In early May, we held the annual Hutt Valley Rose of Tralee contest. This allows the Hutt Valley to select one from amongst those contestants who offer themselves as our Rose of Tralee.
The winner of the Hutt Valley title, goes forward to represent us at the National Final in early June. And the winner of that event will, in turn, go forward to represent the entire New Zealand Irish community at the international Rose of Tralee context in Kerry in mid August.
So it is no small deal! And the Hutt Valley has a proud tradition of success in the contest. The Hutt Valley Rose has gone on to win the National contest in 2002 (Vivien Lynch), 2005 (Esther Budding), 2006 (Emma Coffey), and 2008 (Aislinn Ryan). I have run the Hutt Valley Rose contest since 2002, so the Roses selected in that period are my Roses!
Well, not really, but I claim they are my Roses, although I studiously avoid being a Judge and having to make a decision or choose between contestants!
BUT - I do front the local event, and when it is our turn to host the National Final, I front a Friday evening function and so interview the Roses and try to provide them an opportunity to 'shine' in public.
And that happened again this year, although, it wasn't supposed to be that way.
So in early June I was agian, required to host a Rose function at the Irish Club, and to help out by assisting with the National Final. Oh, the pressures of fame!! (Yeah, right!)
Anyway, a few pix:
The Hutt Valley contest was won by Ailbhe Ryan.
New Zealand Rose!