After a fun night of Sing Star – during which Sue Moroney showed us how it is done – Young Labour members woke up and spread out to help Sue in her local Hamilton area. At the Western Community Centre – which runs a number of community programmes and provides spaces for community groups and sports teams. For example the centre offers budgeting advice, school holiday programmes and a public nurse. We broke into teams helpings to paint a worn fence, to clean some graffiti on the windows, and to cut, laminate and put up some signs. We created a new brown colour by combining the odd brown pots of paint to ensure a consistent coloured fence. A reporter from the Waikato Times took some quick pictures and as he left we amused ourselves coming up with bad puns for captions and twitter updates to describe the work we were doing. We soon also had the hit song and YouTube clip “Thank You, Please” stuck in our heads once we realised that Neil, the manger of the Western Community Centre, was a member of the children’s music band “Funky Monkeys”.
After some warm goodbyes we jumped back into the van and started making our way to New Plymouth. First, however, we had to make a quick detour to visit the statue of our friend Riff Raff from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, a tradition for Labour members visiting Hamilton and a tribute to Hamilton born writer. We took some good pictures and waved and time-warped to those who were watching at home via the live webcam that overwatches the statue. Then, once again, it was back in the van for the long drive to our next community to volunteer our help and put our progressive, social democratic, and labour principles in into practise.
The festival of lights in New Plymouth was very impressive and is well worth a visit. There was a sunken pirate ship, recycled dragon flies, blue-light bubbles, a flashy waterfall, glitter lights on the ground and much more memorable displays. As well as some amazing local talent performing, that we swayed and relaxed too. Some of us definitely want to come back to New Plymouth!