The biggest event of Allan Portis’ year has been cancelled.
The Waitaki Old Boys’ Anzac Day concert organiser is disappointed to have called off this year’s concert, at the Waitaki Boys’ High School Hall of Memories, due to Covid›19. It is the second time the event has been cancelled in recent years, as the 2020 edition could not go ahead due to lockdown.
Mr Portis said more than 200 people would have attended, but organisers needed to keep the community, especially the senior citizens who regularly enjoyed the concert, safe.
‘‘I’m kind of disappointed too, because it’s the biggest day of my year,’’ Mr Portis said.
‘‘We’ve got a cast of people ready to go and anxious to go.’’
However, the concert will return next year with crowd favourites Rebecca Ryan, Calla Knudson-Hollebon, Jason Henderson, Ron Newton, and Oamaru pipers Jonty Nelson and Paul Olsen. ‘‘It’s the same procedure as 2020 — we just rolled it to 2021.’’
Mr Portis said last year’s concert was the best yet, with a record crowd of 400 people.
‘‘We had it cooking for one year. It was the variety and we like to provide something for everyone.’’
Waitaki Boys’ rector Darryl Paterson said it was sad the concert had been cancelled.
‘‘It was a huge success last year. . .and has certainly grown in popularity over the past few years,’’ Mr Paterson said.
‘‘The quality of music in the hall was outstanding.’’
The Hall of Memories will still be open on Anzac Day from 1pm for people to visit. The school will host its traditional Anzac Day service on May 2.
‘‘How that looks will depend on the Covid restrictions at the time.’’