More than 70 members of the Hawke's Bay branch of the New Zealand Founders Society met in early July for their AGM, and learned their branch was in good heart with a growing membership and good reserves of funds.
Held at the historic Cheval Room at the Hastings Racecourse, branch (and national) president, Paddy Bayley, explained the main events of the 2019-20 year and outlined some of the major events that lay ahead. The AGM had been scheduled for March but was postponed to July owing to the Covid lockdown.
The Cheval Room is indeed an historic and iconic building in the history of Hawke's Bay settlement. Long used for balls, banquets, conferences, weddings, exhibitions and other major gatherings, it was first known as the kiosk for the racecourse. In late 1918, with the arrival of the influenza epidemic and with no public hospital in Hastings, the Cheval Room was used as an isolation hospital.
Following the business of the meeting, the members greatly enjoyed the opportunity to socialise and chat over an excellent buffet luncheon.
Large photo in the Cheval Room depicting a day at the Hastings Races, c. early 1900s.
Frank Wilkins, aged 92, left, and George Foulds who celebrated his 100th birthday in November 2019.