Week 22: Door

Week 22: Door.  A symbol of transition, a door or a gate providing a passage way….

As I travel around NZ for work, I see some beautiful and interesting sites. I am currently working with a group of small primary schools in the Taumarunui area. The villages in which they are situated are fascinating. Many have seen better days when there was a bigger population and a vibrant community. I took this photo in the small village of Ongarue. Once a thriving township with a railway supported by the timber industry. The forestry work is much less than it used to be although it is having a wee bit of a renaissance as a result of the tourist trade. It is the starting point of the mountain bike track The Timber Trail. Some of the old buildings have been converted into accommodation for the bikers, it looks like there may also be a cafe in the summer months. Maybe this old rugby club building will be re-purposed?

I wonder what we would find if we went through that door? What memories of rugby games, of wins and losses, of tries nearly scored, of the well-timed pass and the try saving tackles? How many generations of boys and men played proudly for their village and how many marched away bravely to different sorts of battles never to return? What of their children and grandchildren? Where are they now? What of the lives of the womenfolk who supported tirelessly on the sidelines, prepared after match suppers and washed and dried woollen jerseys and socks? And, I am making assumptions here, maybe there was an Ongarue women’s team that broke through stereotypes and just as proudly as the men represented their town on the pitch?

old rugby club building in the mist in a small village in rural new zealand

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