by Eamon Parkes
I remember coming to Oakura Bay when I was a kid. Mum (Kate Parkes) would always bring us up here from Whangarei and we would spend our time with my Uncle Lance Kelly. Uncle Lance was the Principal of Ngaiotonga Valley School before it was closed down. I have memories of going to the school with him, I think about 1992. Not sure exactly. My Aunty Barb (Barbara Kelly) also worked at the school.
Every year during the Christmas break, we kids would have free range of the bay, going out on my Uncle’s sail yacht, going to the the local dairy to get lollies.
Another memory I have of Oakura, was going to the fishing competitions they held before it was moved to Ruakaka. From what I can remember, my Uncle did the organising of that or helped out with it. I remember the massive Lion Red can that was blown up and put up at the main stage. Mum used to work in the local dairy for her time that she was in the bay with us kids. Another memory I have is of going to the rock pool, or the mermaid pool, not sure what people call it now. It was at the back beach, us kids were very rarely allowed to go to the back beach due to my Uncle not been able to see us from his house up on the hill.
One day I would love to take my son up there from Nelson and give him the same experience as I had when I was a kid.