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Selwyn Times: August 22, 2018

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22 Wednesday August 22 2018 Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi Our People SELWYN TIMES Pam Higgins Taking care of West Melton kids Pam Higgins has retired after working at the West Melton Playcentre for more than 25 years. She spoke to Georgia O’Connor-Harding about what she loved about working with children, her background in sewing and why she chose to live in the West Melton countryside instead of suburban Christchurch How did you come to be involved with the West Melton Playcentre? It was actually a friend who lives in the area that introduced me. I didn’t really know anything about it at that time. We had actually had babies practically a week or two between us so she introduced me to it. Did all your children go to the playcentre? Yes, all three children. My eldest Jason, we started at that play-centre when he was about two. At that time playcentres were big. It was a big thing, all these individual pre- schools, these privately- owned pre - -schools didn’t exist back then. About 1992- 1993 was when we started, when private pre -schools didn’t really exist – there were a few around but more in town. So we joined the playcentre and at that time it was completely full. They had like 25 children on every session. We actually started as a little group of about four or five of children just in the afternoon. All my children went to the playcentre right until they were five. I suppose to start with, I kind of got talked into doing the playcentre education. They have courses that you can do, and back then you had to complete four courses to get a playcentre supervisor certificate. I started doing that and I got CHERISHED: Pam Higgins with her two-year-old bernese mountain dog Lacey and children at the West Melton Playcentre. hooked I suppose. I haven’t actually supervised for 25 years. I started supervising in 1998. Before my youngest one Kyla was born, I was supervising one day a week before I took over the rest. What made you stay there so long? I don’t know, I just enjoyed it. I just enjoy spending time with the younger children. I suppose that is the reason why I am involved in the West Melton Gymnastics Club out here. What was a normal day like at the playcentre? I have always been one to get involved. If they are playing pirates, they expect me to join in. A lot of dramatic play goes on. My passion is craft work. I always like to see the craft side of things – painting and gluing. I support the kids and their master pieces. I am always looking for ideas of things they can do, but also taking into account their age and not expecting them to do anything too intricate. It has got to be based around their ability. What would be your favourite thing about working with children? I enjoy doing everything. It is amazing. With some of the children, if they have got a particular interest, they get to learn a lot about it. They will get the dinosaurs out, they can always tell me which dinosaur is which, and what it likes to eat. They teach me stuff. But it is great when they have got a keen interest in something because then we can extend it more. The thing that is really nice is when you are out and about and the kids recognise you. It is nice you can stop and have a chat. What was the send off for you like? It was really lovely. They put on an afternoon at a community hall and invited past playcentre people to come along and they put on an afternoon tea. They had all the photo albums so people could have a look and find themselves. They made up a lovely book for me. They went back as far as they could to find photos. What will you be doing now you have retired? There is not going to be a lot of spare time. I am going to be looking after my grandson on days I have free and am needed. My son and daughter-in- law are both working but they don’t want to put the wee fellow in day care. My daughter- in- law’s parents look after them for a couple of days. Before you started working at the playcentre, what were you doing before that? Back in the day, I had my own sewing business and I used to make leather and suede jackets and tops and things like that. I used to sell them to the tourist market. I had a friend who was helping me do sewing and things like that as well. I probably stopped doing that a couple of years after I had my son Shaun in 1994. Have you always lived in Selwyn? No, my husband and I moved out here when Jason was 15-months-old. We lived in Westhaven near Burwood in Christchurch. I always wanted to build in West Melton. I used to work out in New Brighton and used to travel that way to go to work. I always said to my husband I really wanted to have a house in West Melton and he would say we can’t afford it. But we ended up managing to buy a section out there and waited for a couple of years and built. Right from the word go I didn’t like Burwood. I didn’t like the suburban feeling of the houses all around you. You sort of felt like you couldn’t be anywhere without neighbours being able to see you. I think it was about eight years before we moved out to West Melton. I like having a bit of space.

SELWYN TIMES Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi Wednesday August 22 2018 23 for 25 years Your Local Views We have got neighbours close enough but you have got some good people around you where you don’t feel crammed in. It is a great place for kids to grow up in and having the space and the animals all around. Do you like the West Melton community? It is a good little community. I have met a lot of people through the playcentre and the gym club, so it is good. What do you like doing when you have spare time? I like watching television. I do a little bit of knitting here and there. Not a lot, usually just mucking around sort of thing. I have a lot of wool left over from my sewing days. I get enthusiastic and think I must knit something with that. I tend to end up knitting peggy squares and joining them together to make old blankets. I spend a lot of time on the computer, too. I have got a bernese mountain dog called Lacey who is two -yearsold. I take her to dog shows. That is another passion of mine , dog training, when I can find the time. It is more the breed shows I take Lacey to, although I have been to a couple of classes on dog obedience. I am looking at perhaps pursuing that in the future. I have only got one more show to go to get a certificate. LONG SERVICE: Pam Higgins pushing the swings at the West Melton Playcentre about 18 years ago. A reader responds to the potholes on West Belt, Lincoln, being fixed by Christmas Mike Green - Further to your article regarding the potholes in West Belt, Lincoln. Unfortunately, Mr Young’s statement that “if the road had been in Rolleston it would have been fixed by now” is not correct. I reported to the district council on June 14 some potholes outside our house in Dunns Crossing Rd, Rolleston, and asked if they could be filled. These same holes had been filled before, but due to poor practice, they have reappeared. After four weeks, July 17 I noticed that some similar potholes three houses away from ours had been filled, but sadly ours were ignored for whatever reason. I again phoned the council asking why some holes had been filled but others just a few metres away were ignored. My request was added again to the list. To date (August 18, nearly nine weeks on), we are still waiting for any action to be taken. I expect the council will still want our rates paid so it can maintain the roads in a suitable condition. I realise that the council has far more important things to deal with, such as extending swimming pools and revising town centre plans yet again. If it can’t even complete the basic repairs, what chance is there of it getting the larger projects carried out efficiently? Sadly, I’m not holding my breath and expect this situation to be an ongoing annoyance for the majority of Selwyn and Christchurch, regardless of how much our rates increase. Readers react to an article about Rolleston cat Duncan’s bad habit of stealing soft toys Caroline Stevenson – Ha ha – Duncan is becoming quite a celebrity. I love it. Charlene McConchie – Oh, I have one of these kitty’s. Mine steals toys, socks and toilet paper out of people’s houses. I’m always worried someone will see her running home with them. Readers respond to an article about how district council staff could be randomly drug tested in the future Heather Stricke – Yes, everyone should. FRUSTRATED: West Belt resident Junior Young has been filling in potholes on his street as he waits for the district council to fix them. Jamie Dermer – Fantastic. David Simons – Happens to tradies all the time, all employees in all professions should be tested . . . start with the judges, solicitors, barristers lawyers, police, doctors, teachers, cat among the pigeons there. Van Dane – Yes. Start in the council chambers then work downwards through management. Do the ones who are actually doing something last. Angela Toomey – Absolutely, provided distinction is clear between prescription drugs required and recreational. Pamela Kiernan – Sure, starting with Parliament, the police, judges etc, getting the picture. Richard Winstanley – Totally agree. Drugs and work do not mix. Marc Anderson – We do so – why not everyone? Roan Honybadger – About time. Lee F Whitehead – No. Suzanne Williams – Yes, everyone should be, even those getting benefits. Lani Davidson – What’s the point of drug testing people who do office work? Specialists @ Individuality • Focus on sustainability • Award winning family owned business • Proven reputation of quality • Full architectural design package NATIONAL “HOY” WINNER plus GOLD RESERVE 2016 View our display home Phone Jesse 021 701 265 or visit www.jdhomes.co.nz Canterbury