New Zealand Concert Tour,
31st March - 16th April 2001
After a long, tedious flight from Bremen, marred by hour-long delays, the Company arrived weary but undeterred in Auckland on Saturday 31st March 2001 to be met by our host Mrs Mary Fleming who was to look after us for the first leg. We were just in time to take part in the celebrations which Mary organised regarding Peggy Grainger's 80th birthday. During those celebrations we met a certain Alan Birtwistle who spontaneously invited us to play in his home town, Rotorua, much to our delight and surprise. We also met Jan Grainger who kindly invited us to her home in Porirua, a town just a little to the north of Wellington. Our first engagement in New Zealand was a
for Peggy and her friends given in her own home on Monday, 2nd April and organised by her second son, Peter Grainger.
On the following day, we were invited by Matthew Fleming to open proceedings at the
, in Royal Oak, Auckland. Thursday 5th April saw us on our way to Rotorua for an
that Alan Birtwistle had organised. We stayed three very pleasant days in Rotorua taking in the local sights before moving on to Taupo on the 8th April where we had been invited to spend a most enjoyable musical day with the The Pumice Valley Trout Stompers Celtic Bushband
by Lorna and Barry Swallow, friends of Jan Grainger.
On Monday 9th April, we arrived in Porirua by bus from Taupo, to be welcomed by Jan Grainger who took us straight to her home overlooking Titahi Bay. We again took in the local sights and made one-day a ferry trip over the Cook Strait to Picton just to say that we had been to South Island. (Been there, done it!). Jan had organised a
at the "Porirua Arts' Centre" on Wednesday the 10th April whilst a
had been organised by Katrin Eickhorst-Squire for the following day.
We started the final stage of our New Zealand tour by taking the scenic train from Wellington to Auckland where we were accommodated in that fine establishment, the Carlton Hotel
. Its Food and Beverage Manager, Norbert Koptisch had organised an
on Easter Monday in the foyer of that remarkable building.
After an eventful and happy tour, Mary Fleming saw us off on our way to Singapore on Tuesday, 17th April. She handed over "Misty" a tiny NZ lamb, complete with rucksack, camera, biro and diary to our care on the start of his one-year round-the-world journey. Misty belongs to the children of the Royal Oak, Auckland primary school and will tell his children all about it when he arrives back in New Zealand. We met a whole lot of charming and friendly people, our thanks and acknowledgements
are given in the tab above.
THANK YOU NEW ZEALAND!!