Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Thursday, December 25, 2008

No one is an island...

Christmas Dinner happened again in Dunedin. I have been interviewed by the media about it in these last few days. Once again I made my annual two second appearance on TV. The feeling I came away with was, "What did I do?" It was a whole bunch of volunteers who made it a reality for people. I will list some of them. I have two close friends in Dunedin. Each has a van. Both vans were made available to me on the day, one doing several trips with people and the other picking up the meat. As I drove into town around 7 this morning I was aware that someone linked to Marlow St pies had been in and switched on the ovens. The meat arrived on time nicely cooked. At 9 I loaded the vegetables in my van and took them around to Alex. He was already getting things going in his kitchen at the Little India Restaurant. There were drivers heading unseen all around Dunedin transporting at least 80 people to the dinner. There was a couple who came along and took the van out to get the meat. About 60 volunteers acted as hosts at the tables, dished out meals, cleaned up dishes, talked to people, listened to people and made themselves available. Two crews from the fire service came and carved meat. Another of my firemen friends came and just bust his gut working, and dashing out for last minute pickups. etc. etc. etc. I felt extremely humbled by all the work of the volunteers... and the thing is they spent a big part of Christmas day wearing themselves out, getting out of comfort zones, giving themselves freely and then they thanked me for letting them be involved... for heaven's sake!

I recall reading a statement by Sir Winston Churchill. People were saying how he was the lionhearted one who saved England during the war. His comment went something like this. "The people of Britain were the lion, I was just the one privileged to be the lion's roar!" That's how I feel. I was privileged today to be the spokesperson for a vast group of people who shared the Christmas spirit with others in Dunedin this Christmas. For that I am thankful. I hope you all had a great Christmas day.

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