Farewell to a master in the art of living - 25/05/2005by Deputy Mayor Dot McKinnon
James A Michener said "The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labour and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his leisure, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him, he's always doing both".
What a fitting comment for Earle Doble, whose funeral many Wanganui people and visitors attended this week. Earle was a leader and a visionary. Wanganui does not have many business leaders, yet we need them to realise our growth potential. I join a large number in our community who wish his family every sympathy in their loss. He is a huge loss to our district.
And another potential loss that I have recently learned of – not so much a Wanganui issue, but a regional issue – in Raetihi. Here we have a well-supported community preschool which has proven itself as highly competent, viable and has achieved excellent reviews from ERO yet has been derailed through bureaucratic requirements which have absolutely no regard for the reality of rural communities. This centre is well staffed (with a primary trained teacher) but under new regulations, the person in charge must hold a diploma in Early Childhood Education. Despite repeated advertising, Raetihi is unable to attract such a person. This is a typical plight of rural communities – we all know it is difficult to attract doctors too. What a potentially huge loss to Raetihi and the 40 or more families who will no longer have quality pre-school care. I sympathise.
The Labour Government has put out this year's budget and while we may find some small comfort in some of the new funding in our region, it certainly has been a disappointment to those who anticipated some tax relief, especially for those in business. Also disappointing is that Wanganui does not gain additional policing. This is quite soul destroying for Cr Ray Stevens who has put huge efforts into his 10,000 signature submission to gain additional policing. I can't see Ray giving up the fight. We will keep pursuing this matter, especially with Hon Peter Hodgson who is visiting Wanganui this week.
I will be visiting my two sisters in Cambridge this weekend – I haven't seen them for four months and I am feeling enormously guilty. It will be a great weekend, catching up. Enjoy your families this weekend too.