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Don’t go off the rails


I'm currently fortunate to have six months in Gisborne, away from the cold British weather and the curse of Covid that has ripped through our communities. Six months to learn about the incredible culture, scenery and people you have here.

It has allowed me to meet and experience the kindness of too many folks to mention, but I would like to highlight just two causes.

The first is a group of individuals who have committed thousands of hours over many years to rebuild part of your history. The volunteers at Gisborne City Vintage Railway have done an outstanding job in the rescue and restoration of a unique steam engine which operated from Gisborne in the early 1900s. After its working life, the Wa165 was allowed to deteriorate for many years until this group stepped forward and, over the course of more than 10 years, brought a steam train back to life complete with beautiful carriages. It's a fantastic tourist attraction for Gisborne which helped to bring cruise ships to the city. These are currently banished due to Covid, causing a massive drop in revenue. Please support this group to ensure your vintage railway doesn't disappear by experiencing a journey with them for yourself, donating, or volunteers are always welcome. It's sad to see the state of the station buildings, which could hugely enhance the attraction but fall outside the responsibility of the vintage railway volunteers.

The second cause is Covid-19, a much more modern and dangerous feature of life today. New Zealand and its people have been amazing with Covid-19 but everyone should get vaccinated to protect you and your families. This week we had an email from a friend in England who has worked as a doctor in Gisborne, saying that in the UK “The deaths are almost all the unvaccinated”.

Bringing the two causes together, Gisborne City Vintage Railway is laying on train rides from Elgin for people who get vaccinated. These special vintage railway trips ran last Saturday and will run again on the 4th and 11th of December.

Stay on track and get your jab!

Mark Chappell

Leave a Reply to Karen Cooper Cancel reply

  1. Karen Cooper says:

    Well said Mark but I fear your words will fall on deaf ears in regards to vaccinations.