Highfield Highlights July 2023

We have seen some interesting weather during the month of June, from heavy rain, dark mornings to beautiful wintery days and some warm and humid periods too.

The lodge has been a hive of activity with the ongoing pool tournament. It has been so fascinating to watch, not only the skill of the game but the camaraderie and pure enjoyment that both the participants and spectators are experiencing. Often there will be a group surrounding the pool tables keenly looking on and supporting. It is wonderful that so many residents and staff have joined in this ever popular annual event. We wish everyone all the very best for their upcoming games and hope you will all join us for the Pool Final which is being played on Saturday 29 July. We’d like to thank the organisers for their energy and time spent organising, to make the pool tournament a great success.

The Highfield gardens are looking stunning with the hedging being trimmed to perfection as the garden team complete their villa garden maintenance rotation. I’d like to thank the garden team for their amazing commitment to caring for the Highfield gardens, so we all get to enjoy the beautiful plants, flowers and shrubs that are the Highfield Gardens. The garden team are working in the best and the worst of what Mother Nature throws their way, they take it all in their stride. We have all received lovely cards, notes and even baking which has been so appreciated. So thank you all.

In Social Committee news, a very successful evening was had on Saturday 10 June when a good number (65) of our residents gathered for a Roast Hut dinner at the Lodge. Judging by all the chatter and laughter everyone was enjoying the time together. The roast dinner and dessert were given a big stamp of approval! Thanks to the Roast Hut for the meals and delivering them piping hot.

International career beckons young singer

A cold winter’s afternoon was no impediment to the enthusiastic audience attending the fundraising concert held at The Lodge on 21 May. Aidan Thomas Phillips is the most recent winner of the Highfield Cup, generously donated by Highfield Country Estate to the Vocal Section of the Te Awamutu Competitions in 2018. Partly because of this link, our village has been able to tap into the local competitions and invite singers to perform here. Aidan’s programme made no concessions to the older age group resident in a retirement village. It was a robust offering of opera and classical songs dating from the 18th Century to contemporary musical theatre and, going by the response, was thoroughly enjoyed by the audience.

Aidan is set to travel to Europe. First of all he will go to Berlin to sing the bass-baritone role of Wotan, God of battle, and ruler of the gods, in Richard Strauss ’Die Walküre’ with the Dramatic Voices Programme. Aidan then moves to Glasgow for a year of further post-graduate study as part of the world-class Masters of Opera programme at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Young singers need and greatly appreciate the support of us all. Aidan enjoyed singing to such a receptive audience in a beautiful space and was astounded by the generosity of Highfield residents and visitors who donated considerably more than the entrance fee.

As part of their training and to gain experience singing, students compete at the many vocal competitions held in various cities and towns throughout NZ. The Te Awamutu Competitions Society of the Performing Arts is fortunate to be close to Waikato University and attracts singers who may find it difficult and expensive to go further afield and pay for travel and accommodation costs, as well as entry, music, and accompanist charges.

Highfield resident Colleen Cullen was involved in the TA Competitions for many years, first as a performer and later as a volunteer; Yvonne Foreman serves on the vocal committee, and Bob le Quesne is patron of the vocal section. It is important and really valuable for our community to support the TA Comps and performers of all ages and disciplines. They are the future of our artistic environment.

The Highfield Team