“Karori enjoyed one of the many glorious weekends that Wellington bestows upon us from time to time, and Karori Lions Club made best use of the weather to host a few hundred visitors to 15 beautiful and varied gardens that abound in our upland valley,” says Lion Peter Sisson. “Careful planning, good advertising and a colourful brochure with map, ensured the viewing public had a great experience.
“A highlight was the opportunity to visit part of the historic Donald Tea Gardens and partake of refreshments on the Terrace for the first time in over 100 years whilst surveying manicured lawns and a display of magnificent mature tree specimens, including a huge lime tree reputedly planted by Governor Grey in the 1860s. Also, there is a splendid totara, the only remnant of the forest which once covered this fertile valley before the European settlers came.
“In the Victorian and Edwardian eras, families used to escape the city at weekends and travel by horse-drawn coach and later electric tram to enjoy the fresh air and pleasant walks in the 30 acres of gardens and water features.
“We took the opportunity to sell some Lions Christmas cakes and other goodies at different locations as well as raffle tickets with prizes donated by local businesses. The price we were quoted for printing the raffle tickets was huge, and we were told that sequential numbering contributed to that together with the separate operation of perforating. This would have negated any profit we made so lateral thinking was required. One of our computer whizzes was able to produce sheets with the necessary numbers and the perforating was accomplished by utilising an ancient treadle Singer Sewing Machine - what a wonderful meld of Hi tech and Old tech!
“Altogether, a successful and enjoyable time was had by all, and in excess of $10,000 was raised, the major beneficiaries being the Mary Potter Hospice and the Life Flight Trust.”