Only four of us were representing Heretaunga Caravan Club at the 21st National Rally at Mount Maunganui. We all met for a bit of R&R at Rotorua, enjoying evening dips in the thermal hot pools. Pity about the weather though, it rained, and it blew, then rained again. The TV news showed bad weather throughout the country, with flooding and road and bridges washed away, so we probably got off quite lightly.
Firemen were striding around the Mt Maunganui College grounds on our first morning. A fire engine was parked outside the college grounds, manned by a couple of officers talking on the radio.
Wonder what the trouble was? We soon found out – the fire alarm in the gym was ringing loudly, and that certainly stopped the campers in their tracks. Up they wandered to the gym, clad in their dressing gowns and clutching their soap and towels, all set for their morning showers. No showers were available while the firemen were there doing their thing. After checking the whole building out, it appears that steam had set the alarms off. At last the campers could get on with their morning ablutions.
After all this excitement we gathered in the hall for the Official Opening. The hall was a sea of colour as club members arrived dressed in their official club colours. People were clad in blue, white, yellow, purple and our own extra bright orange. Representatives from each club gathered with the respective club banners and followed the piper as they made their way into the hall.
The local Mayor did the honours of opening the rally. He related he knew all about camping as he grew up in a motor camp owned by his parents. In fact, the mayor met his future bride while he was doing the afternoon rubbish collection around the camp, and was still happily married, he was proud to say. A special presentation was made to Ron and Averill from the BOP Caravan Club on attaining 500 rallies, congratulations for this great achievement.
Click, click went the cameras as club photos were taken to commemorate the occasion. Our friends from the Wairapapa club took our photos and we returned the favour and took theirs as they lined up. Now the official part of the morning was over, I was happy to remove that orange tee-shirt and wear something a little less bright.