The countdown is now down to 45 days marking the 175th anniversary of the settlers’ landing at Howick Beach on Saturday, November 12.

The recent funeral of Queen Elizabeth II with all its pageantry and remarkable global unity of thanksgiving for a life so well lived, reminded me of the long and important association we have with the United Kingdom.

Rev Dr Richard Waugh, Chairman of Howick & Districts 175th Anniversary 1847 to 2022 Committee.

Not only did the Fencible families come with their English, Irish and Scottish cultures but the British Crown entered into a unique treaty relationship with Maori which continues to this very day.

Today we live with a remarkable fusion of many different cultural inheritances which makes our east Auckland community very diverse and with a good number of people being more recent migrants.

The Fencible families arriving in November 1847 to a land of new opportunity – yet experiencing many hardships and sacrifice – is something so many can relate to.

We are now only six weeks away from the key 175 anniversary events with a family beach picnic, plaque unveiling and church service along with many other special events. I am continually impressed by the number of willing volunteers who are part of celebrating together this 175th anniversary year.

Thank you to one and all, and especially our hard working 175 ambassadors and those preparing for the events at St Johns College and the beach event. Recently, many school children submitted a variety of 175 creative artworks.

Contributions came from lots of schools with children from Baverstock Oaks Primary and Bucklands Beach Primary making outstanding contributions. Well done!

Have you seen the 175 flags now flying in Howick Village? Call into the main street and enjoy the colours and ambience. How about purchasing some of the Howick 175 memorabilia before supplies are gone; tea towels, key rings, commemorative book, a specially brewed beer and a new blended tea.

Thank you to Times Newspapers and East FM for all their efforts to make sure everyone knows and feels welcome to join in the 175 events. Do look at the website – and especially the events calendar.

Rev Dr Richard Waugh, Chairman of Howick & Districts 175th Anniversary 1847 to 2022 Committee.