Introducing Ruth Targus from Lyttelton. Ruth was nominated for her commitment and dedication to our community, which she has maintained despite challenges and delays in returning back to her house.
Project Lyttelton (PL) is a non-profit grassroots organisation committed to building a sustainable and connected community. This is done by way of a variety of projects and events, some that we are familiar with are the TimeBank and Lyttelton Farmers Market. To successfully run a grassroots organisation depends on its members and its supporters and Ruth shows her support to PL by sitting on the board for PL, she offers her skills on the Time Bank as our very own sewing fairy and she actively uses and supports the Time Bank.
Ruth is also a well-known face amongst the young families in Lyttelton as she often looks after everyones kids as well as being a wonderful mother to her own children. All of this whilst managing a very stressful personal period being out of their family home that I know many of us can sympathise with and I would like to wish her well for a smoother remainder of the year.
#31 Ben 'Diggy' Atkinson
Cake for Greatness has expanded its web of gratitude and today delivered its 31st cake to a very thoughtful and gentle man, Ben 'Diggy' Atkinson from Sumner.
Ben was nominated for starting an initiative in Christchurch called 'Fill their Lunchboxes'. Last year, with the support of his workplace Joe's Garage, he got a start with his brilliant idea. His aim was simple. To contribute positively to the growing child poverty problem by using his talents and knowledge as a chef to help feed children in need. He started off making 150-200 lunches for children at three East Christchurch schools and now he has now decided to dedicate himself full-time to this wonderful and selfless cause so he can make a real difference. He hopes to make approximately 2000 lunches a week to help fill struggling children's lunch boxes.
Fill Their Lunchbox is based on the 'buy one, gift one' model. So for every lunch that you buy, one is donated to a kiwi kid in need. The menu will change every day and orders can be made from their website (which is under construction). The lunches for children will have a health focus and will no doubt play a positive role in tackling New Zealand's child obesity rates and also in educating children on healthy eating, whilst filling their tummies with good food so they can get on with learning and have a real chance at life.
#30 Lyttelton Primary School Staff
The staff of Lyttelton Primary School were nominated by the parents of children who attend the school - not only for the hard work they put in teaching our children, but also for themselves learning a new teaching style whilst preparing to move into their brand new school.
Being a teacher is a dedicated job in itself; sharing knowledge, time and influencing students on so many levels. But to then be expected to manage a change in teaching style and a premises move on top of their already demanding workload, well, I think their dedication is something we should all be very thankful for. Mention must also be made of the non-teaching staff, for a school cannot run without them.
The staff have also been preparing students on what to expect with the new teaching method by introducing it in their current classrooms, which are not custom built for this purpose. This of course must come with its own set of difficulties and I think acknowledgement and praise must be given to the staff for managing this transition and keeping our children as their number 1 priority.
#29 Karen Young
I am very happy to introduce Karen Young, a Lyttelton local who has been nominated for her commitment to the set-up of our Lyttelton Farmers Market. Early every Saturday morning you will find Karen on London Street helping the Farmers Market team close London street, moving tables and chairs for punters to enjoy their food later in the day, setting up gazebos and the rubbish/recycling bins and helping out vendors as and when they may require. She has been praised for her spirit, enthusiasm, kindness, friendliness and reliability. Our farmers market is so popular with people all over Canterbury and acknowledgement of volunteers who continue to assist on a regular basis is a must in my books.
#28 Walter Gallagher
Introducing our 28th Cake for Greatness recipient, Walter Gallagher. Walter and his wife Wendy have called Lyttelton home for over 40 years so they are local through and through.
Walter was nominated for his hard work around the Lyttelton hills, in particular around Voelas/Harmans road where he has planted literally thousands of trees; pines and eucalyptus mostly. When I heard that he planted at least 100 trees per year for the past 44 years, I was completely blown away. He gave away many trees to friends that lived in their area and whenever rain fell and the hillsides slipped away, he was inspired to plant more trees. Of course not all of them survived (due to heavy winds/rain, or being taken down due to the winter sun factor and views) but you can still see evidence of his efforts up around Voelas road. Those trees are upwards of 20 years old and are all due to this man's wonderful heart.
Wendy told me a story how in the 1980s Walter, herself and their neighbour, Colin Gates, cleared all the scrub on top of the hills also. She shared how you could walk up along the sheep tracks barefoot on hot summer days. Looking up there now you wouldn't realise the gigantic grassroots effort there was to clean it up, but perhaps this will inspire a new generation of Lytteltonians to follow in the Gallaghers' footsteps.
In addition to his huge tree planting commitment, Walter has also helped a lot of local pensioners when needed and generally has been there in times of need, like so many wonderful people. Walter has certainly talked the talk and walked the walk and it was no surprise to see him helping his daughter, Jodie in the garden when we went to deliver him his cake.
#27 Scotty Farmer
Scotty was nominated for starting up Rotten Radio. Its really amazing to have our own radio station in Lyttelton as it really does add something very special to our community. His dedication to the Punk Rock ethos has been appreciated by many as it proves that anybody can have a go and make a successful project, that you don't have to be perfect to succeed, you just need to want to have fun and something worthwhile wil always happen. He's also been nominated for having the nicest eyes out of anyone in Lyttelton and I think a few people would like to share the cake with him whilst gazing in each others eyes in the candlelight.
#26 Justyn Denney Strother
Justyn was nominated by her eldest daughter, Isabella, for being an incredible role model for her and her siblings. In Isabella's words "she's really an amazing person. She helps out around Lyttelton at the library and also photographs Lyttelton and it's people. On top of that she is a really amazing mum and friend; she goes out of her way to make everyone happy, and helps whenever she's needed. She hosts amazing parties and cooks for everybody. she taught me and my siblings everything we know about living and also loves to teach and talk with anyone and everyone. She lets my friends hang out at our house even when she doesn't like them and has amazing taste in music. She likes art and supports all the local artists and.. well, basically she's an amazing person who goes out of her to make every single person happy and I think that's special and great".
Isabella has been helping me out on ocassion and I have often said to Justyn that her daughter is such an amazing young woman. It really reminds me that children are a reflection of their parents and even when delivering the cake today, I was reminded by others just how wonderful her children are. Here's to Justyn and also to all the parents out there who love, care and support their children in becoming caring, empathetic and loving adults.
#25 Rowena Laing
Rowena was nominated for her contributions to promoting connections within groups of people who call Lyttelton home. She did this by starting up a Facebook page for the older generation of Lyttelton folk, many of which still live in port , but others in Christchurch and around the world. Many people, whether they are old-school Lyttelton locals or newcomers to our community, can share in the special history of this very special place we call home.
Rowena keeps this page up to date with photos and news of developments around the town. Many elderly people rely on this valuable connection to keep them engaged with others, their childhoods, their whanau and their heritage.
In an age when technology is sometimes considered to be antisocial or disconnecting, I think Rowena's contributions are using technology in the most positive light - maintaining or establishing connection between people and the land.
Thank you Rowena for taking the time to share with the rest of us your passion and pride in Lyttelton. I hope you enjoy the orange/almond cake with whisky buttercream. Thank you to Max Apes for the nomination and to Emma Odering for helping me co-ordinate Rowena's whereabouts this morning.
#24 Julia Sugarman-Halliday
A big congratulations to Julia on becoming our 24th Cake for Greatness recipient. When we went to deliver her Chocolate Cherry Cream cake this morning, we found Julia sitting in Albion Square with a large group of mothers, their children playing in the sun. It soon became apparent why Julia was nominated: she embraces the universal meaning of motherhood. She was sat with the other women, relaxed and openly engaged in conversation. She exudes acceptance and loveliness, and was nominated for having a heart that is open to everyone - for the fact that she is always willing to help out with other children and is often to be found babysitting half the children in our village. Furthermore, she is always determined not to leave anyone out because she believes everyone should be made to feel welcome in our community: the ultimate tribeswoman. Unfortunately for Lyttelton, but fortunately for them, Julia and Nat are adventuring to Rarotonga for a year. We wish them all the best, and look forward to welcoming them back with the same enthusiasm and love that they have shared with us so generously.
#23 Steph Mainprize
From one baker to another, what a treat it was to be able to give a cake to a lady who is famous for surprising struggling individuals with her famous citrus cakes. This unsought generosity shone through in the nominations we received, with tales of how Steph has purchased, without solicitation, crates for Community House's Meals on Wheels service, how she has donated large quantities of household goods to needy local families for many weeks after the earthquake, and also how she has shared clothes and toys with local families. Steph is one of those people who clearly understands that a daily act of generosity ripples out in ways that cannot be calculated - that the smiles that are given in return are the best possible reward for the channeling of so much positive energy. We're sure you'd all love to join us in acknowledging this remarkable lady for all her hard work and generosity.
#22 Lynnette Baird
Lynette was nominated for our 22nd cake due for the work she carries out tirelessly on behalf of a range of community organisations, and in particular the hard work she puts into producing the Lyttelton Review, which we all know and love, and often rely on for up-to-date information during trying times. Lynette also played a big role in establishing the Lyttelton Farmers' Market, she volunteers at the Information Centre, and serves on the Lyttelton Club Committee. Without people like this working in the background for nothing but the reward of helping others, ours would be a lesser community, and so it is a great pleasure to have the opportunity to thank her in our own special, cake-based way.
#21 Liza Rossie
Some people just exude generosity, and Liza is no exception. Couple that with irrepressible energy, and you have a recipe for a true community legend. Students at Lyttelton Main will know her as a fantastic teacher who stepped in as principal for a term under the trying conditions of the school merger, all without losing her amazing ability to go that extra mile for kids, parents and the community at large. This was palpable when we delivered her cake today, and it was an honour to meet her and see for ourselves how she enables everyone at the school to thrive in their own unique ways.
#20 Evelyn Fields
It is always special when we get an opportunity to award Cake for Greatness to those people who themselves help others with food, and so it was lovely to meet Evelyn today. Every since the February earthquake, Evelyn has been making food deliveries without fail every Monday afternoon to those in need. You might have spotted her zipping around the hills in her car, even on the most unforgiving of winter afternoons. Thank you Evelyn for your selfless generosity, it really is appreciated, and we hope you enjoyed your cake.
#19 Ladies of Lyttelton Library
The lovely ladies at Lyttelton Library become the 19th recipients to join our Cake for Greatness whanau. By now they have been nominated several times for creating a beautifully warm, inviting environment at our community library. Personally, I have always been impressed by how they know everybody's names, and how they are always very helpful, kind and interested in all our lives. Additional support came from Belinda Walker, whose nomination mentioned the library staff's extreme levels of understanding and patience during the rebuild of the Loons. Ladies, I hope you enjoy your riesling syrup cake with raspberries - all decorated with flowers from our garden.
#18 Margaret Jefferies
Margaret's reputation as a community leader precedes her, and as such she will need no introduction for many of us here in Lyttelton. Since 2003, Margaret has been the visionary leader of Project Lyttelton, playing a huge role in creating the culture of possibilities for which Lyttelton is justly famous, and establishing herself as the humble nurturer of our collective vision. In addition, she has successfully pioneered the TimeBank concept in New Zealand. We are very fortunate to have such an inspiring and motivated woman dedicated to our community. Margaret was the glad recipient of one of our Chocolate Stout cakes, made extra special with caramel sauce and decorated with jasmine, violets and violas from our garden.
#17 Teresa Cameron
Those of you who are frequent visitors to our community Garage Sales will recognise Teresa and want to join us in acknowledging her passion and energy. Always ready with a smile, Teresa is incredibly caring and makes sure to look after every visitor, especially the elderly, mothers and children. She has even taken the time to create a wonderful play area for the children to use whilst the grown ups shop. Always willing to help, Teresa has also played an active role supporting Community House and Lyttelton Youth Centre, assisting especially with successful fundraising initiatives. We showed our appreciation for everything Teresa has done by surprising her with one of our scrumptious chocolate stout cakes, with extra caramel and decorated with a variety of flowers from our garden.
#16 Claire Coates
Claire is a local Lyttelton woman who was nominated by Emma Chambers for the long list of awesome deeds she tirelessly carries out on behalf of our community. She is especially active in the school community, where she is always to be found selflessly arranging fundraising or helping out in the classroom. She also played a key role putting together the Lyttelton West Primary School memory photo book, which is a wonderful keepsake not only for the children, but for their families and the community as a whole. Claire also has a wonderful reputation amongst friends as someone who is always queuing up to help out during those many times when it is so much appreciated, for example helping with every aspect of moving home. In addition, Claire volunteers frequently at the successful Lyttelton Garage Sale.
It was our pleasure to deliver a chocolate stout cake to Claire, and just being in the room with her allowed us to experience first-hand the full force of her boundless energy and commitment.
#15 Juliet Adams
Juliet is a familiar face about Lyttelton whom we are sure you'll recognise from the Lyttelton Farmers Market, or from the Harbour Coop. Amongst her many achievements, she founded and runs LIFT library (Living economics, Inspiration, Facts, Transition). This is a fantastic resource available to us all, which holds many books, DVDs and magazines on different topics including sustainability, food, politics, health and climate change, amongst many other topics (including an excellent selection of cook books). Not one to take things lying down, Juliet is always active in a range of protest movements and pressure groups. Most recently she has been spearheading the charge against Lyttelton's lack of banking facilities, whilst also laying the groundwork for the creation of a community money exchange. Juliet always puts so much of herself into whatever she sets out to achieve, and so it was with great pleasure that we were able to pay her back with the gift of one of our seriously sophisticated cider-apple and walnut pies.
#14 Caine Tauwhare
Caine Tauwhare was nominated for his hard work, leadership and creativity at the Whakaraupo Carving Centre in Lyttelton. Caine (pictured here with centre-member Lou) and partner Toni are unfailing in their commitment to the centre, and this is evident as soon as you walk through the door - the creative spirit and artistic energy flowing through all the wonderful works is unmistakable.
Thank you to Kim Morton for her nomination, and to Isabella Strother for joining me in the last few deliveries and contributing a beautiful hand written letter each time. It is worth including here the wonderful words she had for Caine:
"There is an old Japanese saying: 'A man who works with his head is a thinker, a man who writes with just his hands is a labourer, but a man who works with his head, hands and heart is an artist'. You are an artist. We thank you for that too for the world needs more artists".
It was wonderful to be able to deliver one of our chocolate stout cakes to this open-hearted duo, paying back in our own small way yet another example of true greatness to be found right here in our community.
#13 Kim and John Hickford
It was a real pleasure this week to have an opportunity to award Cake for Greatness to some of the true unsung heroes of our community - parents. Kim and John Hickford exemplify the spirit of Lyttelton in their commitment to the lives of their own and others' children, as was immediately apparent when we turned up at the mums' group today to drop off a scrumptious chocolate beetroot cake. And whilst this lovely couple were nominated by Helen Holyoak simply for being ace parents, it is not hard to dig up stories of Kim's contributions to the school, to the scouts, and to various festivals, as well as John's dedication to the under-13 rugby team. To Kim and John and all the other unsung parents out there, we thank you.
#12 Lyttelton Health Centre Staff
Cake for Greatness number 12 was today awarded to a group of people who probably need to introduction - the fantastic staff at Lyttelton Health Centre, who were nominated for the provision of excellent care well above and beyond the call of duty. Particular mention was made of Kim Glass, Kim Pasley and Anna Maze, but really we owe a debt to every single team member, who are hopefully enjoying their well-deserved Chocolate, Pear and Pistachio cake. This week's delivery was particularly special for Rushani, whose father was a well-respected rural GP in Taranaki, to whom many patients still express lifelong gratitude, despite the fact he is now retired. We are indeed blessed to have such a fantastic team of medical professionals looking out for us when we need them.
#11 Emma Odering
It is always special to meet an exceptional individual passionate to reach out and help those less fortunate, especially when that person is helping the whole community in deeply meaningful ways. Emma has been volunteering at the Lyttelton Youth Centre for 10 years now, where she has been running a range of activities and counselling youth as well as helping out with administration. The highest praise for Emma comes from the local police, who say that youth offending in Lyttelton has drastically declined as a direct result of her commitment. And so it was an honour to be able to share an Apple and Olive Oil cake with this unsung hero, whose passion for our community shone through even after only a very brief encounter.
#10 Mel Anderson
This week we have decided to award a Cake for Greatness to a person who has helped us personally. Mel has been our earthquake claims consultant at IAG, and she has made our move to temporary accommodation so much easier through her hard work and personalised service. After hearing so many horror stories about dealing with insurance companies, it was so lovely to be reminded that a company is made up of real people, and Mel did everything in her power to make the transition as stress-free as possible for us. We are sure she has assisted many other people in the same way, and so it is on behalf of all those people too, that we delivered one of our famous Chocolate Stout cakes to Mel.
#9 Lyttelton Volunteer Fire Brigade
One thing that always happens from time to time, is that the sirens sound to signal an emergency of some kind, affecting someone in our community. This always makes us think of the members of our volunteer fire brigade - amazing men and women who risk the elements to ensure our safety and wellbeing. We couldn't think of a more worthy recipient for the first Cake for Greatness of 2014. At the same time we are sure that nobody in Lyttelton will object to this being the second time our firefighters have received this recognition, and we're sure you'll join us in hoping they are enjoying their Chocolate Stout Cake and Pear Frangipane baby cakes as much as we enjoyed making them. Aren't we lucky to live in such a caring community?
#8 Christchurch City Mission
This week it was a great privilege to be able to make a very special Christmas Eve delivery to the Christchurch City Mission. We all know that Christmas is a difficult and often lonely time for many struggling members of our unequal society, and yet how many people do you know who are willing to put aside their own yuletide preoccupations and give so freely of their time to those who are shunned by so many? And whilst the City Mission is active every day of the year, it is at this time of year that their selfless acts really stand out in sharp relief, an inspiration to us all. It certainly was a hive of activity when we arrived, and the photo shows just three of the amazing people, both professionals and volunteers, who we met. We hope everyone had an opportunity to sample the Chocolate Stout cake, which is richly deserved, and hopefully serves as a reminder that whilst we may not all have time to volunteer, reaching out a helping hand, or offering a friendly smile, to those less fortunate should never be an imposition. Happy Christmas everyone!
#7 Andrea Solzer
Cake for Greatness this week went to a very special lady who gives a lot of her time to assist at Lyttelton Plunket, which as we all know is an absolutely fantastic organisation providing much-needed materials and support to any family with young children. But it would not be the organisation it is, without volunteers like Andrea. Rushani was a Plunket baby, as we are sure many of you were, and it is with this sense of shared gratitude that we dropped off a Spicy Chai Teacake today.
#6 Flo MacGregor
Today we were delighted to deliver a Carrot, Ginger and Walnut cake to a kind woman with a loving heart and generous soul. Flo is well known at Lyttelton Main School, where she is always to be found helping out with a wide range of activities. In fact the list is almost endless - helping with PE, with special needs children, with Kapa Haka, with book week, sports day: Flo is always there with hands-on practical assistance (and even the school office is never without flowers). And as if that were not quite awesome enough, Flo is also to be found helping out at Community House, Sea Cadets, Rapaki... We hope this cake delivery was a sweet way for you and the wonderful team at Lyttelton Main to round out your year Flo, and special thanks to Liza Rossie and Abbie Napier for the stellar nominations.
#5 Lyttelton Volunteer Fire Brigade
A massive thanks to the 5th recipients of Cake for Greatness - the Lyttelton Volunteer Fire Brigade. How could anyone argue with this nomination? It really does take a very special and dedicated kind of person to stay constantly at the ready to drop everything when that siren goes (usually when most of us are home with our families or tucked up by the fireplace during a storm). Not only do these wonderful people fight fires, they attend medical emergencies, as well as being unbelievably helpful in the aftermath of earthquakes and floods! We trust you all enjoyed your Chocolate and Beetroot cake with Caramel and Fresh Strawberries, and thanks for getting into your uniforms for the photo.
#4 Stark Bros Ltd
Today Andrew Stark accepted on behalf of Stark Brothers, not one, but two of our Chocolate Stout cakes, in recognition of this family-owned company's consistently showing the rest of the world how a business can operate not only for profit, but for the good of the community. So many people and organisations have been helped by Stark Brothers, that it is no wonder they are one of our earliest and certainly most consistent nominations. The list of ways in which the business offers practical and financial help is endless: erecting the Farmers' market shed at the school, installing netball posts, managing skip collections on behalf of community groups, and assisting in multiple engineering projects after the earthquake, including making concrete blocks for retaining walls and building metal frames for the Empire Hotel and Harbourlight Theatre. There are so many other stories of how this wonderful team of people consistently go above and beyond the call of duty, and we're sure you'd love to join us in offering thanks for showing the way business can and should be done - with empathy and passion for the community front and centre.
#3 Laura Hopper
It was wonderful today to deliver one of our Carrot, Ginger and Sunflower Seed cakes to Laura who (coincidentally?) just happened to be doing her good deeds when we tracked her down. She was nominated for the amazing work she does for our children by organising sporting events and coaching various sports teams throughout the year. We know that all the children absolutely love her warm smile and positive energy, and the parents are just as grateful for her dedication and commitment, no matter what the weather. A well-deserved cake for a real team-player and fantastic role model, we hope you enjoyed your cake Laura.
#2 Lyttelton Community House
It was not difficult to select the winner of our second Cake for Greatness delivery and everyone will have at least some idea of the amazing work carried out by Lyttelton Community House in many areas. However, this week we wanted to recognise in particular the work these amazing people do with the elderly members of our community, and in particular the provision of daily hot meals for so many people. Older people are our most valuable asset, and it is wonderful to see people committed to ensuring they are not forgotten in the most practical way possible - by sharing food. It was therefore an enormous privilege to drop off one of our Chocoholic's cakes topped with Coffee and Ganache and thereby have an opportunity to return this daily, unsung favour.
#1 Wendy Everingham
We were taken aback by just how many nominations we received for our first Cake for Greatness, and many of those will be honoured in coming weeks. But it was not at all difficult to select our first winner, and Wendy will need no introduction for many of you. A true unsung hero, Wendy is the quiet impetus behind so many worthy projects. In particular, she was nominated for her work with Project Lyttelton, with the Lyttelton Harbour Information Centre, and with Lyttelton Civil Defence - all initiatives which our community has come to rely on since their inception, and which would not flourish quite the same without Wendy's quiet diligence and tenacity. Wendy, you are a legend, and we hope you enjoyed your Rhubarb, Violet and Yoghurt Crumble Cake.