For the ninth year running ex pat Yorkshire people have gathered at the Pukekohe Cosmopolitan club during July for a series of traditional Yorkshire Day events.
The event, which attracted 120 people this year, was attended by Bill Cashmore the Deputy Mayor of Auckland along with Andy Baker a member of the Franklin local Board. It commenced with the ceremonial arrival of the Yorkshire Flag which is mounted on a parade pole. The flag bears the embroidered names of the UK Yorkshire Towns and New Zealand locations where Yorkshire Day celebrations have been hosted.
After a welcoming short speech to all by one of the Yorkshire Society of New Zealand committee members the event got underway with two competitions that of Yorkshire flat cap throwing on to a hat stand and horse shoe throwing. The 20 strong Auckland Symphonic Youth Band also played including a rendition of llkla Moor Batat which was sung by all present.
On August 1st, a skype link was held in conjunction with a large formal civic function in Whitby at which 200 mayors, councillors and guest from all over Yorkshire attended.
Of these the Mayors from York, Bradford, Whitby, Selby were just some of those who were invited to say a few words in a light hearted link event. At the New Zealand end those present were, Bill Cashmore (who has links with Yorkshire), the Mayor of Waikato Alan Sanson & his wife, Sharlene Druyven the Waiuku Town Manager and Local Board member, Geoff Verrill who was born in Whitby and now lives in RD1 Waiuku
A very special invited guest was Pa Upokotini Ariki who is the head of the traditional leaders in Rarotonga in the Cook Islands who was accompanied by the head of 531Pl Radio station in Auckland.
Whitby played an important part in the 2019 event as it was 250 years ago in October 2019 that Captain Cook on the Bark Endeavour who was born and based in Whitby and who first visited New Zealand with another four Yorkshiremen as a part of the crew and scientists on board to observe the transverse of Venus in Taihiti and then to chart New Zealand. To do this he also had a navigational instrument in the form of a sextant made by the top instrument maker at the time one John Bird who was also born 40miles from Whitby.