Tasman District and Nelson City councils will be discussing Easter trading policy.

Mayors Christmas Dinner may not be served

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Organisers of the Richmond Community Christmas Dinner are preparing for an extra busy day after it was announced that the traditional Mayors Christmas Dinner in Nelson may not go ahead for the first time in more than 30 years.

The Mayors Dinner, which is traditionally hosted by the region’s two mayors, has made Christmas Day a lot happier for up to 180 lonely senior citizens for more than 30 years. But this week Nelson City councillor Brian McGurk, who has coordinated the event for the last three years, told Nelson Live that he has other commitments and they can’t find a chef so the dinner may be canned.

And that’s likely to put the pressure on Holy Trinity Church which is hosting its third Richmond Community Christmas Dinner at the Richmond School Hall on Christmas Day. Holy Trinity vicar Susan Gill says the dinner attracted 130 people last year and they are expecting it to be oversubscribed this year if the  Mayors Christmas Dinner in Nelson doesn’t go ahead.

Although there appears to be a lack of enthusiasm for the Mayors Christmas Dinner in Nelson, Susan says the Richmond Community Christmas Dinner has received “amazing” support from the business community, churches and parishioners, as well as Teapot Valley Christian Camp who do the catering. She says churches across all denominations help out because it’s an opportunity to give back to their community.

Tasman mayor Richard Kempthorne says he will be disappointed if the Mayoral Christmas Dinner is canned but is delighted to be able to support community Christmas dinners in Richmond and Motueka.

“I’m not sure exactly what is happening in Nelson I had heard they are not having one. It’s been a great tradition so hopefully it comes together.

“I have always supported it but in the last few years I have also supported the dinners in Richmond and Motueka so I’ve decided to put everything into these other two this year.”

The Richmond dinner will be held in the Richmond School Hall on Christmas Day from 11.30am. Admission is by koha but people must register beforehand at the Richmond Mall or Age Concern or by emailing [email protected]