Hawkes Bay Branch - 16 November 2023

The Thirsty Whale in Napier welcomed 28 members of the Hawkes Bay Cornish Association who enjoyed their final social gathering for 2023 with a lovely lunch, and a Cornish quiz.  


The new badge designs for the NZ Cornish Association were also on the agenda for discussion and 21 voting forms were completed and sent onto the national secretary for inclusion in the overall count.


The association in Hawkes Bay has grown to 40 members, and although not actively seeking more, no new members will be turned away.  The next outing/lunch is planned for the 16 January 2024.

Members looking forward to their lunch at the Thirsty Whale 

Which of these designs will be the eventual winner?

Heads down, thinking caps on for the quiz

To help with the quiz answers a map of Cornwall was provided

Members enjoying the talk by guest speaker, Philip Rodda

Philip used a number of photo images to accompany his talk.  This one depicts meeting the late Queen Elizabeth at the Royal Cornwall Show

Christchurch Branch - 11 November 2023

Guest speaker from Cornwall, Philip Rodda, the retired chairman of the famous Rodda’s clotted cream and his wife Caroline were welcomed by 23 people at this month’s branch meeting.  It was also good to welcome back members when illness had previously prevented them from attending. Philip and Caroline had previously attended the Cornish Association meeting in Taranaki in October and had now arrived in Christchurch on their tour of New Zealand.

The meeting started with Heather leading us in a robust rendition of Sweet Nightingale, before Philip was formally introduced. 

Philip showed a video documentary made in 1998 about Rodda's clotted cream.   It was very informative, starting right at the beginning in 1890 when Eliza Rodda first started making Cornish clotted cream in her farmhouse kitchen in Scorrier, near Redruth.  Through to it being “exported” by train up to London in the 1920’s from their local rail station.  War interrupted production between 1930 - 1953 until rationing ended. Between 1953 and 1960 they also produced turkeys which they fed the skimmed milk too. Once the UK became part of the European Union, they either had to go into the turkey business on a much bigger scale or cease. It was decided it was not viable to continue.

Rodda’s is now considered the most loved Cornish clotted cream brand in the world.  They are the largest commercial producer in the United Kingdom. Some of the countries who currently enjoy regular supplies of cream include: Dubai, Germany, Holland, Italy, Japan, Madeira, Malaysia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Tenerife and Hong Kong.

Thank you to Philip and Caroline we thoroughly enjoyed your visit.

Our national secretary Nick Barton, visiting from Wellington, gave an update on the new badge designs up for consideration for the NZ Cornish Association. Members of the association have been encouraged to vote on their favourite.  Here in Christchurch the current badge design came out on top. 

The meeting finished with the singing of Trelawney, the ever-popular raffle, and a plentiful afternoon tea.

Christchurch Committee members welcoming Philip and Caroline Rodda to Christchurch over an enjoyable lunch at Colombus Cafe.

L to R

Mikki Michelson, Jeanette Beaumont, Adrienne Parton, Jennie Goodman, Barbara Reed, Caroline Rodda, Philip Rodda & Heather Gladstone. 

Members and guests enjoying the afternoon tea and catching up with friends

Taranaki Branch - 28 October 2023

Mr Philip Rodda retired chairman of the famous Rodda’s clotted cream and his wife Caroline, took time out to visit the Taranaki Cornish Association while on holiday in New Zealand. A good attendance of members listened to Philip give a talk accompanied by two video clips of the family business of clotted cream and raising turkeys on the skim milk during the recession times.  He gave an excellent presentation using A3 size photo images to keep the history flowing through the generations.


He was pleased to hear that we made our own clotted cream and that it was available to taste as part of our afternoon tea.  Not sure if he was brave enough to taste if though. 

Philip donated several gifts - Rodda’s tea towels, tote bags and recipe cards to the branch that we used as raffle prizes – with some still to be used at future meetings.


It was a lovely meeting, and many members were interested in talking to him.


Philip and Caroline will be visiting the Christchurch Cornish Association on 11 November.

Our guest speaker, Philip Rodda from Cornwall

Hawkes Bay Branch - 28 September 2023

On the 28th September, 15 of our members drove through lovely countryside to Gwavas Homestead.

We were met by Cornish association members Stuart and Phyllida Gibson who are the owners of this beautiful homestead.  Phyllida is the granddaughter of Olga Hudson, daughter of Authur Spry Gwavas Carlyon, second eldest son of Major George Gwavas Carlyon. 

Major George Gwavas Carlyon, Eton scholar and veteran of the Crimean war, left his family home in Cornwall in 1856 and with his wife Mary set sail for New Zealand and bought the Gwavas Homestead and extensive farm.   

On a wonderful spring day, we were given a guided tour through the garden and grounds by Stuart. It is a beautiful woodland garden based on the Cornish family home of Tregreham, where the Carlyons have lived for 500 years. Stuart pointed out that many trees and shrubs were planted in the 1800’s and has an extensive knowledge of all their names. The members then enjoyed lunch in the lovely homestead and had a walk-through of the property.

It was a wonderful Cornish trip and new members Jo Trewhella, Margaret Fraser and Adrienne Farrell joined our lovely group for the first time.

Members arriving to enjoy the afternoons programme.

Adrienne shares her trip to Russia and East Berlin in 1972

Christchurch Branch - 9 September 2023

14 members met on a beautiful summer's day.  Jeanette the branch president welcomed everyone and read the monthly message from the national president.

The usual Cornish themed items were enjoyed by all – a Cornish legend, News from Cornwall, Cornish sing song led by Heather.  This month it was the “Cornish smugglers song” which was enjoyed by all. 

Two members of the branch then shared their travel experiences - Adrienne Parton on her trip to Russia, including going into East Berlin in 1972.  The conditions that people were living in were an eye opener for a “well off” NZ girl.  Dorothy Drew then shared a portion of her trip in 1978 traveling across Canada and part of America en route to the UK.

The raffle always a favourite part of the afternoon was drawn and then happy birthday was sung in Cornish to Jennie and Olywn before enjoying afternoon tea.

Jennie setting up the afternoon tea table. Lovely to see the St Piran Flags and the daffodils - spring is here!!

Happy birthday (Penn-bloodh Lowen) to Jennie and Olywn

Hawkes Bay Group - 17 August 2023

The Hawkes Bay group has been steadily growing in numbers since it first lunch gathering in March.  It now has 34 members, and 22 of those attended their lunch meeting at the National Service Club in Hastings.  The theme for the meeting was “who they know/or had known in Cornwall, a subject that certainly created some discussion.  The message from the president of the NZ Cornish Association was read to those attending and was well received.


High lighting a couple of members, Malcolm Bourgaize recently visited Falmouth, where he took a keen interest in the yacht regatta.  He is a yachtsman and built yachts and small boats as a living in Guernsey and Auckland.


Sheryl is researching her family the Trengroves and would love to find a relation in New Zealand.


The groups next outing is Thursday 28 September.  A lunch plus garden and house tour of Gwavas Garden Homestead.  This homestead has a strong Cornish connection built in 1890.  If you are interested in joining the Hawkes Bay Cornish group, please contact Paddy and Richard Bayley - email:


A very attentive audience

Guest speaker Anne McGill 

Taranaki Branch - 12 August 2023

Our guest speaker, Anne McGill led us on a journey of family stories and experiences of the arrival and early lives of our Cornish ancestors. 

Terry Hease also shared his experiences of a visit to Cornwall and his family's immigration to NZ.  The family were and still are very active in the Salvation Army, so he was able to share some of that history as well.  

Both talks encouraged a lively discussion and prompted members to participate and ask questions of each other. So much so, that it was most unusual not to have everyone rushing to get their afternoon tea!!

Christchurch Branch - 12 August 2023

Enjoying popcorn and ice cream, the members of the Christchurch branch enjoyed watching the film screening of Saving Grace, a British comedy film, made in 2000, starring Brenda Blethyn and Craig Ferguson. Set in Cornwall, the film tells the story of a middle aged widow whose irresponsible husband left her in an enormous debt, forcing her to grow cannabis in her greenhouse along with her gardener Matthew to avoid losing her house. It was filmed in the villages of Boscastle, St Tudy and Port Isaac.

Other well-known films with scenes in Port Issac include, The Shell Seekers (1989) Oscar and Lucinda (1997) Fisherman’s Friends (2019, 2022)

Dorothy Drew, talking about her life stories and Cornish connection 

Dorothy pictured wearing her Paul Smales Medallion 

Christchurch Branch - 8 July 2023

Several members were unable to attend this month due to the very cold wet day and winter ailments of which there are plenty at present, leaving us with only 11 brave souls.

Our monthly programme included a good variety of entertainment. Our usual singing segment included a new song “The Last Shanty", Les provided “A Smugglers Tale” read by Heather and we enjoyed a short video produced by English Heritage on the construction of the footbridge at Tintagel Castle which has reunited the mainland and headland of Tintagel for the first time in 500 years.

Getting to know our members continued this month with our oldest member 96-year-old Dorothy Drew. She talked about her life stories and Cornish connection.  In 2016 Gorsedh Kernow awarded Dorothy the Paul Smales Medallion.  This is awarded annually at the Gorsedh to someone living outside Cornwall who has given notable service to the county.

The meeting finished up with another one of Celia’s quizzes.

Mikki and Heather taking part in the quiz and the eventual winners.

Jeanette, reading the national president's monthly message in front of this magnificent back drop of the Crown Engine Houses of the Botallack Mine at the spectacular South West coast of Cornwall.

Footbridge at Tintagel Castle

Mikki Michelson & Bruce Moore

A programme full of interesting items to entertain the members.

Christchurch Branch - 10 June 2023

14 members attended the branch meeting on a cold afternoon in Christchurch. 

We had our regular News from Cornwall slot with articles and pictures plus an update of events going on in Cornwall for June: - Royal Cornwall Agricultural Show, Murdoch Day in Redruth, Falmouth International Shanty Festival and Golowan Festival, Penzance

We learned a fun new Cornish song “Jolly Jim Bucca” to add to the ever-growing repertoire and enjoyed two Cornish stories read by Heather “The Pisky Who Lost His Laugh and “The Pisky Thresher".  Our thanks to Les for providing these.

Finally, we had a “getting to know our members” session.  We see people every month at our branch meeting but what do we really know about them? Mikki Michelson and Bruce Moore were happy to take questions and to talk about their lives and where they came from. This was enjoyed by all and is something we would like to continue in future meetings.  The meeting finished with the raffle draw and afternoon tea.

Cornish Pisky stories read by Heather  

The Midday Dance - There is one thing that sets the Midday Dance apart, the outfits. The women are all beautifully dressed in long and fantastical dresses, the gentlemen in suit, tails, and a top hat. 

Christchurch Branch - 13 May 2023

Its May month and the Christchurch branch couldn’t let the occasion go by without a rendition of the Helston Floral Dance song.

The most famous furry dance takes place in Helston at the beginning of May to celebrate the arrival of spring to Cornwall.   A series of dances are performed throughout the day.

On this occasion only two members of the branch were game to dance, both, (I quote from the branch report) with arthritic knees but happy to make fools of themselves. 

Under the guidance of Heather, a popular segment of the monthly meeting has been learning a new Cornish song.  With the singing led by Nadine and accompanied by Heather on the accordion, the branch members enjoyed going through their Cornish repertoire – who doesn’t enjoy a good old sing song!!

Also included in the programme was a Cornish quiz – thanks to branch member Celia who set the questions. The ever popular “News from Cornwall” and another in the collection of Cornish legends supplied by Les and read by Heather. A busy and entertaining meeting, finishing with the raffle draw and afternoon tea.

Entertaining members with the Floral Dance are Nadine on tuba and Heather on the accordion. 

Branch president Jeanette reading the monthly updates.


Biennial General Meeting

New Plymouth

Saturday 13 May 2023

Thanks must go to the Taranaki branch for organising and hosting this meeting.  Their hospitality and warm welcome are typical of our Cornish heritage.  As usual a wonderful spread of food was provided, including Cornish pasties.  After the official business got out of the way, entertainment included a couple of presentations by the Cornish Association president, Judy Wright and musical entertainment was provided by Peter Garvin who sang a number of well know Cornish songs including, Sweet Nightingale, Padstow May Song and The White Rose.  Songs that got those attending, foot tapping and singing along. 

For those of you who are not familiar with these Cornish folk songs. Please enjoy these videos.

Sweet Nightingale, sung by the Aurora Voices of the Burnside High School, Christchurch, New Zealand - Link

Padstow May Song, sung by British folk-rock band Steelye Span - Link

The White Rose, sung by the Newquay Male Voice choir - Link 

These wonderful Cornish "One and All " sweat shirts worn by Lynne and Gerald certainly made an impact with everyone.

If you are interested in purchasing your own sweatshirt or other Cornish gifts, books, music, clothing, St. Piran flags and jewellery they can be found at -  Link

Clive is a small town, 10kms from the city centre of both Napier and Hastings in the Hawkes Bay.

Pictured next to one of his many cameras is the host, Colin. 

Hawkes Bay - 4 May 2023

The Cornish gathering in Hawkes Bay have once again been out and about.  Nineteen NZ Cornish Association members recently met at the home of association member Colin Trevelyan in Clive.

Colin, whose ancestors came to New Zealand in 1875, has collected and curated a wonderful museum of cameras, photographic memorabilia, hospital and aerial mapping equipment along with a number of vintage cars.  The museum is no longer open to the public and the group were given a personal guided tour that was enjoyed by all.

Before the tour, the group enjoyed lunch and with more new members joining, the attention was once again drawn to the map of Cornwall that is now steadily filling up with their Cornish connections. A newsletter from the NZ Cornish President was also handed out to those attending.

Dennis reading from his Great Grandfather's diaries

Taranaki Branch - 15 April 2023

Branch member Dennis Simpson shared with members his Great Grandfather's diaries as the 1st Harbour Master at Port Taranaki. 

Covering topics such as the history of the establishment, shipwrecks in the Taranaki region and a copy of the address given by the current harbour master. 

The talk was enjoyed by all and generated a lot of discussion.

Pictured below a selection of memorabilia brought along to share with members.

A very attentive audience 

Christchurch Branch 8 April 2023

The members enjoyed watching the latest Fishermen's Friends film "One and All " at their monthly meeting.  A short break was taken to enjoy afternoon tea and then continued with the remainder of the film. Feedback from the branch - a great success. 

What better audience could you have than a Cornish Association 

Cornish Gathering in Hawkes Bay - 24 March 2023

Through our website and face book presence we are attracting several new national members. Two new members, Paddy and Richard who have recently joined in the Hawkes Bay were keen to get a regular “Cornish gathering” organised.  Here pictured is the lunch that took place on 24th March with 11 people attending.  A welcome newsletter from the NZ Cornish Association President was given to each attendee along with a map of Cornwall and this proved to be good starting point to get the conversation flowing. Further meetings/outings are being planned to take place every 6 weeks. If this is something you may be interested in, please email our National Secretary and he will pass on your details. Contact details can be found on our "New Zealand" page.

Les unwrapping his gift of a beautiful Cornish Engine house, under the watchful eye of Christchurch Association President Jeanette and his sister Heather. Heather is also a Cornish Bard and is wearing her Bardic robes.

Christchurch Branch AGM – 11 March 2023

After 53 Years of being branch secretary at the Christchurch Cornish Association, Les Mitchell has decided to call it a day and pass on the baton.

Les took over the role back in 1970 when secretary at the time, Mrs Blake, stood down due to ill health. His association with the branch goes back much further as a member, along with his late mother and his sister Heather who is still an active member.

Les was recognized by the Gorsedh Kernow for his promotion of Cornwall in New Zealand and in 2009 joined the ranks of Cornish Bards from around the world.

Although standing down as secretary, he is still keen to take an active role in the branch and has joined the committee where his input will be greatly valued.

Dorothy reading a poem that she had written specially for the occasion. 

Les with his wife Lynda who was presented with a bouquet of flowers for her support given over the years.

Les also received a number of cards and a special cake for him to cut, along with a very nice afternoon tea to enjoy with branch members.

Christchurch Branch -11 February 2023

Christchurch branch held their first meeting of 2023 with a gathering of 15 people.  

There were the usual news updates from Cornwall, the monthly NZ president message and Heather leading the singing with the Cornish song of the month "Cornwall My Home" by Harry Glasson. A great favourite with Cornish choirs.

Joyce and Les treated everyone to a couple of Cornish ghost stories and this provoked some discussion and stories by members of their own experiences.   

The meeting finished with the usual delicious afternoon tea. 

Some of the audience listening intently 

Taranaki Christmas Lunch - 13 December 2022 at Cobb & Co, New Plymouth 

An excellent assortment of raffle prizes, including a selection of goodies brought back from a recent visit to Cornwall by the association president.

Eighteen members of the Taranaki branch held their final meeting of 2022 with a Christmas lunch at Cobb & Co in New Plymouth.  They are pictured here holding their copy of the NZ 60th Anniversary booklet.  The booklet was presented to each member as a gift from the National Association.  According to branch secretary, Carol Cowling, "everyone was thrilled with the booklet and some members have asked for extra copies"

Christchurch branch, Christmas meeting 3 December 2022 

This year's production by committee members was an adaptation of "The Green Man", a well-known character from traditional folk culture. 

Staring Les as “The Green Man”

Standing in for Father Christmas this year and assisted by Green Woman, Green Man then presented a small gift of a chocolate bar and a copy of the just released history of the New Zealand Cornish Association 1962 - 2022 booklet to members. 

Dorothy and Jennie as the narrators

Dorothy cutting the Christmas cake

Adrienne & Jennie our wonderful tea ladies.

More entertainment was provided by Celia’s word game, provoking much sighing and head scratching.

Heather and Nadine lead the singing with some well-known carols including the "Sans Day carol" and finishing with "While Shepherd Watched" to the tune Lyngham.  This is the traditional tune sung at Cornish Christmas celebrations. 

Click on the link to hear the Port Isaac Fisherman's Friends sing "While Shepherds Watch" to the tune "Lyngham" in the Chapter House of Wells Cathedral - Link

Pictures from the November 2021 Christchurch Meeting - The theme for the meeting "The Enjoyment of Books"

Guest speaker, Renee Blackburn from the “Book Discussion Scheme”

Our masked crusaders!!

Keeping with the theme of books.  The members watched a video book review by Simon Savage. These books were chosen by the  Duchess of Cornwall for season one of her "Duchess of Cornwall's Reading Room.

Jennie delivering the prepacked teas

Pictures from the August 2021 Christchurch Meeting - the meeting had an island theme

Long standing members David and Olwyn King cut a cake on the double occasion of Olwyn’s birthday and their 70th wedding anniversary

Guest speaker, Bert Walker, gave a talk about a holiday in the Chatham Islands.

We couldn’t let the occasion go by without reminding everyone about our beautiful islands off the coast of Cornwall – The Isles of Scilly.  A video followed Julia Bradbury on a 5-mile circular walk of St Martin’s, before island-hopping to Tresco..

Heather leads the members in the song "The Sweet Nightingale" adding to the collection of Cornish songs that the members have been learning and enjoying each month.  

Isles of Scilly themed table decorations

The Isles of Scilly from the air

Pictures from the May Bi Annual AGM Held in Christchurch 2021

Pasty lunch is always a favorite with the members

Musical Entertainment

A wonderful display of Cornish Bards past and present associated with the Christchurch branch

The AGM makes a start with Heather acknowledging Nick Bartle (the national secretary) as the latest association member to be honored in the list of Cornish Bards for 2018

As its May month it must be Helston Flora!! – With music provided by Heather and friends. Some of the more energetic members had a go at the Furry Dance

Our three current bards (L to R):

Heather Mitchell-Gladstone - KERNEWES ILOWEK 

Nick Bartle - DEN AN SOTH


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