Stories and Press Realeases

How the piano came to Paekakariki on March 18, 2012

by Mary Gow


The Mulled Wine concerts in Paekakariki sometimes need a piano at the Memorial Hall on the Parade.

Last week the organiser, Mary, was beset by a bizarre set of circumstances. Her usual piano supplier informed her at the last minute that his piano was in Auckland. Her usual moving company could not get to akl to retrieve the piano at such short notice.

She used all her negotiating skills to convince another piano importer to get a piano to Paekakariki. He promised her a brand new Schimmel, a German piano, still in its crate, having just arrived from Germany. He said he would pay the transport costs. Hugely relieved she breathed a sigh of relief.

She phoned, as instructed on Saturday morning at 07.00 to Mainfreight only to hear that her piano had been loaded onto the wrong truck and that her piano would arrive on Monday morning. She explained that the concert was on Sunday afternoon and that it was needed as soon as possible. There began the problems as Mainfrieght then had to find a driver to bring that truck to Wellington. It set off at 12.30 from Auckland.

By now, she was getting a little agitated as there was still the problem of getting it from Wellington and getting it tuned before the pianist could play it.

The Wellington movers, Kaden and Munro Shannon were on hold - they went to collect the piano at 10pm on Saturday night, promising her that the piano would be at the Hall by 06.30 the following morning.

But on Sunday morning SH1 was closed due to another fatal accident at Pukerua Bay Hill, meaning that they had to take the less desirable Paekakariki hill Road. He arrived and began to take of the shipping casing and got the piano inside the hall. Mary and the tuner removed the action of the piano and did all the preparations to unblock the hammers and unscrew this and that. At 10.30 the pianist arrived hoping to have a couple of hours practice. At noon, it became clear that due to the weather conditions, the humidity was causing some problems and a hairdrier was called for. The pianist held the hairdrier and the tuner worked away. The heaters were on in the hall to dry the atmosphere. The pianist played again. The tuner tuned again. At 2 pm the public started to arrive and were amazed to see the huge black shiney instrument.

At 2.35 Mary relaxed as Michael Endres played the first notes of Mendelssohn.


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