Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 10 April 2009 Contents 10 April, 2009 | Page 7
Fiordland Players’ wardrobe mistress Margo Shaw has been
sewing costumes for umpteen years – but don’t call her a
“Most definitely not a dressmaker. I love making costumes
for the shows but I’m not a dressmaker.”
Whatever the moniker, her unwavering dedication to the
task over 24 years has always earned her respect from
those involved in the club but now her work has also been
recognised at a national level.
At the national conference for musical theatre companies
held in Queenstown a couple of weeks ago, Mrs Shaw was
presented with a Merit Award for her services.
It was her love of handcrafts that got her interested in the
costuming side of theatre. Her first task was to create a
huge rock bird with large sweeping wings. She managed
this by recycling sail cloth from the mini golf course.
Her ability to create works of art from discarded materials
has become legendary. Old fabrics have seen new life as
everything from royal robes to animal skin – and all of this
without the use of a single pattern.
“Just ingenuity and imagination,” she said. “We just use
whatever we have.”
Wicker baskets and bedspreads created a camel, while
old-fashioned green chenille curtain material became a
Few textiles pass their use-by date in Mrs Shaw’s eyes.
“I do keep things that just might come in handy – and it so
often does come in handy.”
In the lead-up to shows it’s not uncommon for Mrs Shaw’s
living room to be transformed into a workshop, with
volunteers and their sewing machines crowded around the
kitchen table helping to turn her ideas into creations.
The sheer volume of costumes made in 24 years now
Mistress of the wardrobe
Mistress of the wardrobe
Margo Shaw and the crocodile costume crafted from unwanted chenille
Southland two-year-olds have the chance to get
free cycle helmets and high-visibility vests in a
new road safety initiative called “Seen and Safe”
launched by Southland Plunket.
With increasing numbers of families choosing to
walk and cycle, the “Seen and Safe” project is
to encourage children and their families to keep
safe on the road right from the first time they get
on their bike, trike or scooter.
Thanks to funding from Road Safety Southland
Charitable Trust, every child attending their
two-year check at Plunket will be eligible for a
voucher to receive a hi-vis vest, a cycle helmet
and information encouraging families to use
them. Vouchers will be redeemable from Plunket
car seat rental schemes in Invercargill, Winton,
Gore and Te Anau.
Southland Car Seat Rental Schemes Manager
Kathryn Impelmans said it was an opportunity to
introduce safe travel behaviour at a time when
children were forming habits and were most
open to parents’ and caregivers’ influence.
“Around this age children become more
independent when out walking with their
More than 100 people took off their clothes and
ran naked through the Homer Tunnel about 10pm
on April Fool’s Day – the most ever to take part in
the annual mad dash.
The naked race through the tunnel has been held
on April 1 every year for seven years now. It started
with a small group of hardy – some might say
foolhardy – locals and has grown to the extent that
now tourists have been known to extend their stay
in order to take part.
One year, after it received a write-up in Air New
Zealand’s in-flight magazine, a man made a special
trip from Auckland to take part. This year a man
completed the 1270m dash through the pitch black
tunnel in a wheelchair – another first for the event.
Line honours this year went to a French tourist.
Organiser Rosco Gaudin said the unofficial event’s
fame was definitely on the rise.
“The numbers didn’t really surprise me. It’s on a roll
that’s for sure.”
For the first time those taking part were charged
an entry fee, all of which – more than $1000 – was
donated to the Fiordland Health Trust.
However, the huge numbers meant changes were
likely. To keep it manageable Mr Gaudin said he
would probably have to look at prior registration to
The nude run could not happen without the support
of Milford locals and the many others who helped
out, Mr Gaudin said.
“A lot of people help make it happen, it’s not a one-
man thing. Hats off to the Milford community for
continuing to support it.”
occupies two large areas in the
Fiordland Players’ rehearsal and
When the group realised it
needed its own space, Mrs Shaw
was one of five members who
personally guaranteed the loan
to be able to buy it. Costume
hire now brings in between a
quarter and half of the group’s
annual income and has enabled
the group to repay the loan.
Now in her late 70s, Mrs Shaw
said it was time to find someone
– or more than one person – to
ease into her role. She’s very
keen for a helper to learn the
ropes and add their own touch
to the job.
In the meantime she’ll soon put
her thinking cap back on again
to plan how she’ll outfit the
Fiordland Players for their next
parents, so it’s important to
encourage safety from this early
stage,” she said.
Te Anau volunteer Plunket car seat
co-ordinator Megan McMurtrie fitted
the first four Fiordland youngsters
with their helmets and vests last
week. They were chuffed to get the
same gear that big kids wore.
The helmets were correctly fitted
by the car seat co-ordinators and
should last the children until they
were about six years old, she said.
The vests were all size 2 and, by the
look of the first models “they should
last them for a while.”
The first Te Anau youngsters to receive safety vests and cycle helmets through
Southland Plunket’s “Seen and Safe” project (from left) Callum McMurtrie, Brooke
Scott, Chelsea Ledington and Harry Excell.
Southland tots get Seen and Safe for free
Naked racers show
off tunnel vision
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