Crew invited back for 150th re-enactment

Janna Sherman

Rowers and passengers who took part in a re-enactment on the Hokitika River as part of the town centennial celebrations 50 years ago will be invited back to do it again in December, for its 150th.
The remaining 12 of the 15 crew members who rowed the former Lake Mahinapua launch Lulu Bell in 1964, are being tracked down and invited to take part in the next re-enactment.
This time the historic Hokitika lifeboat Countess, which served the port from 1886, is being prepared to take to the water again for the crossing, re-creating the landing of government agent William H Revell, who docked on the riverbank and laid out the first two streets — Revell Street and Gibson Quay — on December 20, 1864.
Hokitika Goldrush 150 committee chairwoman Sonja Barker said everyone on board the Countess would be dressed in period costume for the event, to start the weekend of festivities.
Also planned on the first day is a monument or plaque unveiling to mark the 150th anniversary, a luncheon, and an airshow to tie in with the 80th anniversary of the first licensed air service which started from Hokitika.
A themed ball will end the day, with a combined church service and historic film showing on the Sunday. A range of community-led events will add to the official programme.