Sealord sets sail for Santa Parade

22:53, Dec 12 2013
Santa Parade
AHOY THERE: Sealord boat builders, John Lunn, left, Jerico Tejero, Dianna Walton and Setareki Sauira on their float that will feature in this Sunday's Leader Nelson Santa Parade.

In true pirate fashion old materials have been plundered from a Sealord dry store to build an impressive pirate ship float for Sunday's Leader Nelson City Santa Parade.

An old wooden packing case and other discarded material have been well and truly recycled for the project, which started in October.

"We initially just wanted to put an entry into the parade, but had no idea what that would be," said Sealord administration team leader, Karen Bidlake.

Santa Parade
WORK IN PROGRESS: The wooden packing case before it was transformed into a pirate-themed float.

Since a big blue pirate ship was chosen, the project has grown and a crew of people have been involved behind the scenes, from getting costumes for the children who will ride onboard on Sunday, to sourcing all the supplies for the ship.

"Nearly everything you see on the boat has been recycled from something else, it was a matter of what was in the yard that we could utilise," said Mrs Bidlake.

"After seeing the packing case, which is simply a large wooden box, we thought that we could definitely do something with that."


The boat is made of mix wood, cardboard and acrylic paint, that administrator Dianne Walton found lying around her house. Mrs Walton said the project has been a great team building exercise with more than 20 people contributing.

The boat also contains realistic nautical decals like a lifebuoy that had lost its buoyancy on the stern of the boat and a ship's wheel that they borrowed from the Anchor Bar and Grill. A creative variety of finishing touches have also been added to the boat.

Storeman Jerico Tejero has painted on marine life illustrations and elegant patterns while warehouse manager John Lunn has hooked up a battery powered stereo so ambient sea sounds like seagulls and rolling ocean waves can play as the float makes its way down Trafalgar St.

Mrs Walton said at first she was expecting a basic boat, "however everyone has really let it rip and it looks awesome."

■The Leader Nelson City Santa Parade starts at 1pm this Sunday at the Church Steps goes along Trafalgar St and ends at Trafalgar Park for a Carnivale and the Outdoor Recreation Expo.