Yesterday we met up with our SLG friends at Jackson Cafe and Bistro, Petone, for lunch. Twelve people sitting at one long table can certainly make a lot of noise, we have noticed. The lunch choices were great, Robin chose steak and I had pasta for a change. Both very tasty, and we couldn’t resist a slice of white chocolate cheesecake to follow. After that rather large lunch, I declared we didn’t really need an evening meal.
We parted company after lunch, with the rest of the group travelling on to Wellington to continue on with the day’s outing. John was in charge of the day, and had arranged for the group to visit St Gerard’s Monastery. Unfortunately, we had to miss this, it would have been very interesting, but we had to return home for a late afternoon appointment back in Levin. But we could spare a little time to check out Petone Beach before we started on our homeward journey. And we spotted the new Bluebridge Interisland Ferry, the Strait Feronia, which previously sailed between Sweden and Germany.
Petone Beach is where the European settlement of New Zealand started. The New Zealand Company’s first settler ship, the Aurora, arrived at Petone on 22nd January 1840, marking the founding of the settlement that would become Wellington. The new town was named in honour of Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington. By the end of the year, 1200 settlers had arrived from England. This monument marks the place where the first church service was held in the new colony.
A little further along was another sculpture – a large pair of wooden oars. I had seen these many times but never really knew what they were for. The work of art was created by John Calvert in 2003 and is named “Salute”. The plaque states: “These oars salute those who have arrived and departed these shores, and who will arrive and depart in the future”.
“Salute”, honouring those who have arrived from overseas, and those who have departed.
Our time at historical Petone had came to an end, and it was to head homewards for our appointment.