Friends of YHA - Hawke's Bay

The Hawke’s Bay Branch has dissolved and formed a Members' Group instead. The forming of a members group allows interested members to get together from time to time for social activities without having to meet the constitutional requirements of a Branch.

The members group is named Friends of YHA - Hawke's Bay. To find out more about this group or to become a member, click here to contact the group.

Recent Events

Christmas BBQ

Our main event for 2011 was the pre-Christmas BBQ held on Saturday 17th  December 2011 at the YHA Napier hostel.

As with any outdoor event planned weeks in advance, the weather plays a big part in whether it is a success or not. On the day of our big event it had been raining on and off during the day which made all the outdoor seating and tables too wet to be used, so we were forced to dine indoors.

However it was fine enough for the gas-fired barbeque to be lit so we could cook our dinner. Arthur Bluck and Ted Nielsen (two YHA stalwarts) were on cooking duties for the day and not one sausage or meat patty was burnt.

Prior to the meal being served we enjoyed drinks and nibbles. The main meal consisted of a variety of sausages, beef patties, hash browns, pizza, salads, tomatoes, onions, sliced bread and of course tomato sauce.

Followed by dessert of our old favourites of fruit salad, diced peaches, ice cream and as a special treat fresh strawberries which Rita Cox, a YHA member from Hastings, kindly provided. As far as I know everyone left the hostel feeling well fed as there was plenty of food for all.

Eleven local Friends of YHA attended the event, and unfortunately no hostellers were able to join us as those staying at the hostel had made other arrangements. This was a big disappointment to the Friends of YHA catering team as we put on the meal for the hostellers not just the local members. Everyone helped with the cleaning up and we were all finished and heading for home at 8.30pm.

Barry Pulford
Hawke’s Bay – Friends of YHA


Secretary’s Report  for  the  year  ending  30th June 2011 

Two member events were held in the 2010/2011 financial year. The first one being our “September Spring Smorgasbord” to welcome the arrival of spring in the Bay. Saturday, 18th September 2010 was the day chosen and it was typical spring weather with showers, gale force wind and sunshine. Luckily for us the wind seemed to die down when we lit up the gas-fired barbeque and the showers kept away long enough for us to dine outdoors as we had originally planned.

The event was attended by at least 16 people including hostellers from France, Germany, Wales and New Zealand and our local Friends of YHA (9 people). Arthur Bluck was inside cooking his tasty cheese and onion toasted sandwiches, Ted Nielsen was on BBQ duty looking after the “Pride of London” sausages and the meat patties and the ladies were preparing the salads, buttering the bread and looking after our overseas hostellers. The smorgasbord menu included fruit juice, soft drinks, nibbles, savoury dip, toasted sandwiches, a variety of salads, sausages, beef patties, sliced bread and tomato sauce of course. For dessert we had fruit salad, diced peaches and french vanilla ice cream. Tea and coffee was available afterwards for anyone that was still thirsty. According to the feedback we received after the event the overseas hostellers enjoyed the meal and the local members/friends enjoyed the social occasion. Bob Stansbury (Chef Roberto), Manager of the Napier Hostel was on holiday overseas and unable to attend the event. His cooking skills were sorely missed but we just managed to cope without his guidance. Thanks to Vaughan and the staff at the Napier YHA Hostel and the YHA National Office for their help in promoting the member event.

The second member event was our “Pre-Christmas BBQ” held on Saturday, 18th December 2010. As with all outdoor events planned in advance the weather plays a big part and on the day of our big event there were a lot of black clouds over Napier and Hastings threatening to spoil everything. I understand that Napier did receive a heavy shower of rain just as I was preparing to leave Hastings with a carload of goodies for the BBQ. Luckily for us the rain stayed away and the event carried on as usual. Two of the main players were absent this time. Ted Nielsen had the misfortune to fall while doing some gardening at home and broke his leg ending up being in hospital for 12 days and then house bound for 3 months afterwards. Arthur Bluck has also been in poor health spending time in and out of hospital, both in Wellington and Hastings, and was unable to attend the BBQ.

Under the watchful eye of Chef Roberto, Shirley Hearn did a wonderful job of cooking the beef patties and sausages on the BBQ. The menu was the same as the September event minus the cheese and onion toasted sandwiches. The BBQ was attended by at least 18 people including a mother and daughter from Switzerland, two likeable lads from Dallas, Texas, USA, a young lady from Japan, two hostellers from Australia, two hostellers from NZ, I think it may have been Feilding and our local Friends of YHA (9 people). During the meal one of the Australian visitors proposed a vote of thanks to the local group for organising the BBQ meal which was enjoyed by all that attended. This was endorsed by the two young men from Dallas, Texas. When you receive comments like that it makes it all worthwhile. Thanks must go to Bob Stansbury and the staff at the Napier YHA Hostel and the YHA National Office for their help in promoting this member event.

In October 2010 the Secretary of Hawke’s Bay – Friends of YHA was very lucky to be able to attend the AGM of YHA New Zealand being held in Wanaka. The highlight of the trip was the organised sightseeing bus trip from Christchurch to Wanaka. Andrew, our driver from Ritchies Coachlines, did a wonderful job for the 4 days that we were travelling together. His humour, informative commentaries and friendly attitude soon turned a bus load of strangers into one big happy family within minutes of leaving Christchurch on that Friday morning. I will have lots of happy memories of this sightseeing bus trip for many years to come.

Finally, on a sadder note we must report the death of John Nagel who passed away on 29th October 2010. John was a foundation member of Hawke’s Bay – Friends of YHA and a past committee member of the old Hawke’s Bay Branch of YHA for many years. Ted and Barry both attended his funeral on behalf of YHA. Unfortunately John’s wife Beverly also passed away on 1st March 2011, after a brief illness. John and Beverly hosted many committee meetings at their home in, Hastings prior to the branch becoming a member group. It was the ideal location as it was roughly halfway between Flaxmere and Havelock North and we had committee members living in all three areas.

Barry Pulford
Hawke’s Bay – Friends of YHA