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Hidden angels

The hidden angels that watch over us

The other day as I walking into work there was a man cleaning out the rubbish tin by the front doors to the building.

As I looked at him I was overcome by gratitude that there are people like him out there that will do this job on our behalf, and what a difference they make to our daily lives. Imagine what our streets would be like if no one did this job.

As I walked past the man I stopped and said, “Thank you. Thank you for doing this for us. We really appreciate it.”

The man looked up at me bemused as his gloved hands continued to pull refuse out of the bin.

He was unsure how to react and said nothing back to me but his body language said something different. He was pleased he had been acknowledged.

I was reminded of this today as I attended my Orientation Day as part of my induction process into my new job at the Wellington City Council. As the day unfolded I realised how much the Council does for its residents and how many hidden angels there are out there that make it all happen – managing and maintaining all those pipes below ground bringing us water and taking away our wastes, collecting the rubbish, maintaining the roads, the footpaths, parks, pools, recreation and community areas and many other things. I never really thought about the enormity of the Council’s role before.

Part of our day involved a tour around various parts of the city that the Council is responsible for. Our tour guide was full of information relating to the history of our city and the places we visited. As a born and bred Wellingtonian I was stunned by how much I learned and the richness of our city’s history.

First up was the City Archives. I didn’t even know this facility existed. As we were introduced to it and shown some examples of the types of documents they held there I couldn’t help but wonder about all the stories contained within these walls. It would certainly be a treasure trove for anyone exploring their family history.

Next we headed to the Botanic Gardens. First on the agenda was the history of the cable car.

Followed by a stop at the Dominion Observatory and Krupp Gun.

Dominion Observatory
Dominion Observatory

Krupp Gun
Krupp Gun

Our magic city
Looking out over Wellington Harbour

As we continued to walk through the gardens heading towards our waiting bus we learned more about the area and the art works housed here. I also discovered that the pine trees on the Glenmore Slopes surrounding the Listening and Viewing Device are of historic significance.

Listening and Viewing Device, Andrew Drummond, 1994
Listening and Viewing Device, Andrew Drummond, 1994

From here we headed out to Karori and visited numerous sites including the Karori library, the newest library in Wellington, and the cemetery.

Our final stop was WEMO, the Wellington Emergency Management Office. I had never been here before either and I was amazed by what we were shown. It was reassuring to know our city is as prepared as it can be for a disaster. Not only were we informed about the work of this office, we were also given loads of useful advice as to how we can prepare ourselves and our families for an emergency or unexpected disaster. This is particularly relevant to Wellingtonians as we are in such close proximity to a major fault line.

My eyes were opened today as to the enormous responsibility the Council has in ensuring the smooth running of our City. I came away from this orientation experience even more grateful to all those hidden angels out there who ensure everything runs smoothly so that we can go about our daily business.

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