (a term which covered a few magnificent growlers and a fleet of high, narrow, closed-in waggonettes) raced through a two-mile-long cloud of dust, conveying townspeople—often gratuitously—to the festivities. The garden gate was approached from Gladstone Road by a narrow avenue a quarter of a mile long, a green tunnel between alternate willows and poplars, and careful driving was necessary to avoid collisions, especially when it was a case of four-in-hands meeting.
Inside the second gate the scene was gay and animated—booths lining the walks and drives; sometimes the band or an orchestra; tea-stalls; crowds visiting these attractions, strolling over the lawns or seated in the shady shrubberies; sometimes children's sports or a costume cricket match, the air full of talking and laughter. In the evening an openair concert—rows of seats facing the front verandah which served as a stage. Sometimes dancing on the tennis lawn: sometimes in one of the paddocks a great display of fireworks.