Lynley Dodd to speak at the Dowse

SIMON EDWARDS
Last updated 09:43 12/02/2013
HUThairyweb

It all began: ‘‘Out of the gate and off for a walk went Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy...’’

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Hairy Maclary author Dame Lynley Dodd is coming home to the scruffy dog's first stamping grounds later this month, in a link-up with the Rotary Club of Hutt Valley's reading recovery work in schools.

Dame Lynley was living in Pomare Rd when she first dreamed up Hairy Maclary and fellow mischief makers such as Schnitzel von Krumm and Bottomley Potts.

A personal appeal from local Rotarian and real estate agent Lorraine Girvan, who sold the Dodd's house when they moved north to Tauranga, did the trick.

Lorriane explained to the author, via Penguin, that the Rotary Club of Hutt Valley runs an engraved brick project outside the Dowse art museum, with some of the money raised supporting the Duffy Books in Homes project, and the reading recovery work Rotarians help out with at high decile Rata St, Pomare and Epuni Schools.

At a Rotary in the Community Day at the Dowse on Saturday, February 23, Dame Lynley will give a short talk about how she created her characters and the importance of developing a love of reading in children.

There will also be an unveiling of the image of Hairy Maclary engraved into 15 bricks on the walkway outside the art museum.

For sponsorship of $120 for text, or $250 for a company or organisation logo, families and firms could mark their affiliations to the Hutt with an engraved brick on the Dowse walkway.

Since it began in 2007, the project has made gross profits of more than $50,000, with $14,000 going to the Dowse Foundation, and $20,000 going to Rotary projects.

"We're also trying to build up a history of the businesses and individuals that make up the Valley.

"We're going to put some of their stories, and people's affiliations with the Hutt Valley or connections to the Dowse, on a website," Mrs Girvan says.

As well as visiting the three local schools daily to help youngsters improve their reading, Rotary Club of Hutt Valley members have also held landscaping working bees at the schools.

At 9am on February 23, at Dowse Art Museum, mayor Ray Wallace will unveil the Hairy Maclary bricks.

Dame Lynley will speak and at 10am there is a chance for people to get their Hairy Maclary books signed by the author - You can bring them from home, or purchase them on site.

Bricks will also be on sale.

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