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OSCA Children's Christmas Picnic 2014

Saturday 29th November, 2014
Guthrie Pavilion, Bayfield Park, Dunedin

By Gordon Wong

Smiling kids having a nice time with lots of other kids, many who’re meeting for the first time – what more do you need? A concerted effort was made to contact all current members who according to our records may have kids of primary or intermediate age. The hard work paid off because along newbies to OSCA kids events, the very young OSCA lion dancers, Dunedin Chinese School, OSCA miniballers and other regular supporters this year our Christmas picnic attracted approximately 50 kids and 50 adults. We had two barbecues sizzling with patties from Kaans, sausages from Leckies and onions chopped lovingly by dedicated parent helpers and fine weather to boot.

Following the feast, the kids were marshalled onto the grassy area for some traditional games. We began with 3 tug of war matches. Alas my usual method of picking teams by lining up kids tallest to shortest didn’t produce two even teams. At any rate after slight alterations the best of three ended 2 to 1. The remainder of the games were: 3 legged race and lolly and spoon race.
The kids were then ushered into the Pavilion for a presentation to Lisa Hanson from the parents of the lion dancers. The lion dancers have had a busy year, trained and organised by Lisa.

Our Chinese Santa (Sin Phua for the 4th year in succession) was of course the feature attraction. Santa wasn’t expecting the sack to be quite that heavy. After quizzing each child regarding a good deed they intend to do in 2015, all went away happy, saying farewell to Santa for another year.

Events such as these would not happen without lots of willing spontaneous helpers on the day. At the risk of missing anyone who helped thanks to:
  • Catharine Kan for hiring and organising the venue.
  • Phil Shum and James Chin for organising patties and sausages.
  • The Santa sack was made for us and donated to OSCA by Andrina Donn. Every other year, Andrina has borrowed a red sack for us from work. Great work Andrina.
  • The Lion Dance boys lead by Regan Chin, Tobias and Joseph Brennan and Harper Thein Pye who helped carry the boxes of stuff (patties, sausages etc) into the hall.
  • Adrian Thein, first on the scene to slice onions – hate to see a grown man cry, but the cause was a good one.
  • Ruth Kelsall (always giving a little more, including cake) and the ladies in the kitchen – Catharine Kan, Sarah Hjertquist, Christine Wong and others.
  • Keith Kelsall and Michael Hall the barbecue men
  • James Chin the hall organiser.
  • Sin Phua the greatest Chinese Santa of all time.
  • My lovely wife Gillian who makes sure that I get everything done by doing it for me.
  • And of course what would we do if we didn’t have all the kids coming to have good time – thanks to all of you the parents for bringing them.
Merry Christmas everyone.