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Visa Ser vice
An entire leper colony in India has new
shoes thanks to the generosity of Te Anau
John Steffens, pastor of Te Anau’s New
Life Church, travelled to Salem in Tamil
Nadu, India between November 18 and
December 13 armed with $1700 donated
by the Fiordland Rotary Club and $2000
from Barry Smaill, of Te Anau who made
the donation as a memorial to his brother
Through connections the church has with
a Christian welfare group called JMHA in
India, Mr Steffens was able to oversee the
manufacture of more than 200 pairs of
shoes specially designed for the lepers.
“Each shoe had to be individually made
to fit each foot because of the effects of
leprosy on the feet. Without shoes these
people are prone to getting cuts etc on
their feet which then get infected and they
lose toes etc,” he said.
“This is why shoes are so important to
them, but they have no means of buying
them so are in a bad way.
“It just helped so many people.”
It was a privilege to be part of something
Te Anau people had done to impact the
lives of those less fortunate, Mr Steffens
said. The people in India were astounded
and humbled that people on the other
side of the world cared about them in
such a generous way.
“It would be like someone coming up and
giving you a late model Commodore, to
put it in context,” he said.
“The fact it had come
from New Zealand,
a land so far away
cared about them.
It was an incredible
The New Life Church
was continuing to
work with JMHA
in India with other
buying clothing for
orphans which had
also been supported
by the Rotary Club
and H and J Smith
Yachting New Zealand’s Learn to Sail
programme hit Te Anau during the past
week with more than 60 youngsters from
three schools introduced to the sport.
Funded by the Lion Foundation and
a trust that was set up by the late Sir
Peter Blake, the programme is delivered
throughout New Zealand by three
tutors who travel to various yacht clubs,
working with school groups.
The aim is to boost the numbers involved
in the sport by aligning them with their
South Island instructor Candice Clough
rolled into town towing a large covered
trailer complete with wetsuits, lifejackets,
six Optimists and three Topper Taz sail
boats and an inflatable motor boat.
She said most of the students – from
Fiordland College, Te Anau School and
Mararoa School – had never been sailing
before and it was great to give them a
taste of what it was like. The response
was so good that she was sure the
Marakura Yacht Club would be seeing
more new faces at its weekly learn to sail
Fiordland College pupils Joshua Cribb (left) and Eugene Sanders get some pointers from Yachting New
Zealand instructor Candice Clough during a Learn to Sail course on Lake Te Anau on Monday.
Learn to Sail proves popular
ABOVE: The shoes being
manufactured in India. Each pair
was custom made to fit the new
LEFT: Te Anau New Life Church
pastor John Steffens with a
grateful Indian recipient of a
new pair of Te Anau-sponsored
Memorial gesture gives
shoes to 200 lepers
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