8.30am we were on our journey. I didn't get much sleep overnight,
so I grabbed a few pillows and made myself a comfortable headrest
in the rear of the campervan. So for the next couple of hours I
wandered in and out of sleep between road bumps and horseshoe bends
around the mountains.
stop was in Mokau, where we met Bryan's friends, Ian and Margaret
Whittaker. Ian had started writing a book on the Mokau River and
Bridge, but he'd also found himself another interest. Two months
ago, Ian had bought himself a pianola for only NZ$150. Unfortunately,
he found a large mouse nest inside the instrument, so he put about
200 hours work into it, vacuuming it clean and making repairs, until
he finally got it running like new again.
was set up in his garage and in no time at all he was playing some
music for us. Well actually, 'it' was playing some music for us.
Ian had got the self-playing machine with 34 rolls of music. You
could fit a roll of music into the spool above the keyboard and
it would play as you pedaled away. But Ian found the pedaling very
tiring for his legs. So instead of pedaling, he found he could hook
it up to the vacuum cleaner and use the vac's suction to run it.
And it worked marvelously! Of course there wasn't any Madonna, Beatles
or Abba. But we did listen to very clear tunes of Chim-Chiminey,
Sound Of Music and Bells Of St. Mary's.
the way out of Mokau, Bryan passed the Duxfield Reserve.
haven't seen that before!" he said surprisingly, and soon he'd turned
the van around and was going back to the park displaying his surname.
I suppose if I'd come across a Taris Reserve I'd be going back to
take photos as well!
we got to Rotorua and met up with Ross and Jenny Bolton, our hosts
for the next couple of nights. And what a great privilege this would
turn out to be.
Ross was New
Zealand's staunchest anti-abortion protester.
was a character. He'd recently had a string of bad luck with a number
of heart attacks and strokes, but he'd managed to pull through with
only a limp as a give-away to his health problem. Obviously he was
keen on doing whatever he could to improve his health, so he had
begun taking the herbal medicine, Strauss Heart Drops. He was quite
aware that many people claimed it was 'quack medicine', but he believed
it was worth trying. At NZ$89 per bottle for a month's supply, his
belief must've been very strong indeed.
was also a very religious man with very strong views about life
15 years ago, Ross had a dream, or rather, a message from God. And
God had told him to meet with the Bishop of New Zealand and ask
him a question. So off he went to the Bishop's residence in Auckland,
but he wasn't allowed in. End of story? No way! Ross just camped
outside the Bishop's residence and refused to eat, drink or sleep
until the Bishop would see him. Things didn't look good for a number
of days, but finally, after 10 days, a news crew came and interviewed
Ross. The show was screened later that evening and so the Bishop
reluctantly agreed to meet with him. Ross, a devout anti-abortionist,
asked the Bishop his question about abortion and got his reply.
Ross wouldn't go into detail about it with me, but he was satisfied
with the response the Bishop gave him. Soon afterwards Ross became
a catholic and has remained so ever since.
had always gone to extreme measures to display his beliefs. After
40 visits, Ross was well known in the local prison system. And he
always got locked up for the same reason � for protesting against
abortion. He'd get his placard with 'CAUTION: ABORTION KILLS BABIES'
written on it, and parade in front of the Abortion Clinic until
the police took him to jail. Then as soon as he was released he'd
go back and do the same thing again. His view was that as long as
babies gave up their lives through abortions, he was willing to
give up his life as well.
Ross jokes, "I hear voices", and laughs with us, though we can tell
he's not really joking. He's not a fit man any more, but still a
very active and caring man. He's next project is to build a Rest
Home for the Elderly.
article is taken from the ebook,
Land of the LETS Green
Taris web sites