J. Stanton Harcourt
gave the park to the city.
The first roofless
sound stage appeared in a sketch in the ‘Leader’ on April 3, 1984, and a canvas
awning was shown there
stage was built in 1984 by the Rimutaka Lions, who had set aside $14 000 for
the project, and it had already been used, while not finished, by February
The December 3, 1997 Leader pictured the president of the Rimutaka Lions,
Norm Griffin, in the ruins of the stage, burnt in a fire which he believed was deliberately burnt by vandals. He first knew of the fire when he brought a former president to look at the stage on November 25; the fire had occurred early in the month, and might have been caused by a stray firework.
After the March 2000 City of Song concert, the organisers, including Steve Brattle, approached the Rimutaka Licensing Trust, suggesting an improved stage, with a larger floor area, a roof, and more power. The Trust offered to fund a $50 000-to-$80 000 redevelopment; the proposal was announced in the October 25 2000 ‘Leader’. The November 8 ‘Leader’ printed a photo of a model, with Steve Brattle.
This third stage had a curved roof and a small backstage room, according to a Council photograph.
The ‘Leader’ of
December 19, 2001 showed the ‘new $250 000 Seismic Sound Stage’ in use after
the previous Sunday’s official opening, which was followed by ‘Carols in the
Park’, with a massed children’s choir and an audience estimated at 5000-6000.
Concerts followed in
consecutive years organised by the Upper Hutt City Of Song Music Academy
Charitable Trust, designed to present emerging talent as well as promote
established local talent.
Sadly 2004 was the
last concert produced by The COS Music Academy Charitable Trust due to Peter
Hall moving to Australia and other Trust members relocating out of the area.
Holiday Park adjacent to the main Harcourt Park area, had opened on December
20, 1988; it was offered for private lease in March 1995.
The September 19,
1989 ‘Leader’ reported the Holiday Park winning the 1989 New Zealand Institute
of Park and Recreation Administration’s top award.
The Holiday Park was
proposed in May 1987, as a better site than Kaitoke; the first stage proposed
110 two-room cabins, central amenities, and 15 powered caravan sites.
Construction began in 1988; a government grant of $75 000 towards the capital
costs was presented to the mayor in September, with the tourist flats and
serviced sites expected to open for summer; it opened on December 20.
6, 1995; Gordon and Vicki Bennett had just taken up a 20-year lease on the
Organised by The Upper Hutt City Council under the directive of Paul Lambert, 2006 and 2009 saw the stage full of excitement again with the appearance of British 1960’s rock band “The Searchers”
Carols In The Park
Organised by various local Church groups, Christmas Carols In The Park established themselves as an iconic event on the Upper Hutt entertainment calendar. With the first concert in 2001 this quickly became an awaited event each year in the build up to Christmas.
talent throughout the years.
Of Song Charitable Club
After a long break
from the City Of Song Concerts in the park, Fiona Armstrong-McIntosh got
together with Steve Brattle, Mark and Kay Southon, Frank McLoughlin to discuss
the possibility or re establishing this popular event. Wayne Clifford-Marsh
joined them at the meeting and the Upper Hutt City Of Song Charitable Club was
formed to exact this purpose.
Regular meetings and various communications saw the birth of the first concert under the new banner in 2014.
Charitable status was gained on 25 December, 2014 # CC51184
Upper Hutt Community Rescue were invited to a committee meeting and it was agreed that it be be the Non Profit organisation the club was to support. They completed all of the funding documents required to enable the concert. and security as well as First aid on site.
Upper Hutt Community Rescue were also to be the collectors as well as have a strong presence on site with all of their rescue equipment. Steve Brattle and Mark Southon organised the sound and lighting with Peak Audio.
Weddell Plumbing supplied all required Portaloo’s at no cost and Ricky T Brake supplied the generator again no cost. The Rimutaka Licensing Trust as a result of the Community Rescue application, funded the Sound and lighting and other sundry costs.
The concert was a success, however the gate takings were well below what was anticipated even though there were many collection runs through the crowd by the UH Community Rescue Team. An amount of around $3,000 was collected. Historic figures now reveal that the crowd attendance can be estimated at roughly $1 per head, which has been the formula used to calculate attendance.
continued to hold a concert in 2015
Peter Hall and Lynda Reeve flew over from Australia to bring a Trixx reunion back on stage for the concert. All was in place until the morning of the concert when it was decided for the purpose of safety due to an impending weather bomb, that the concert be cancelled. The inclement weather was to be a feature of the entire weekend, so the concert was canned.
Peter arranged with the UH Cossie Club to take the Trixx
reunion indoors, which happened on the Sunday night to a packed out crowd. Drastic attempts in the rain were made to
post cancelled signs on all the Community notice boards to avoid inconvenience
to potential concert attendees.
All Funding not used was returned to the Rimutaka Licensing Trust, the sole funder of the event apart from Council Funding.
Although the Committee was disappointed by the result, planning went ahead for the 2016 concert. Attempts were made to have Frankie Stevens, Jon, and Diamond Diva’s all get together for a family reunion on stage. Sadly Jon could not make it to NZ,s o the idea was shelved. The 2016 concert featured Tony Mad Trio as the Head Band doing an awesome tribute to the late Stevie Ray Vaughan.
The concert featured a special segment from iO who did a stunning rendition of the David Collinge song “You Just Don’t Care” The Pipe Down Project The segment was devoted to the perils of “P” now becoming epidemic in NZ. It featured the taunting voice of Tarn’s Hood who illustrated how methamphetamine can take over your mind, body and soul often from the very first time it is sampled.
The Ode to “P”
My Name is Crystal, Crystal Meth.
I tear families apart, the young and the
More costly than diamonds, more precious
The sorrow I bring is beyond the bad
If you need me, remember, I’m easily had.
When I possess you, you’ll steal and you’ll
You’ll do what you have to, just to get
The crimes you’ll commit for my wonderful
Will be well worth the pleasure you’ll find
in the pipe
You’ll lie to your mother, you’ll steal from your dad,
When you see their tears, you won’t feel
You’ll forget all your morals and how you
I’ll be your conscience… I’ll teach you my
If you try me be warned…this is no game
If given the chance, I’ll drive you insane.
I’ll ravish your body; I’ll control your
I’ll own you completely; your soul will be
The nightmares I’ll give you while lying in
The voices you’ll hear, from inside your
The sweats and the shakes, the visions
I want you to know these are all gifts from
But then it’s too late, and you’ll know in
That you are now mine, and we shall not
You’ll regret that you tried me, they always do,
But you came to me, not I to you!
You knew this would happen, many times you
You challenged my power, and chose to be
You could have said NO and just walked
If you could live that day over now, what
would you say?
I’ll be your master, you will be my slave,
I will come with you , all the way to your
Now that you have met me, what will you do?
Your at the crossroads, it’s now all up to