In Channel Magazine we love highlighting people in our community who make a difference. Two local Devonport peninsula people, Kate and Lauren, have created ‘Local Life NZ’ a social media entity doing similar online. We love what they do, so we’re now collaborating with them to include content in Channel Mag. This month they profile Ian, Anne-Constance and Andy
William C Daldy
“She’s a twin-screw, coal-fired steam tug who’s been in service for nearly 90 years. A grande dame, that’s for sure. She’s a working museum – everything has been carefully preserved and restored.
“It takes 17 people to operate the boat, a maximum of 40 tons of coal and 20 tons of water per boiler. Added to that you’ve got two 11-foot propellers, two engines with a total of six cylinders and a maximum cruising speed of 12 knots. She wouldn’t win any speed competitions, but she gets you there in style.
“The boilers take three days to warm up, and then once we’re underway, we’ve got two stokers in the boiler room, keeping everything going. It gets up to 40 degrees in there sometimes – it’s a great way to lose weight working down there and shovelling coal. We’ve got three engineers in the engine room – the chief’s keeping an eye on the water levels – while the other two are manning the engines.
“The Daldy’s the best way to cruise the harbour – there are no noisy diesel engines and you really feel like you’re experiencing a piece of history.
“I hate to say it, but Covid’s also affected us. Not so many people are going out at the moment, including our volunteers, but we’re hoping that’s going to change.
“We’re planning to work with local businesses in Devonport to help bring more visitors to the ship, especially school children. It’s a great way for them to learn more about the science of steam – they don’t often get to see the practical side of stuff, and steam travel is a very visceral experience. You really get to see and understand how things work.
“She’s one of Auckland’s hidden treasures and we’d love to keep her going.”
- Ian Langley, President, William C Daldy Preservation Society
- The steam tug William C. Daldy is available for charter on the Waitemata Harbour. Please see www.daldy.co.nz for more information about hiring, sponsorship and volunteering.
“Flying was my dream job. I could travel and take care of people. It was perfect.
“We first came to Auckland nearly 10 years ago – we’d been living in La Réunion for a while and I was keen that we all had a different experience together as a family. I guess I’m pretty adventurous.
“I ran the Chateaubriant Café for several years, and once I’d sold that I was casting around for something to do. A friend suggested I apply for the next intake of Air New Zealand flight attendants and it all happened very quickly. Before I knew it, I was flying the Auckland-Tokyo route on a 777, and I never looked back.
“Two years ago everything was fine. I was loving my job, travelling the world and meeting new people. I flew back into Auckland from LA early on the morning of Wednesday, 25 March and that evening New Zealand went into nationwide lockdown because of Covid.
“Things were never the same again. I was made redundant from my job – I was one of the last on, so I was one of the first to go.
“I really miss it. I loved the contact with people and hearing their different stories.
“I made great friends in the two years I was flying – it’s like a family. You don’t forget those bonds – they become part of your life. I can’t wait to travel again.
“We’ve all been knocked around by lockdown and restrictions – everyone’s impacted. But I’m a positive person and I always try to find solutions. I’m always open to a challenge - it makes life interesting.” - Anne-Constance Gay
Anne-Constance now runs Casse Croute Cafe in Parnell, and has her own natural skincare range, Sianna Skincare, which she sells online.
“If we can survive this, we can survive anything. The impact of Covid on the travel industry has been massive, but things are starting to come back.
“The onset of lockdown in 2020 was just the start of our journey. While everyone else was enjoying walks on the beach, all of my team were fighting fires every single day.
“I had to get my father on a plane to the UK last year just as the borders were closing around us. He’d lost both his parents - my grandparents - to Covid. That was tough.
“One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do was to make half my team redundant over a Skype call. All I wanted was to be with them. They were vulnerable and emotional but they understood. Not one of them argued or fought the situation. Honestly, I couldn’t wish for a better group of people.
“Now it’s just me on my own at the Devonport store – down from 11 staff and two stores before Covid. As borders now slowly open for travel, I’d encourage people to come into the store or get in contact – I’d love to help. I can’t thank my communities enough for sticking by me over the past three years.
“I first came to New Zealand on a two-week holiday when I was 16, and never went back. That was 20 years ago. This is home now, and I’m in it for the long haul.”
Andy Thompson, owner/operator, House of Travel, Devonport.
Get your travel taste buds back into action
With overseas travel beckoning again, Devonport village offers a great way to get your exotic taste buds back in action. Spread over a three-block radius on Devonport’s Victoria Road, these restaurants offer tried and tasted favourites from their countries of origin, from the sun-drenched beaches of Greece to the bustling street stalls of Hanoi. Here are some favourites bites of ours if you fancy a global culinary jaunt:
The Crispy Savoury Pancake from Hung Viet Cafe, is a stand-out favourite if you’re craving authentic Vietnamese food. Made from a blend of rice flour, turmeric, and coconut cream, this extra crispy pancake is filled with prawn, pork belly, carrots and bean sprouts and served with a tasty nước chấm dipping sauce.
The Spanakopita, from Greek restaurant Nicolino’s, made from spinach and salty cheese encased in layers of crispy filo, is absolutely divine. One bite, along with the Mezze Platter for Two, loaded with king prawns, calamari, scallop, mussels and dolma, will instantly transport you to the Med.
If you‘re craving Indian, Flying Rickshaw’s Fish Special of the Day is utterly delicious with its tender morsels of fish in a spicy tomato sauce. Another favourite of ours is their creamy Chicken Korma with its flavourful almond cashew sauce.
Try the Ginger Roast Duck with stir-fried duck and glistening vegetables at Monsoon for a fragrant taste of Thailand and Malaysia.
For sashimi that’s a work of art, head to Danryu Japanese. Their Oshitashi is one of our faves, composed of three delectable small bites that change daily.
If Italian is your thing, head upstairs to Portofino, where you will find many classic Italian dishes, including risotto, scallopini and of course, spaghetti Bolognaise – ‘just like mama used to make’.
Authentic French crepes are made up fresh on the spot at So French Cafe. Try the Basique or Citron crepe to round off your taste experience!
Hung Viet Cafe: 101 Victoria Road, Devonport, tel 09-446 3368
Nicolino Restaurant and Bar: 103 Victoria Road, Devonport, tel 09 445 4444
Flying Rickshaw: 97 Victoria Road, Devonport, tel 09-445 7721
Monsoon Thai restaurant: 71 Victoria Road, Devonport, tel 09 445 4263
Danryu Japanese Seafood Restaurant: 10 Victoria Road, Devonport, tel 09-445 6108
Portofino: 26 Victoria Road, Devonport, tel 09-445 3777
So French Cafe: 10 Victoria Road, Devonport, tel (09) 422 3316