Our Saturday night at Foxton started with a meal out at the Manawatu Marine Boating Club restaurant. And what a busy place it was, we were lucky that we arrived reasonably early to organise our seating, as the customers just kept streaming in the doors. A local was heard to mutter that there must be a lot of out-of-towners dining there that night. He wasn’t wrong – there were 14 in our group to start with, let alone who ever else made an appearance.
The food was great – I couldn’t go past the roast pork, and Robin enjoyed his beef and bacon burger. Adorning the walls of the restaurant were models of big fish caught in the area over the years.
Bill and Val, visitors to our rally for the weekend, had purchased the winning raffle ticket for a meat pack. The raffles were quite well organised, and the winners were given a plaque to uplift their meat raffle on the way home. That way the meat is kept refrigerated and does not sit in the warm restaurant for hours on end.
We watched as the sun set out of the large picture windows while we ate our meal, then suitably replete, drove back to the camp. It was Karaoke night, and the Manawatu Caravan Club had kindly issued an invitation for our group to join them in the hall. The place was jumping all right when we entered, found seats and a table, and settled down for a night of music. There was a core group in the hall who had put their names down for various songs, and kept us all entertained as they jumped up full of enthusiasm time after time. Then our club member Kath decided to have a go, and bravely did a solo, looking quite relaxed, we thought.
Four of us decided we would sing if the DJ had our song – and sure enough he did. The song Ten Guitars is sometimes called the Maori National Anthem and is one of my favourite songs. Peter and Elaine joined us on stage as we belted out our one and only party piece – goodness knows what we sounded like, but we enjoyed our brief time in the limelight. Then quickly sat down again.
The music kept coming, and the hall got louder and louder as the night wore on. Everyone joined in the chorus of each song and we had a great time. There were two stand out songs of the evening. The first was “Poi E”, a Maori song written by Dalvanius Prime in 1982. His vibrant production of the Patea Maori Club singing Poi-E became a huge hit and was 22 weeks on the NZ hit charts in 1984, charting at number one for four weeks. It was also a big hit overseas, Dalvanius taking the Patea Maori Club on a tour to the London Palladium, the Edinburgh Festival and a Royal Command Performance. This seems to be the “club song” of the Manawatu Caravan Club members as each and everyone of them were all on the feet singing and dancing the whole song through.
The second highlight of the evening was “Music of the Night” from the musical Phantom of the Opera. The singer gave such a wonderful rendition of this song with it’s seductive lyrics that I got goose bumps just listening. We found out later that this particular gent does quite a bit of singing on stage, and it certainly showed. As the karaoke evening came to a close, we walked back to our caravans, happy to have shared such a fun evening – wondering if we would have a sore throat the next morning from all that singing!