End of Summer
Well yes it’s about time we sent you an update! Is it too late for the end of season wrap up? Or is a new season just beginning? The summer season comes and goes, a very belated happy new year and Merry Christmas to you all! Here’s hoping to no more COVID lock downs this season!
As I sit here in early March, with the last days of summer coming to a close, and another lock down ending for Auckland, I reflect on what has been a tough past season and difficult year at Whakapapa. I thought it was really about time I put pen to paper so to speak and provide you with some reflections on the past season and information on what is coming up for the ski season starting in June.
Last season was poor for snow fall, the parking restrictions were a pain in the preverbal, and the COVID lock downs affected our ability to access the club. But hey, we really do have our freedom in Aotearoa, despite a few minor challenges, even my teenage daughter these days is starting to appreciate the enforced social distancing in public, especially from her parents! On the whole life here is fantastic so we have a lot to look forward to at Whakapapa this year!
Thinking back to the last time I was at our ski club at the very end of last season, the kids in the lounge playing games, a few people on the ski jump outside, people sledding on the ridges above hut flat, you start to realise just how lucky we are. At the ski club we had a successful end to the season with a full hut during school holidays, we held an awesome fundraising dinner and we got back to level one. Which is where we hope to stay! There was a late dump of powder snow in October, traditional evening ski racing with RSC, and RAL even got the Far West T Bar Open, if only for a few days, which showed a real commitment to getting things done.
Looking forward to this coming season at the ski club, we obviously wish for an excellent snowfall, and with a glass of wine in hand you might even think about popping outside to the snow where you just might be able relax those tired muscles in the spa pool after a hard day on the slopes! Yes, we certainly have come along way here at the Whanganui Ski and Snowboard Club established by those wonderful folks back in 1949.
Patrons Fundraising Dinner
Last year’s Patrons Fundraising Dinner was an awesome success. Yann Robert our wonderful chef and club member served a up another great gourmet delight. The cream cauliflower and Whitianga scallops, the braised lamb roulade and cream anglaise with puffs of meringue, followed by an assortment of cheeses, served with a selection of the finest wines from Clearview Estate was simply stunning. The stories from Dougal MacIntosh were hilarious, and the music and laughter went to well after 3am.
A huge thank you again must go out to Yann our chef and to all those who attended. We are now purchasing a new Starlight dishwasher steriliser. These are New Zealand made and, can wash, steriliser and dry dishes in a two minute cycle! But the plates must be rinsed completely clean first! The upgrade is essential as the old steriliser which served us well, requires a qualified electrician to change elements, which on the side of a mountain gets very expensive. The new machine cost just over $6,000 and is designed reduce the need for maintenance, so this should set up nicely for the next 20 plus years! So, thank you to those who attended the dinner as these funds are very helpful for these extra projects and it would not be possible without your support. This year event will be held on the first weekend of the October school holidays promises be even more spectacular!
Annual General Meeting
We had to shift the AGM last year due to COVID! At the Annual General Meeting we honoured Jackie Goldsbury and Dave Taylor with Life Membership of the Ski Club, Jackie was our bookings officer and organised the food stores for many years, Jackie was a constant member on the committee working hard to deliver wonderful experiences for our club over a very long period of time. Dave Taylor who currently serves on the club committee, has been our Treasurer for a number of years doing a wonderful job, Dave is a regular fixture at the club, is always willing to lend a hand and keep a watch full eye on our facilities as he is close by in Whanganui. On behalf of everyone we give our warmest congratulations to the new life members.
On the general front the club is financially stable despite the ravages of COVID. We have taken a hit on the revenue front due access difficulties and especially around the limited capacity created by the car parking system and the level 3-4 lock downs. But through prudent financial manage we are now in a relatively solid neutral position. This will be conditional on retaining our membership and having a good season ahead. For the 2021 season we are not going to have a custodian to keep costs down so senior members will take on this role. On the Food Act side there are a number procedures we need to put in place for the club to retain our current status under serving food in a communal arrangement. Dave Lazelle is working hard with a small team on the compliance side to ensure we are ready for the coming season. There will be more information coming in next month’s newsletter
Membership for 2021 Season
Subscriptions for this year 2021
This year we are sending out 2021 subscriptions via email! Please keep an eye on your “in-box” over the next fortnight…and take advantage of the early bird payment discount for payment by 20th April.
How to pay: in the few lines of text at the top of the email invoice there will be a link that says “Pay for this order“. Click that link and follow the instructions to pay using your debit or credit card. This is so much easier for us to track rather than paying directly into our bank account via online banking (something we’d like to phase out).
You will also receive a separate $50 invoice per family / senior individual members who did not attend one of the work parties (making payment is same as above). This is voluntary in lieu of attending a work party. If you prefer not to pay you can just ignore, but we all know every little bit helps so please be generous if you could not get a work party this year!
Changes to Family and Junior Membership Subscriptions
At the AGM meeting we have changed the age profile of two of our annual subscriptions, the family membership and junior membership. The annual family membership now includes two adult seniors and any number of children under the age of 25. The Junior membership has also had the age range changed from 18 now include all people under 25 years.
This has been done at the request of our members so we can keep the family membership together longer, while also assisting younger people who may be studying, in vocational training, apprenticeships etc or simply assist those younger members who simply wish to stay in the club while using the bank of mum and dad!
- Annual Family Subs now include Two Seniors and any number of children in the family under 25 years, the children don’t have to be residing under the same roof as their parents.
- Annual Junior Subscription age profile has been increased from 18yrs to under 25 years.
We also welcomed two new people to the ski club committee, Elizabeth White from Whanganui and Craig Percy from Auckland. Both have young families and are very keen skiers. Craig is an ex ski patroller from the volunteer days at Whakapapa and Elizabeth has moved to Whanganui from Australia to take up an executive role. If you wish to get a copy of the financial statements, please email the committee.
The single biggest issue! This year, life pass holders and seasons pass holders get guaranteed access to parking bookings, so this will alleviate difficulties around this area. The key is to book a park, and get in early, or pop up the night before and walk up to the club when there are no parking restrictions after 2pm. Closer to the season we will have much more detailed information on parking.
This season take advantage of the buddy passes, if you are coming skiing and you don’t have a season pass or a life pass, please email the committee and we can hook you up with a buddy pass from another club member, season pass holders and life pass holders get 4 buddy pass annually and often don’t use them. These passes give you a 50% discount off the day pass rate.
How to videos
Todd Winlove from Blend Media has generously offered to develop a number of “how to videos” that we will place on the ski club website. These will cover opening and closing the club. Stores collection, rubbish removal, safety tips, walking up at night and operation of the dishwasher steriliser. The videos will be designed to show how we operate the club, so you will be able to confidentially head up to the club and enjoy your facilities.
Next Working Party
We had a very success full work party recently and have another plan for this weekend, Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th March meeting at 8.30am at the Top of the Bruce. If you have spare time pop to the mountain this weekend.
As always, there is an added incentive, if you attend a work party you will get preferential access to bookings! The club will look after your accommodation, food and provide a few cold refreshments, you just need to turn up! All the maintenance materials and equipment will be provided. We are meeting at the top of the Bruce at 8.30 and will walk up to the club or just head on up to the hut at any time. If you have not attended a work party before you will need, good sturdy footwear, such tramping boots (or similar) to walk up to the hut. The walk up takes around 40-60 minutes depending on fitness levels. Work gloves, the material gloves with light rubberised palms are best, especially for those of us with office hands (Mitre 10 sells them). Clear safety glasses are useful, and old work clothes. A back pack and a sleeping bag or sheets if you are staying over and some snacks.
If you can attend please notify us by email at, firstname.lastname@example.org or call Bill Nichol (021 390 480) and Gordy Horsley (text or phone 027 4316348) who will lead this work party.
Well that’s a wrap for this time, I look forward to seeing you at the club this season. If you have any questions or need more information please call me: Gordy Horsley, Club President – 0274316348.