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Published: 24 September 2022

By Andy Ross

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A concert

Reefton is North of Mawhera Greymouth and was once a bustling town because of the gold that gives the settlement its name. 

Nowadays Reefton is a tourist attraction and there are some lovely buildings to visit and stay in. There are walks in the forests that surround the township and some rather wonderful views of the mountains, tops snow-covered and ice-blown in these Spring days when Winter clings onto their summits. As is common in these small towns and villages here, there is a real community spirit, not to mention Shetland connections. 

I was delighted to be asked to sing for the Variety Show, held to raise funds for a local cause. I performed a Shetland song, an English song, and an African song along with Pokarekare Ana, a well-known New Zealand song, and enjoyed audience participation in the latter. As my first appearance on stage in the country it was a truly Special Occasion, especially as I was able to wear an African mud print coat for the event. 

There were two performances: Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. After the second a familiar accent greeted us. An emigrant to New Zealand in the 1960s from Hillswick on the Shetland Mainland was as pleased as punch to have heard dialect once again and I was just as pleased to have a yarn and spend time chatting about Da Auld Rock. 

A video of the performance will be uploaded and put on the blog when it can be converted. Thak you to everyone in Reefton who gave me a chance to perform in this new-to-me home.