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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

If I only had time

Vicky Adin on history and heritage

I was clearing out my inbox and trashing files off my desktop and the old John Rowles song – If I only had time – popped into my head. The lyrics are fitting.

I was wishing for more time to do all the necessary things, the things expected of me, and things I would have liked to do. So I was really sorry to have to ditch a wonderful flyer about Auckland’s Heritage Festival.  I would go but I’m not in the country. But you could. It’s on right now. Did you know?

Time is an insidious little beasty. We never get any more of it never mind how hard we try. How many times has someone said to you, ‘sorry can’t catch up now, I haven’t got time. Maybe later.’? But it doesn’t happen, and you drift a little further apart because there isn’t the time to make the connection.

Yet time isn’t something we can manufacture, we have to prioritise to make the most of the time available to us. So, the necessities get done and in the rush and bustle of life, we miss out on so much more. And often we miss out on what makes us human: people and their stories.

As an avid reader, I struggle when people tell me they haven’t time to read. I would give up a television programme any day of the week to read. I fill in every spare minute I have with reading, but that’s me. I don’t write because I read, or read because I write, but both are an essential part of who I am.

Genealogy, as I’m sure you know by now, is also a part of me. I love to know about people, what happened to them, what struggles they had, and how their life impacted on future generations. As ours does today.

This year the theme for the Auckland Heritage Festival to honour the centenary of the start of the First World War is 'courage has many resting places.'

But it’s more that the story of war. The website says: The Auckland Heritage Festival 2014 reminds us that we are collectively the best kaitiaki (guardians) and advocates of our own history. It is up to us to protect and conserve our heritage for future generations, and I couldn’t agree more.

There are over 200 events: demonstrations and workshops, displays and exhibitions, entertainment, performances and films, and walks and talks. And if you want something a bit different, there’s something of offer for you too.

Many of the events are free, some are ideas to do things that are always there but we don’t think about and some events are specific to the Festival and designed to cater for all ages. Take a look at this list as an example

It’s the school holidays, take the children and the grandparents out for the day and discover how much each generation has to offer the other when discussing a past event. You will be surprised.

Then please, please, come back and tell me what you discovered. You never know, it might appear in the next book.

The Festival is on until 12 October. Be surprised.

Vicky Adin


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