Friday 20 October 2017

Yorkshire Day celebrated Down Under

Ex-pats in New Zealand will eat Yorkshire puddings to celebrate Yorkshire Day
Ex-pats in New Zealand will eat Yorkshire puddings to celebrate Yorkshire Day

A tiny rural town in New Zealand will be the first community in the world to celebrate Yorkshire Day this year.

Waiuku, which has around 7,000 residents, including a high number of ex-pats from the region, will start the August 1 event on Tuesday due to their 11-hour time difference.

Revellers in the North Island town, near Auckland, will cut a cake to a rendition of Yorkshire anthem On Ilkley Moor Baht 'at, watch screenings of Yorkshire films and feast on fish and chips and Yorkshire puddings.

Organiser Ron Bird, who is originally from Pocklington near York but moved to New Zealand with his wife and two children 43 years ago, told the Yorkshire Post: "This will be the third year we have held such a celebration in Waiuku.

"The first year we got 68 ex-pat Tykes, then 89 last year, and we are hoping for 100 this year."

He said it was a great way for he and his wife Sylvia to remember what they left behind, but added: "Being surrounded by so many Yorkshire people, we both still have kept our accents."

In Britain, Yorkshire Day - a celebration of the county's culture held on the same day every year since it began in the mid-1970s - will be marked with the five-day Festival of Yorkshire in Scarborough and Ilkley's town crier will deliver a traditional Yorkshire Day declaration.

Organisers of the Festival of Yorkshire said they were "absolutely thrilled" to be sharing the festivities with Waiuku.

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