Phantom ice-skater on Wellington’s streets

What part of this doesn't make sense?

This morning while walking through the streets of Wellington, I was bemused.

You can see there’s no snow and ice – it’s mid-summer here, you can see the pavement is cracked and uneven – so why is a pair of skates tethered to railing usually reserved for bikes?

The even more puzzling (and sad!) part of this is that Wellington doesn’t even have an ice rink. Someone is trying to say something. This railing is alongside the Wellington City Council chambers. Recently a young girl, having collected over 2,000 signatures, presented her petition (on behalf of the rate-payers) to the Council. A petition requesting that the Council build an ice rink in the city. Our Mayor Celia Wade-Brown thanked the petitioner saying that she was unable to commit to such a project at this time.

When I was a child we did have an ice-rink in the city. We also had a roller-rink alongside it. It was extremely popular, always busy.

My Polish-born father skated throughout his years growing up. There was a lake in front of his home which would freeze over in winter and serve as rink for the neighboring children. Everyone could skate, everyone could ski – it was part of life.

He used to take us to the rink in Kilbirnie nearly every weekend. We could choose whether to ice or roller skate, and he would sit on the seats beside the rink and look on with pride. Our efforts were pretty feeble but we had loads of fun. We loved it. There was no other feeling quite like gliding along the length of the rink, hearing the crunch of the ice under blade and seeing a spray of ice frosting as you turned. I longed to have a special costume – to be like the bigger girls in their sparkly pink leotards and make-up – but I didn’t have the talent or the grace. I spent a lot of time on my toosh.

I don’t know why the rink closed down, most likely the cost of maintenance and upgrade was too high and no-one was willing to take it on. Or perhaps it was just  victim of the redevelopment of the nearby site which included building an olympic-sized indoor pool.

If the council were to build a new ice rink in Wellington, the phantom skater wouldn’t have to tether her (the lining is pink) beautiful skates by the roadside, wouldn’t have to dull her blades on the harsh concrete, and could fulfill her dreams of gliding over ice.

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2 thoughts on “Phantom ice-skater on Wellington’s streets

  1. NZCanadian

    Having recently moved to Canada from New Zealand I have been introduced to iceskating (and hockey in the form of a novice team) and I was thrilled upon hearing that New Zealand would be hosting the USA vrs Canada 2011 ice-hockey games in time for my return trip. Unfortunately, being a Wellingtonian I would miss out on the chance to see the game without traveling to Christchurch, Auckland or Dunedin. Makes me wonder if it is time to change city’s or make the trip across the ditch to Australia.

    Reply
    1. Rossi Post author

      I think we just have to lobby the city council harder!!!! An ice rink in the capital city would be so fantastic, especially if it opened up the opportunity of seeing games of ice-hockey. Went to finals of the Stanley Cup once – got the last two tickets right up at the back. It was an awesome experience … would go again in a heartbeat.

      Reply

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