Saturday morning at Oroua Downs School was nice and sunny so it was a no brainer to have Morning Tea outside. Kath’s birthday was coming up fast, so she brought along some home baking to share with us all. And we welcomed Life members Elaine and Peter, who came to spend the day with us all – it was so nice to see them again.
Kath and Selwyn, Elaine and Peter
The rest of the morning was free so I had a look around the school buildings. And discovered a wall of history, tiles painted by the pupils, telling the story of the local area. Bridgette Murphy from the Rangiwahia Arts Trust researched, collecting stories that could be told in pictures painted on tiles, and gathered an interested group of pupils together. One of the stories, painted on a series of tiles by pupil Connor Hughes, is about the original Oroua Downs homestead, dragged from Foxton by bullocks, reaching Oroua Downs as night fell. Extra help in assisting with the tile painting came from the staff of Ceramic Studio in Palmerston North, who then took the tiles to be fired. The end result is a mosaic of decorated tiles, certainly something for the school to be proud of.
Tiles painted by school pupils
After lunch we had organized a visit through Oroua Downs Sheepskin factory, just a little way up the road.
Outside Oroua Downs Sheepskin Ltd
Although the company no longer tan sheepskins, they do the finishing of rugs, manufacture car seat covers, and slippers. Manager Andrew showed us the various processes involved to make the rugs soft and supple. It certainly seems quite a hands on business, ably run with just two staff members these days.
Andrew demonstrating the finishing processes
And now for something he had prepared earlier………. our lovely new set of sheepskin car seat covers. When we had called into the business several weeks ago to book the tour, we chose some natural coloured sheepskins and Andrew added the extra head fitting and straps to turn them into seat covers for us. Robin was happy – he has been waiting a long time for cozy sheepskin covers.
Our new seat covers
Saturday evening was a film night in the hall, when Robin presented a slide show of our recent trip on the Ghan Railway. What a wonderful experience it was, great service, fine dining, and interesting off train excursions. It’s certainly piqued our interest, and we would rather like to travel on the Indian Pacific train now. Many thanks to Selwyn for the loan of his projector and screen for the evening show.
Memories of the fabulous Ghan Railway trip