Auckland Baptist Tramping Club

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The twenty-nine ABTC members who met in the carpark beside the Titirangi Library were all keen to earn the right to enjoy the BBQ food that would be awaiting them in the evening at the end of year Club Christmas Party! After splitting into two groups to help maintain social distancing, the first leg of the trail descended along the Zig Zag track. Featuring impressive stands of Nikau, Puriri and Kauri, this well-formed trail follows the Paturoa Stream to Titirangi Beach where everyone had time to admire some magnificent Pohutukawa trees in full flower. After a short rest the whole group set off again, climbing uphill above the coastline to a brand new board-walk that cut between the houses to allow access to the even more impressive board-walk and steps descending steeply to the Waituna Stream. As well as enjoying the extensive views across to Laingholm Bay from the lookout, the bridge across the stream gave a close-up encounter with the Mangroves in the estuary.

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A short way on at the Tangawai Reserve, Murray reflected on the effort and expense the Council had put into the construction of the paths we had followed and compared it to the effort God put into Christmas – "This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. (John 3:16-17 The Message).
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In the Maori language "Titirangi" means "long
streaks of cloud in the sky", but this is often given as "fringe of heaven" – true for our Christmas analogy, fitting for the views and indicative of the climb back up to the ridge we started from! As the trail continued up past lifestyle blocks and housing the story of Tiberius the Titirangi mouse unfolded. Walking on top of the water supply pipeline was a brief respite before the final climb up to Exhibition Drive and our return to the carpark. After almost 10km, this three hour circuit proved to be a pleasant introduction to Titirangi and a good way to work up an appetite for the BBQ party!

Our last function of the year happened only two days after restrictions in Auckland were eased and we were able to have inside functions for up to 100 people. Because of social distancing requirements we put a cap on the event of 50 people.

The function was held at Murray and Cathie Black’s home in Titirangi. A long trestle table in the garage was soon groaning with food and people were mingling and playing the Icebreaker game of matching two halves of ten jokes. The government’s requirements of scanning and showing a vaccine pass was strictly adhered to with no problems at all. A big thank you goes to Paul Handley and Murray for their stirling work on the BBQs. Also to Barry Morgan who transported equipment, including chairs, but was unable to be with us on the night.

Because of Covid we didn’t have singing or an activity like we usually do but there was a very pleasant atmosphere and the sounds of laughter and people enjoying each other’s company. We did stop at one point however, to announce the joyful news of David Rutherford and Lesley’s engagement - they were the first ones to help themselves to our dessert. A February wedding for them is on the horizon!
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