Black Pearl

black_pearl_skelWestward Ho!

Oh yes it really is December, and Christmas really is only days away! Looking back to this time last year I might be expected to show some caution in my predictions for the Black Pearl over the coming months of storm and tempest. But no! The Pearl is more than a tangle of frayed rope and well-travelled timbers – she is Spirit now – she has the spirit of this bold and vibrant community of New Brighton within her. Voyages there will be, exotic, magical, fruitful and – at times, no doubt, totally unpredictable!

But Christmas now and a good time to say thank you to all those who have contributed in so many ways, over these two wonderful years, to the creation and the development of New Brighton’s Black Pearl. These contributions have been in the form of hands-on toil, in gifts of materials, gifts of thoughts and encouragement, gifts of hope and optimism, through friendship, turning out in the rain and the cold, in being there, in trying (and not always winning!), in enjoying our unique community creation and sharing those pleasures through our stories and photographs. Even that list isn’t exhaustive – a chocolate doubloon to anybody who names something I’ve missed!

We have had some great times over recent months. The Legend of the Black Pearl Exhibition at Marine point was very well received and attracted much attention. Many thanks are due to the Momentary Art Project for facilitating and launching this exhibition, and to all those who gave so freely of their time and energies to create this piratical fantasy island in New Brighton’s commercial heartland. Special thanks to Tracey Carmen and her wonderful young singers for their singing in the rain!

The Black Pearl Bonfire party was a great success. All thanks to the many people who came to celebrate Bonfire night by the Pearl – so good to see people of all ages gathered on the beach and along the prom enjoying this wonderful family evening together. Thanks to those who most generously added to the pleasure of all by helping with the bonfire and donating some amazing fireworks. As we would expect the Black Pearl crew were happy to be lighting touch papers and creating some very loud and colourful explosions!

Looking forward to Christmas I hope that this year the Beach Nativity will not be confounded with The Flood! I am confident that there will be one or two happenings around and aboard the Pearl in the weeks ahead. New Year will need to be seen in, and let that be in the traditional manner befitting New Brighton’s piratical community! I hope that we are blessed with fair wind and weather as the Pearl carries us gracefully into 2015.

The voyage of 2015 will be every bit as mysterious, exciting, inexplicable, frightening, joyful and rewarding as the imaginations of several thousand children, of whatever ages, can make it! We go forward into this year of possibilities with the hope, the wish and the expectation that our beloved Black Pearl will triumphantly ride the inevitable storms of 2015 – maybe, with a little help from her many, many friends.

The Black Pearl, New Brighton Frank Lund and Major C. Mace