There’s reason for celebrating together, with activation of a new website that will be the online information centre for Howick 175th anniversary activities, events and research.
After launching publicly in July, the voluntary committee that’s dedicated to encouraging and generating positive public interest for Howick’s 175th birthday in 2022 has been working on many projects, including the website, www.howick175.co.nz.
The online hub has been produced and developed in partnership with Times Media, the official news media partner for Howick 175.
Rev Dr Richard Waugh, chair of the Howick & Districts 175th Anniversary Celebrations 1847 to 2022 Steering Committee, says it’s delighted to announce the arrival of the website after the recent five-week level-four lockdown.
“With the launch of the www.howick175.co.nz website, it signals the real start of our building up momentum towards next year, our 175th anniversary for Howick, from when the first Fencibles and their families arrived in the area.
“The intention for the website is to have it as the focal point for Howick 175 interest and activities. There are opportunities for everyone to get involved in and enthusiastic about next year as our empowering slogan is Celebrating Together,” Waugh says.
“We as a committee fully understand and acknowledge that Maori and the iwi of Ngai Tai ki Tamaki lived on this land before the first European immigrants.
“When the Fencibles arrived on this peninsula in 1847 they were welcomed. The community we now have was grown from a friendly relationship.
“One of the big opportunities we have with the website is we’re going to make it possible for residents to tell their own stories and that of their families.
“We have had respectful and helpful meetings with the leadership of Ngai Tai over the past year as we started planning Howick 175. Mana whenua wishes us well for our endeavours and there is an invitation for Ngai Tai to have their stories published on the website.”
PJ (Phil) Taylor, the Howick 175 media and communications co-ordinator, says the committee of volunteer community leaders, advocates and contributors believes commemoration year is the perfect time as the collective Howick Ward community to “acknowledge and recollect our past and where we’ve come from”.
“It’s also about celebrating and recognising who we are, and the wonderful life we have in one of the best places to live in the world,” says Taylor.
“Build on our strong community spirit and pride as a platform for a positive, resilient and supportive future, especially when you consider what we’ve all been through over the past 18 months with the pandemic.
“One of the leading reasons why the Howick 175 trustees and committee have decided to encourage residents to commemorate the area’s 175th anniversary is to make it possible for many of the older folks to have an opportunity to celebrate what they’ve contributed to their communities over many years, with a lot of those good deeds being voluntary service.
“The Howick Ward’s population is also one of the most ethnically diverse in New Zealand. The spirit of Howick 175 is all about celebrating who we are and getting to know each other more,” Taylor says.