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Gift from Rosemarie and Her Family

April 20, 2022
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Several years ago, Rosemarie Knapman-Smith and her family established the Lisa’s Wish Grove at CUE Haven. Rosemarie and her husband Neil have now retired and live in Taranaki, but visit their son Ian and grandchildren, Nikita and Cort, in Auckland regularly. The whole family also continues to volunteer at CUE Haven helping with various tasks.

During the family’s visit to CUE Haven last year, Rosemarie noted that the track directional signs at CUE Haven were weathered and needed replacement. So the very artistic and industrious Rosemarie volunteered to hand craft some long lasting signs to mark the walking tracks and picnic areas. 

Over the summer months Rosemarie sourced some off cuts of timber from a local timber mill, Eltham Timber and Supply, and went to work.

Turning her garage into her workshop, Rosemarie set to work cutting the timber down to size.

Not only did we need at least two signs for each track (Arā) and road (Huarahi), we also requested Rosemarie to make signs for the bridges (Piriti) and the various open spaces (Wāhi) where we host educational sessions for students and for the areas used by visitors for picnics.

With so many signs to make, Rosemarie and Neil had to source timber from another timber mill too, Opunake Mill.  These timber boards were not smooth and their friend Peter came to re rescue and planed the boards in his home workshop and cut them to size. Thanks Peter!!

Neil went to work with his water blaster to clean up all the boards.

Once the boards were ready, Rosemarie drew the lettering for the various signs.  She also added artwork in the form of birds and flowers.

Rosemarie then cut out the lettering with her router.

The face mask was for all the saw dust being generated – not Covid!

There was a lot of hand sanding to give the signs a smooth finish.

The recessed letters were then carefully painted.  

The Track (Arā) and road (Huarahi) signs at CUE Haven are named after native birds and trees. Bridges (Piriti) and gathering spaces (Wāhi) have Maori names that signify attributes that embody CUE Haven values (e.g., Mātauranga – Wisdom; Māramatanga – Enlightenment; Mōhiotanga  – Knowledge; Manākitanga – Hospitality;  Kotahitanga – Unity; Whakaaro – Contemplation; Maharanoa – Remembrance;  Whakatā – Rest).  There is also a sign (Otakamaitu) which identifies the historic Maori settlement site by the stream at CUE Haven.

Once the paint was dry, the signs needed to be varnished to ensure they would be protected from the elements once they were installed.

The number of signs quickly multiplied and it was a challenge for Rosemarie and Neil to find room to store them.

The bigger challenge was getting these signs from Taranaki up to CUE Haven. We were helped out by David and Louise, Rosemarie’s brother and sister-in-law in Taranaki who were visiting family in Auckland, and our neighbour and friend, Alan who was visiting family in Taranaki last month. Both of them brought up a few signs last month. Thanks guys!!

We spent some time figuring out how to install the signs in the field and decided that the best way would be by attaching them to fence battens.  Our friends at Fortress generously donated stainless steel brackets and screws to attach the signs to the battens. Thanks Fortress!!!

Thomas went to work assembling the signs.

Over Easter weekend, Rosemarie and her family visited CUE Haven to work on installing the signs.  Joining Rosemarie and Neil were family members Cort, Ian, Lisa, Nikita, Patrick and Rebecca.

Rosemarie had brought up the rest of the signs and Ian went to work assembling them.

The rest of us headed out to the field to install the signs.  We loaded the signs into the ute.

Mahrukh had prepared a detailed map of the track names and we started at the top and worked down.

Nikita and Cort helped Thomas lay out the signs in the correct spots and the Lisa, Patrick and Rebecca followed behind installing the signs.

While the rest of the signs were being installed, Thomas and Neil put out the signs for the roads.

Rosemarie and her family stayed over at CUE Haven and the next day went back to work.  Rosemarie had brought her gear and together they made some additional signs.

Ian, Cort and Nikita then headed out to the field to install the remaining signs.

While the signs were being installed, Rosemarie finished off some additional signs and then also created some amazing inspirational signs that will be installed along the walking tracks.

We are humbled by the incredible generosity of Rosemarie and her family—providing their creative talents and hard work to make CUE Haven even more beautiful.  Visitors to CUE Haven will enjoy the signs for years to come and we can’t thank you all enough.

A big thank you to Cort, Ian, Lisa, Neil, Nikita, Patrick and Rebecca for their hard work assembling and installing the signs.  It was great working with you and we appreciate your efforts and patience and for giving up part of your Easter weekend to help out.

And our heartfelt thanks to Rosemarie not only for all her hard work but also for her vision, and creativity in making the signs become a reality and for her continued support.

And again a big thank you to Fortress for their continued support to CUE Haven.

Thank You!! Thank You!!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 20, 2022 4:12 pm

    What an amazing project.

  2. kevin holland permalink
    April 20, 2022 3:28 pm

    all you wonderful workers are LEGENDS doing a great job kevin holland

  3. Gabi Wehler permalink
    April 20, 2022 3:19 pm

    Wow. Amazing. Beautiful. Next year I really have to visit again. Am off to Spain on May 1. Returning Jan 5. cheers Gabi

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