Newspaper Reports.

 

More moas planned for Alford Forest


By Sharon McDonald of the Ashburton Guardian 31/5/00.

The loss of the famous Alford Forest Store moas may only be temporary, following plans by the community to rebuild them in the district's domain. The life-sized steel and wire moas, which sat outside the Alford Forest Store for the past 10 years, were sold last month to the Bealey Hotel at Arthur's Pass, owned by infamous moa sighter, Paddy Freaney. Mr Freaney made a name for himself in 1995 when he claimed to have seen a moa in the bush on the West Coast. The sale upset many in the district, who believed the landmark birds were part of the community and a real tourist attraction for the area. Now the community has come up with a plan to put Alford Forest back on the tourist map
and satisfy any moa withdrawal symptoms within the district. With the help of original moa designer and builder, Clive Seddon, the community hopes to rebuild two new moas, as part of a domain redevelopment project. Chairman of the Alford Forest Domain Board, Danny Symons, said board members were currently looking for a home for the extinct birds. The community wants to start afresh and put the loss of the original moas behind it.
We are fortunate in having strong support for the project as well as the expertise of Clive Seddon, builder of the original moas. The current moa project has been a catalyst for plans to redevelop the domain area further.
We've got a lot of ideas floating around, including the making of a public lay-by, a parking area, a picnic area and perhaps even a children's playground. We also have a few fund-raising schemes in hand. The community is really looking forward to getting the focal point of the area back again. Long-time Alford Forest resident Ken Lowe said statistics show a significant number of people move through the area each year and the community hopes to make the domain into an area which will entice visitors to stop and take a break. It will probably be their needs which will dictate the direction in which we move - but for now we just want to get the moas up and in full view of the road, then we'll start from there.


145K.
 

Photo Mark Taylor, Ashburton Guardian Alford Forest Domain Board members,
Ken Lowe (left) and Danny Symons (chairman) mull over the placement of two new life-size moas, planned for the district's domain.



Moas back in Alford Forest


By Sharon McDonald of the Ashburton Guardian 24/8/00.

After four months absence, a pair of New Zealand Moas has returned to Alford Forest, looking very much improved on their former selves. The life size birds have replaced the famous Alford Forest Store moas, sold to the Bealey Hotel at Arthur’s Pass in April of this year. The hotel’s owner, Paddy Freaney, made a name for himself in 1995 when he claimed to have seen a moa in the bush on the West Coast. The new steel and wire Moas have a new home outside the Alford Forest Hall. They were rebuilt by Clive Seddon who created the original pair over a decade ago. Prior to work on the project, Mr Seddon visited moa expert, Beverley McCulloch at the Christchurch Museum, to obtain precise measurements of the birds, which he considers to be exact replicas of the now extinct Moa. Mr Seddon said the moa frames are made of 12mm steel rod covered with bird netting and the ‘feathers’ created from tensile 12 gauge fencing wire. The ‘‘Mark 11’’ models are much improved on the prototype Moas which stood in front of the Alford Forest Store for more than 10 years. The heads are more detailed and the birds have more ‘feathers’, at least 6000 of them, individually placed on the birds by members of the Alford Forest community. Mr Seddon said he was impressed with the enthusiasm the community has shown for the project. ‘‘We’ve had four working bees with up to 55 people at each one - the strong community spirit has been overwhelming,’’ he said. Alford Forest Domain Board chairman, Danny Symons said the community wanted to put the loss of the original moas behind it. The project helped to draw the community together and ended up being ‘‘a lot of fun’’, he said. It has been a catalyst for plans to redevelop the domain area further, he said. The board will now concentrate on landscaping the area around the moas, similar to the natural vegetation which would have been prevalent in the area before the birds became extinct. Plans to make the moas’ eyes reflective at night time are also under way. The moas will be officially opened at the district’s 125th celebrations in February.

View larger photo (190.7Kb)

Photo Peter Hight 210800-19 Moa designer and builder, Clive Seddon (front) explains construction details of the giant birds to Alford Forest Domain Board chairman, Danny Symons and member, Ken Lowe.


Back to Moa page.
Home


 

Mobile: 021 2164 222 or 027 626 75 26 Website: http://www.wildlifesculptures.co.nz/

1