Planting and Paddington

Hakatere Marae co-ordinator Tania Reuben, from left, Volunteering Mid & South Canterbury manager Dellwyn Moylan and Ashburton Forest and Bird committee member Edith Smith.
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King Charles III and Camilla Queen Consort have asked people to volunteer as part of the upcoming coronation events.

It’s The Big Help Out Day set to take place in the United Kingdom on their new public holiday Monday, May 8; two days after the Kings coronation, but in Ashburton during the coronation weekend.

Volunteering Mid & South Canterbury manager Dellwyn Moylan said it was an opportunity for the Mid Canterbury community.

She said the idea of the day is to acknowledge the King’s public service and passion for the environment.

‘‘The day is about encouraging people to volunteer, to help out in their local community and create a lasting legacy.

“I wanted to create a environmental project that the community, families, anyone could be part of and something that would be there for future generations, for people to revisit and say I took part in this to celebrate this significant occasion in our country’s history.”

The celebration plantings will be held on the weekend of the coronation.

‘‘Everyone is invited to come to the a planting at the Harris Scientific Reserve at 409 Lovetts Road, off Maronan Road, from 9am-12noon on Saturday, May 6,’’ Dellwyn said.

‘‘At 10.30am there will be speeches and the planting of a kanuka plant. The native plants to be planted will be provided.

‘‘On Sunday May 7 from 1-4pm the community is invited to Hakatere Marae on State Highway One to be part of the planting. There will be some plants provided or people can bring a native plant for the garden or herbs or vege plants for the planter boxes. The day will begin with speeches and conclude with afternoon tea.’’

Harris Scientific Reserve committee member Edith Smith said the idea of a planting appealed.

‘‘I have admiration for the King. Over a very long time he has been into biodiversity and conservation and his values align with ours at Forest and Bird as he and we are the voice for nature,’’ she said.

She said the Harris Reserve has been very dependent of volunteers since it started in 2008 and so to have people come and volunteer as part of celebrating the coronation ‘‘is a good fit’’.

Tania Reuben, from Hakatere Marae, said the marae was happy to get involved as cultivating from garden to table is important for our marae.

“To provide kai to our manuhiri and pataka kai and to provide a place cultural learning experience, for everyone is what our marae is about. The marae relies heavily on volunteers so to be part of the volunteering part of the coronation is important for us,” Tania said.

Anyone attending a community planting day can register at vmscevents. [email protected] by May 2, and is advised to wear sturdy footwear, take gardening gloves, drink bottle and aspade if you have one.

If you would like a certificate to show you took part in the event please supply the name to go on the certificate. Certificates will be available at the end of the planting day.

Other events to celebrate the coronation:

Ashburton District mayor Neil Brown will unveil a commemoration plaque at the Royal Lawn in the Ashburton Domain on May 6 at 9.30am, and, as one of the Queen’s Consort’s passion is literacy, Volunteering Mid & South Canterbury has invited all Mid Canterbury primary schools to host a local awardee of a Royal New Honour to read ‘Paddington goes to the Palace’ to pupils. Hampstead, Our Lady of the Snow, Longbeach and St Joseph’s schools are taking part. Some of the schools will also mark the occasion with the planting of a tree.