2017 – A Year At The Beach

2017 was a good year. Not only did it start on the 1st of January as usual, it was also our 100th birthday. And as any 100 year old person will tell you, “You’re only as old as you feel.” Looking back through 2017 suggests that we have a long way to go before we feel like 100 years old. The quotation from Tas Fleaser on the front cover of the book “100 Years At The Beach” adequately sums up the past 12 months in Koitiata, “Koitiata is a coming and going kind of place. ……”   NOTE: click or tap on the photos for an enlarged view!

100 years of Koitiata. When the year began, the village’s histatious historian’s 100 year history project was near it’s conclusion. Fortunately it only took a few more bottles of red, and in January it went to the printer. The book was published to wide acclaim and numerous offers of honours. But all turned down; there was more histatiously historical work to do. Pages of information, 100’s of them, were added to the History page on our community web-site during the early part of 2017, (www.koitiata.nz/history). And then he went to the beach.

Koitiata’s Histatious Historion

The Book

History Web-site

Koitiata’s 100th Birthday Party. On the day of the 100th birthday party in February, there was a parade and all sorts of other flag and tea-towel waving events. It was rumoured that a good time was had by all who attended. It has also been rumoured that a good time was had by all of those who didn’t attend. They also went to the beach.

The Crowd Cheered

Mysterious Birthday Art

A Birthday Bicycle Car

The big issue during the year was the build up of water between the village and the beach. It had to be persuaded to drain away. As the 1997 photo shows, this was not a special 2017 event. The persuaders had to be used to drain the water then as in 2017. And on numerous occasions prior. It’s a ‘living-on-a-swamp’ thing. As long as we can get to the beach.

January 1997

July 2017

October 2017

Water draining across the beach wasn’t the only ‘not-quite-usual’ things that appeared or arose down on the beach in 2017. There were signs that seemed to just pop up out of no where and then disappear again, to who knows where. Dead white-bait nets arrived on the beach and then disappeared into the ‘dead-white-bait-net-shed’ where they will be resurrected to serve again. There were no white bait this year, again.

It’s not only signs and white bait nets that have turned up on “our” beach. Unusual vehicles and huts on wheels and all manner of ‘getting-to-the-beach’ type conveyances emerged during 2017. Sometimes they merge on the beach and form circles. The beach people and their visitors consume fine BBQ food, and pay homage to The Beach while watching the sun go down. Others walk past on their way from Cape Reinga to Bluff on the Te Araroa Trail. And they always stop; where else do you see a Dune Ship on that long walk between the top and the bottom of New Zealand.

At the beach, 2017 style.

On the Te Araroa trail, but just had to stop in for a cuppa. From left: Dylan from Australia, Folkers from South Africa, Hannele from Finland, Anja from Switzerland, and Noam from Israel.

What sort of year would 2017 have been if we hadn’t had the usual ‘stuck’ events. It may only be the city-slickers and other not-me people who can’t read or comprehend the 4WD sign and who then get stuck on the beach track. But we can also rely on our village residents to provide great ‘getting-stuck’ photo opportunities on the beach. A couple of those below are from late 2016 and really should have been revealed. But it’s never too late and there’s no time like the present. (Watch this space in the 1st 2018 Matters issue, the locals have been at it already).

Just a quick ride over to the beach.

We’ll just drive across that shallow bit!

U-turn gone wrong.

Organised community social events bring a semblance of normality to life in Koitiata. For those who strive to be rational and normal, 2017 would not have been a disappointment. For the rest, there’s always 2018.

Pot Luck

Melbourne Cup

Xmas Pot Luck

Which brings us to the bit that Xmas is all about. The Kids 2017 Xmas BBQ. The pictures say it all. And an award for ‘Best Social Event of 2017’.

“If I just act cool ….
Can’t contain the excitement.
“Can I go now, I want to open it..
What is it?
“We’re just as excited as the kids”
Important men’s Xmas business.

Xmas trees at the beach turned out to be a great way to see 2017 on it’s way. Just goes to show what happens when the tides erode the sides of the square. An award for ‘Best Beach Entertainer Of The Year’.

That’s how it got there.

We also had a mobile Xmas tree.

The last Xmas tree of 2017.

Well that’s it for 2017. For those who are delightfully desperate, you can look forward to more gripping installments of Koitiata Matters during 2018. For the rest, there’s always the beach.