Waiheke Marketplace : December 26th 2012
www.waihekemarketplace.co.nz 6 WAIHEKE MARKETPLACE, DECEMBER 26, 2012 NEWS Waiheke Shades & COVERS LTD ...ROLL OUT AWNINGS ...Shade Sails ...Roller Screens ...CLEAR PVC Outdoor Blinds ...Boat Canopies & Covers ...SAIL REPAIRS ...Horse Covers ...Truck Covers Phone to make an appointment 372 7700 or Tom 021 145 1008 / 027 635 1146 or Email email@example.com 13 Tahi Road, Ostend (Behind Te Matuku Oysters) All made here to order on Waiheke - no middle man! 4265668AG Quake shakes up flash mob founder The February 2011 Christchurch earthquake has been described by many who survived it as life-changing. Homes, careers, lifestyles and relationships were left as shaken, bruised and battered as the city's buildings and infrastructure. Gill Alcock meets one woman who has come through the experience and is taking her new- found look on life and running with it -- or dancing with it -- as she manages the World's Oldest Flash Mob. What next: The World's Oldest Flash Mob manager Billie Jordan promises an exciting 2013 for her merry troupe of hip-hop dancers. NOTES ON BILLIE Members of the flash mob had this to say about the new woman in their midst: Dianna Bartlett: ''She is an amazing young woman who deserves recognition for what she is doing for the older people on Waiheke.'' Rhona Weston: ''Billie has brought a lot of joy and stimulation into my life. She is so genuinely interested in older people. Her kindness astounds me.'' Geoff Tong: ''She's woken us geriatrics up a bit. She is a good motivator and very enthusiastic, in a nice way. It's good fun.'' Matthew Blackmore: ''I think she's absolutely marvellous. She remembers all our names and foibles and she's still nice to us -- it staggers me. She's a first rate person.'' Show stoppers: The first public performance by the World's Oldest Flash Mob brings Downtown Auckland to a standstill. Billie Jordan was just weeks into a new career with Christchurch City Council and hadn't yet moved into her newly purchased home. She and two col- leagues were in the CBD buying a lunchtime sandwich when the earthquake struck. While she was knoc- ked to the floor and trampled on by people rushing to get outside, her two workmates died under the collapsing building facades. In the immediate aftermath her civil defence role kicked in and she spent the next week answering phones in the city's art gallery that became the media and communications headquarters. She took the late shifts, working till 4am or 5am. Her rented accommodation was in the red zone and she wasn't meant to stay there. But with nowhere else to go and no family and friends in the city, she carried on sleeping on the floor with just her dog Buddy for company -- her two cats had gone missing. It was Buddy that forced Billie into making the decision to leave the city. Unable to be parted from Buddy, Billie had been taking her into work but after a week she was told the dog was a health and safety risk. Told to choose between Buddy or her job she chose her dog. Collecting her recently returned cats, Billie grabbed what she could, jumped in her car and drove. A halfway house on the Kapiti Coast was home for a while, then Palmerston North. The Christchurch house she had never been able to call home was sold -- at a loss -- and she made good the promise she had made to herself in the moments she lay on the floor while the earth rumbled around her. Billie says while all the shaking and destruc- tion was going on, time slowed down and she remembers thinking: This is it, I'm going to die getting a sandwich. If I survive this I am going to Waiheke and I'm going to live life like there is no tomorrow.'' In November 2011 she arrived on the island and moved into her new home on Whakarite. She knew nobody but that didn't matter. Billie had a new way of thinking about life. The earth- quake had seen to that. She no longer cared about having a career or gaining promotion. She wanted to live life to the full and through establi- shing the World's Oldest Flash Mob she met peo- ple with a similar atti- tude. She is happier now than she has ever been and the people she spends most of her time with are twice her age. Senior people are up for anything. They enjoy each other and have fun.'' The mob came about after Billie pitched the idea for a flash mob per- formance to a not-for- profit organisation keen for some promotion. Bil- lie was employed to put her idea into action. She then went round the island accosting anybody with grey hair till she had signed up a group of 80. Zumba king Rahman Saleh was employed to choreograph the troupe. After its successful debut performing a hip- hop number in down- town Auckland, Billie realised the group loved the experience so much it had to continue. So now my plan is to make them world famous,'' she says. The group is down in numbers but those that are left are all 100 per cent committed. Billie is promising to give them some really exciting adventures in 2013. It's going to be great,'' she says. I have so much respect for these people. I think about them 24/7. They're just so cool.'' She says the aim of the World's Oldest Flash Mob is to help reduce the stigma of ageing through entertainment. By using hip-hop I get senior citizens who are underestimated, con- nected to the other part of our population who are similarly underesti- mated -- teenagers. They have a lot in common and I want to join those dots so teenagers can look at senior citizens in a new light and senior citizens can understand and appreciate hip-hop culture.'' Billie has encouraged them to encompass com- puters and social media, and communicates with them through Facebook and Twitter. This sees her spending up to four hours a day chatting'' to mob members. It's addictive. The flash mob are a bunch of misfits that have become my family.'' And for a woman who survived the life chang- ing events in Christ- church and arrived on Waiheke knowing no- one, she is now part of a community. That's something I've never had before.''
December 19th 2012
January 2nd 2013