Sunday, at the Fitzgerald Ave and Avonside Drive. In the morning, from 9 till 12.
Helpers: Tim Hogan, Catherine Morganti, Geoffrey Rathbun, James Carr
Visitors: The Wizard, plus a amusing Australian (first photo) ….
Another good day of handing out leaflets. The traffic built up over the morning, so that by the time we left, there were many cars stopping at the lights, and it was difficult to hand out leaflets to all of them. We usually get people parking up nearby when they see us, and then walking up behind us, where we cannot see them. A nice young lady (third to last photo) bought a bumper sticker off us. James, who was not scheduled to help, dropped in anyway for about 30 minutes of quick action. When I say quick, he was running our way when I saw him arrive. He was very enthusiastic in handing out bumper stickers. Catherine got into the groove later on (last two photos) and handed out a bumper sticker to a couple in a smooth car. We doubted whether the man would allow it on his beautiful paintwork. But, the buxom girl, drinking the beer seemed keen, so who are we to doubt. Did they pay for the bumper sticker though ? This Marquee site has all the action !
After one months break, I was a bit nervous about how this marquee would go. I should not have worried. Very nice weather, good number of toots from the cars driving by, and we had some good guests. We ran from 9 till 12, as planned. Thanks guys for helping me pack up quickly . At one stage, we had 5 volunteers there, making for a very good presence. Trouble was, we were ignoring the people passing by. But that’s OK, these people must have thought as they drove on by… “those guys must be very important… I better take notice”
I added a flourescent green border to all the eight “keep the Cathedral” freestanding signs. I think this improved their prominence about 10 fold ! Well… at least 5 fold !
Helpers on the Day (in order of appearance) Geoffrey Rathbun, Neil Roberts, Peter Ross, Chris Horgan, James Carr
Guests: Jim Anderton had a good discussion with us all, Sue Swift Dropped of a pack of Cathedral material that she was encouraging us to sell. This will be available at Shop 7, Cathedral Junction. An English Stonemason, Sam Sleeman dropped in. He is shown in the last photo on this page. He is working on the Arts Centre Restoration. He said there were about 8 stonemasons in all from the UK doing the work. He explained to us how restoring these stone cavity walls is done. He said that after restoration, the work is basically invisible, but the walls are extremely strong, the cavity now being filled with reinforced concrete. The stones are bonded and also physically attached to the concrete by hidden steel straps. Thus, the restored structure will be very stable in the case of another earthquake. He left his contact details with us. He may even help us at some stage.
Highly Visible Presence is Good for us: The fact that Sam Sleeman (see above) dropped in is a good “proof” you might say of the approach we are taking here. This is that we make our message highly visible and be seen by as many people as we can, in the fastest way possible. Setting up at one of the busiest intersections of the city is how that is done ! Not only do we get our message out there, but we “activate” a very useful link sometimes, such as with the stonemasons working at the Arts Centre. I can see this happening more and more. It is sort of random, which makes it exciting. But also, each time me make a “hit” we become stronger, as our resources grow. Another benefit of having a good visible presence, is that this will be noticed by the Anglicans that are causing the problem. This hopefully will make them think again about the path they have chosen, which is to demolish The Cathedral . We hope they will think more and more on this simple thought “perhaps we should re-think our direction”…
The weather was fine. I decided to run using two three hour shifts, running from 9 till 3. The helpers we had on this day were: Alma Rae, Janice Antill, Lynne Campbell, Ian Lochhead, and Geoffrey Rathbun. Michael Carr, Uncle of James Carr also helped us out for the last few hours. I think we packed up a bit early, about 2 o’clock, as the wind had picked up by then.
In the future, I will run the marquees using a 3 hour shift, and try to do two shift in one day. We have to leave before the wind picks up later in the day. So, the first shift will start at 8.30 and go till 11.30. Then, the second shift will go from 11.30 till 2.30. This means we will get the earlier morning drivers going to work, and avoid the wind later in the day. We will also have short shifts (3 rather than 4 hours) thus making it easier for helpers to volunteer their time.
As usual, we had a good response from passer’s by. Most people are positive about what we are doing. Maybe one in 20 will give us a negative signal. But, about 5 in 20 will either toot or give a positive signal. The rest drive by, and often look. Many read the wording on the vertical banner if they park next to it.
I was fortunate to meet a really keen and able man when I was packing up by myself at about 2.30. His name is Keith McKay and he is experienced in helping to influence things. He is a practical man, an engineer, and is involved with the restoration of the damaged Art Gallery. That is the new building with the big wavy glass front near the Arts Centre. He has already taken 100 bumper stickers from me. He has distributed them to cafes, restaurants and bar where they are promenantly displayed.