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Brakes on village speed limit after meeting
By DENISE PIPER
The speed limit in Parua Bay vil-
lage is to drop thanks to lobbying by
Grandmother Sue Farrant led the
charge after she fell into a ditch
while trying to cross the 70kmh
The incident happened in August
when she stepped back to avoid a
fast-moving car, falling about one
metre into the ditch with her grand-
daughter landing on top of her.
Residents fear for their lives
while trying to cross the road and
told the Whangarei District Council
that in a public meeting in Novem-
ber. The meeting was timed so
councillors and staff could see the
early morning chaos, with buses
making u-turns and school children
crossing the street all in front of
Roading engineer Greg Monteith
says the council applied to the NZ
Transport Agency for a 50kmh zone
at Parua Bay village.
The agency has approved the
application, based on the number of
driveways on the road, traffic vol-
ume and crash statistics.
Mr Monteith says the council now
has to change its bylaw and will be
advertising that the speed limit is
changing before putting up the new
signs. The council will also talk with
police about giving warnings to
The council can look at a ped-
estrian crossing now that the speed
issue is dealt with, Mr Monteith
The speed limit was the first step
-- if we hadn t had that lowered I
wouldn t be comfortable putting a
crossing in there at all. Now we
have to look at what our options are
-- whether it s a zebra crossing or a
lollipop kea crossing.
Mrs Farrant says she and other
residents are delighted the speed
limit is coming down.
She hopes it will be obeyed and
that it doesn t end up with drivers
getting speeding tickets.
But Mrs Farrant says safety is
her priority and she now plans to
lobby for a pedestrian crossing and
a footpath to the shops.
By JO BELWORTHY
Wedding bonus: The surprise was on Snow Kilner and Margaret Silson when their friends chose their wedding venue as
New Zealand's smallest church for the ceremony on February 4.
Photo: PAM PARKINSON
FUN-LOVING senior couple Snow
Kilner and Margaret Silson had a
laugh when they told their families:
We ve eloped!
That s what the Kamo couple
well into their 70s did earlier this
month. They allowed four friends to
choose their wedding venue.
But if they thought they would be
the ones giving the surprise, they
were in for an even bigger shock.
Their mates Pam and Les
Parkinson and Billie and Bruce
Stenhouse chose New Zealand s
smallest church -- The Little Chapel
near Te Kopuru -- as their wedding
The group of six fitted nicely
into the tiny chapel in a manicured
field just out of Dargaville.
The small chapel seats nine
Mr Kilner says as soon as he
walked through the paddock and
saw the chapel he just heaved with
No one knew it was there, it was
a big surprise, he says.
Mrs Silson-Kilner says she will
never forget the wedding and venue.
Words can t explain, it was abso-
lutely wonderful, really beautiful.
The chapel was out of this world.
She says the couple wanted to get
married without any fuss.
I just wanted to do it on the
quiet. I knew we could trust our
friends to organise it.
The couple went back to Les and
Pam s home for a wedding breakfast
-- roast mutton -- in the garage.
There were bridles hanging on
the walls, it was nice and simple,
couldn t be better, Mrs Silson-
The couple first met at a country
music club five years ago.
He s been creeping slowly into
my life since, Mrs Silson-Kilner
And it s just grown from there.
They finally decided to tie the
knot on February 4.
The tiny church was built by War-
ren Suckling, known as Ernie the
Kumara Man, over a six-week
period and it was blessed in October
2010 by many of the clergy from
Dargaville s combined churches.
The interior was lined with
ancient kauri from the area by well-
known craftsman Maurice Hansen.
The chapel has been used for chr-
istianings, special prayer meetings
and two weddings, Mr Suckling
And, apart from the amazing
amount of visitors stopping on the
roadside to look at it, go inside and
sign the visitors book, it is continu-
ally visited by people on my farm
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