Home' The Tribune : December 7th 2011 Contents 19
THE TRIBUNE, DECEMBER 7, 2011
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Life membership for 'quiet toiler'
Achievement: Bernard Forde with daughter Lucy at the Margot Forde Arboretum at Sixtus Lodge. Dr Forde helped his late
wife Margot, a botanist, establish the arboretum, home to more than 200 tree, bush and fern species.
All Black Bernie Fraser had one and
so does Palmerston North's Bernard
Forde -- a corner named after them.
Dr Forde is a foundation member
of Sixtus Lodge, the outdoor edu-
cation centre near Apiti -- his
involvement started in 1975.
Below is an extract from the
speech Dr Forde made upon
recently receiving a life membership
award from the Sixtus Lodge Trust
During one's life a number of
things one does in the community
give an extraordinary sense of satis-
faction, and the Sixtus Lodge proj-
ect was one such project that was
particularly special to me.
To see the transformation from
an idea form into the reality of this
extraordinary outdoor education
centre has been a highlight of my
My late wife Margot was also
instrumental in the formative days
of this centre, obtaining native
plants from a Taupo nursery and
the Forestry Service with the view
of establishing an arboretum to
assist children in learning about
One truck arrived from Taupo
late one evening and she and John
Crone received the consignment,
assisted in unloading the seedlings
and then planting them in the
newly established arboretum.
Margot was also influential in
the decision to replace the original
rope swing bridge which crossed the
Umutoi Stream on the track to
It was too unstable for some
teachers and children to cross. She
used her contacts in the army
encouraging them to provide exper-
tise and materials to install an arch
bridge, which gave both teachers
and children greater confidence to
cross the stream.
I remember the building con-
struction company, which sold the
Sixtus Lodge Trust Board the build-
ing materials, was persuaded by
Rod Doherty to lend trust members
the company truck to transport
building supplies and equipment
onto the site from Palmerston
However, Rod and I were pulled
over by a traffic officer near
Kimbolton to advise us that he had
noticed smoke coming out of the
back of the vehicle.
Once he was convinced that Rod
and I weren't transporting goods
illegally against the Railways, he
was very helpful in getting the
vehicle roadworthy again. We
hadn't been aware of the engine
beginning to overheat, so I called on
a nearby farm house to get some
water for the radiator, and since no
one was at home, borrowed a bucket
and helped myself to tap water.
We then realised we couldn't find
access to the radiator cap so the
traffic officer called up his office on
his RT, who then rang the owner of
the truck, who then relayed back to
us the instructions finding the cap.
It turned out that we needed
instructions on how to operate the
tilta-cab to access the radiator cap.
With the traffic officer's assistance
we were soon on the road again.''
Fellow Sixtus Lodge founding
member Johan Bonnevie told The
Tribune Dr Forde was a tireless
worker. The sharp corner near
Sixtus Lodge he spent many hours
working on to straighten is still in
Mr Bonnevie's mind Bernard's cor-
He would forget about his morn-
ing tea and his afternoon tea. He
would just quietly toil away.
That's where I remember him
best, on his own with a wheelbarrow
Mr Bonnevie said Dr Forde
played a big part in the establish-
ment of Sixtus Lodge.
It was a big jigsaw puzzle and
Bernard was one of the ones who
put the pieces together.''
Dr Forde, 78, is a retired scientist
whose contributions to the city
include a long stint as deputy
mayor, founding committee member
for the first Relay for Life, former
Arena Manawatu board chairman
and former Te Manawa chairman.
Community spirit shines at gala
Cheers to community, cheers to
Christmas: Sausages sizzled,
Santa swayed and the sun shone at
Milson Shopping Centre's
Christmas Gala on Thursday.
Shops had specials and sales
tables and Salon Define ran a
competition to guess the weight of a
hair jar. Zena Brumby sipped
bubbles while waiting for her
prescription to be filled at Vautier
Pharmacy. I have to pinch myself
to realise it's a chemist.''
She praised the kindness and
community spirit of pharmacy staff.
Mrs Brumby, wearing a blue top,
is pictured with, from left, Dianna
Caldwell (Vautier Pharmacy), Karlyn
Eales (Vautier Pharmacy), Malcolm
Dempsey (Export Meat Warehouse)
and Ron Love (Legal Drivers
Mr Love was asking shoppers
what an amber traffic light meant
and giving pens and lollipops to
people who said stop, unless you
cannot do so safely''.
Photo: WARWICK SMITH
Riders gear up for
Santa's getting his sleigh wheels
ready for a spin, but first it is the
turn of motorcyclists.
The Woodville Lions Club's Coast
to Coast Motorcycle Ride, from
Himatangi on the west coast to
Akitio on the east, is on Saturday.
The ride raises money for the
Palmerston North rescue helicopter
and this year the funds raised are
going towards buying a new winch
stretcher to be used by the rescue
The riders leave Himatangi at
10.15am and ride through Foxton,
on to Shannon, then over the
Pahiatua Track to Woodville where
they will join Woodville's Christmas
Parade. The bikes are a highlight of
the parade, and draw a large crowd.
After lunch in Woodville, the riders
will head off through Mangatainoka
turning off to Makuri, through
Pongaroa to finish at Akitio, a ride
of more than 200 kilometres.
Riders can stay at Akitio for the
night, and enjoy the hospitality of
the locals, who look forward to the
annual invasion. Bookings are
User-pays breakfast, tea and cof-
fee is available at the start, pro-
vided by the Tararua Lions Club.
Registration is at 9.15am, badges
Horizons Road Safety is donating
petrol vouchers for riders who wear
hi-viz vests, promoting the be safe
-- be seen'' message.
For further information contact Mike
James on 0274 456 594.
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