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Much-Loved Crochet Christmas Tree Retires, Community Asked To Present Ideas For 2020

Scallywags kids 4

The curtain has closed on Central Hawke’s Bay’s much-loved Crochet Christmas Tree, erected on Waipukurau’s Green Patch in December last year. The five metre tall Christmas tree was adorned with almost 1000 crochet ‘granny’ squares, handmade by the District’s crafters.
 
Waipukurau Arts and Crafts Incorporated, the group behind the masterpiece, were on site with Central Hawke’s Bay District Council staff and members of the community, who were invited to help remove the crochet squares and disassemble the tree on Thursday 30 January. 17 children from local kindergarten Scallywags as well as residents of Mt Herbert House were amongst those who attended the occasion. Those present were able to see the internal structure of the tree and chat to the crafters about their work.
 
“There’s been a real sense of fellowship throughout this project,” said Lesleigh Albury, Waipukurau Arts and Crafts Incorporated Wool Craft Representative. “Once the decision to create a large, outdoor tree was made, through word of mouth we very quickly started receiving hundreds of granny squares made by locals wanting to help.”
 
“Watching Central Hawke’s Bay come together in awe of our community Christmas tree has been something special,” says Alex Walker, Mayor of Central Hawke’s Bay. “The ladies from Waipukurau Arts and Crafts are an inspiration and their work in bringing Christmas to life is truly appreciated.”
 
The Crochet Christmas Tree received positive attention nationally, with fans on social media describing it as impressive, amazing and beautiful.
 
The granny squares removed from the tree will be reused by the community in future craft projects. 
 
Largely funded by the Creative Communities Scheme, the internal structure of the tree was designed to be reused annually, with the external piece able to change year by year. Central Hawke’s Bay District Council are now seeking ideas for what could come next, and invite members of the community to come forward with their creative ideas for 2020’s Christmas tree.
 
“Our Crochet Christmas Tree was an exceptional example of our community talents being encouraged and enabled by the Creative Communities funding scheme. The standard has been set, and the challenge is now on for another community group to create something just as spectacular for 2020,” says Mayor Walker.
 
“This is a tree for everybody in the community to enjoy,” says Lesleigh Albury, Waipukurau Arts and Crafts Incorporated Wool Craft Representative. “The structure has been built to make sure it will hold the weight of not only our project, but any other project that follows.”
 
“The way Central Hawke’s Bay’s people have once again come together in this occasion to disassemble the tree is a credit to both our community spirit, and to the love of this special tree,” said Mayor Walker. “Thank you to the Waipukurau Arts and Crafts members and associates, Cervus, Council staff and everyone else who has contributed to this project today and over the course of its life.”
 
For more information on the Creative Communities Scheme or to apply for funding, visit www.chbdc.govt.nz.

31 January 2020

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