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Simon Gundry is a Devonport and North Shore identity, and character, who is known for calling a spade a spade. He is a director of contracting company Gill & Gundry, is an enthusiastic and active sailor (past crew-member of Ceramco New Zealand, Lion New Zealand and Shockwave) and is a life member of the North Shore Rugby Football Club.
Oh my goodness its November again already, looking down the barrel at Christmas Day again. It was so nice regaining our afternoon sun after daylight saving time, back at the beginning of last month.
I have the anticipation of spending Christmas Day at home with only a couple of my sons, as a few of them are entrenched in overseas employment.
What a wonderful election it was for us back in September and I do thank everyone I asked to vote Blue/Blue and who carried out the instructions in my September column. It was so good to see so many of the dogs sent firmly back to their kennels and boarded up with six inch galvanised nails, hopefully forever. As we know, a country is like a business and needs firm leadership to make it work properly, it needs cash flow, and it needs good people running different departments and a good leader who leads it should surround himself with good people. This is what our Prime Minister John Key has done. Undoubtedly he will go down in our history as our greatest leader when the time comes and he relinquishes his post.
All my life I have lived in the Church Street, Devonport area. My family moved here in the early 1950’s. These were the days before emails, texting and even facsimile machines. People used to write letters to each other. I can remember my Mum and Dad writing at least 40 Christmas cards and me, every year, being dispatched to the local post box outside Mrs Burnett’s dairy to post them. Not only Christmas cards, but Mum and Dad were prolific letter writers to friends overseas and in New Zealand. At least once a week I would go down Church St and turn left to the Post box, on the way down I would read the exotic addresses on these envelopes. Addresses such as West Paris, Maine, United States of America, or Redding in the United Kingdom or Glasgow, Scotland; Tauranga New Zealand, Greymouth, South Island, New Zealand. This delivery of envelopes was at least a weekly occurrence during those years.
Now, living where I do, for over 30 years – I write out the cheques to pay the various businesses I deal with. No online banking for me. I write out all the tax cheques, and walk down to the local Post box which is no longer outside Mrs Burnett’s dairy – she moved on a few years ago. It’s now outside Platter and I look forward to the walk down Church Street. At Christmas time I am still old fashioned enough to send Christmas cards, writing a message in them and sticking the stamps on, followed by that lovely walk down Church St. I would literally have posted thousands of letters in that letterbox.
But bugger me, someone has come and taken that letterbox away. On enquiring at the Post Office, I was told it was part of NZ Post cutbacks. I couldn’t believe it. Where the hell do I post my letters now? I suppose I’ll have to go down to the Post Office, which I hate doing at the moment because of all the construction going on. Devonport must have all the red cones available in Auckland at present, in use around our suburb at the various construction sites. I have to say I’m over it.
While we are talking about construction in Devonport, I cannot believe how intrusively overpowering the size of the new Library is. Somebody got this completely wrong and unfortunately we are going to have to live with this forever. It is so un-Devonport.
While we are talking about bloated and oversized, I couldn’t believe the statistic I heard last month about the number of Auckland Council employees earning a six figure income – there’s 1780 people on that amount and an enormous overall number of employees anyway. I thought the Super City was meant to consolidate and save us money.
While we are talking about the Council, I see they put two new pedestrian crossing humps in Devonport, one in Fleet Street and one in Clarence Street. I believe that this was at a cost of $75,000 each. This is an incredible amount of money for a couple of truckloads of tar seal, some cobblestones and some white pedestrian paint. I wonder who actually authorises all these works. It must be a nightmare being a business person in Devonport at the moment, I steer well clear of it down there and I suspect I’m not alone in this. I hate seeing my darling town of Devonport in disarray like this.
With Christmas just around the corner, I hope everyone is making their plans to spend this lovely time of year with family and friends. I’ve said this so many times, but you just never know if the same faces are going to be at the table for the next celebration.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Simon Gundry is a Devonport and North Shore identity, and character, who is known for calling a spade a spade. He is a director of contracting company Gill & Gundry, is an enthusiastic and active sailor (past crew-member of Ceramco New Zealand and Lion New Zealand in Whitbread Round The World races and Shockwave in Admiral’s Cup) and is a life member of the North Shore Rugby Football Club. This is his regular and lively contribution to Channel Magazine.
Channel Magazine: Issuu 49 November 2014