By Emily Norman

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Masterton Community Church Pastor Pete Hampson. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Masterton Community Church Pastor Pete Hampson. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Happy faces filled the Masterton Memorial Stadium yesterday as bellies were filled with Christmas Lunch.

The Room at the Inn Lunch, put on annually by the Masterton Community Church (MCC), served up hot vegies, meat, and pudding for about 200 people.

Pastor Pete Hampson from MCC said the free meal was for those in the community who were going through hardships, or would have otherwise spent Christmas alone.

“The heart of any community should be how generous it is to those that are struggling,” he said.

“This is something we’ve always wanted to do so that Masterton is known for something great.”

Mr Hampson said his dream would be that there would be no need for the special event – “that everybody in the community was connected and had somewhere to be, family to be with”.

“But until that happens we’ll be here.”

Chris Archer of Woodville and Ann-Marie Bengston of Pahiatua. Ann-Marie has been coming along to the lunch for eight years now. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Chris Archer of Woodville and Ann-Marie Bengston of Pahiatua. Ann-Marie has been coming along to the lunch for eight years now. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Children lined up to play on the bouncy castle that was set up, and fought over the Christmas crackers that lined about a dozen long dining tables.

People came from all over Wairarapa and further afar, including Ann-Marie Bengston from Pahiatua.

This was the eighth year she had come for the Christmas event.

“It’s just fabulous down here and it’s sad that the Town Hall is unavailable because of earthquake standards, but it’s very good to have somewhere that people can come,” she said.

 

Michelle Norman (middle), with two of her daughters Angel, left, and Michaela. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Michelle Norman (middle), with two of her daughters Angel, left, and Michaela. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Angel and Michaela Norman of Masterton open their Christmas crackers. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Angel and Michaela Norman of Masterton open their Christmas crackers. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

From left, Barbara Lambert and Barry Scobie from Masterton, and Gail MacKenzie of Featherston help dish out the food. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

From left, Barbara Lambert and Barry Scobie from Masterton, and Gail MacKenzie of Featherston help dish out the food. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Volunteers cook some Christmas meats on the barbecue supplied by Mitre 10 Mega. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Volunteers cook some Christmas meats on the barbecue supplied by Mitre 10 Mega. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and friends provide musical entertainment for guests. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and friends provide musical entertainment for guests. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and friends provide musical entertainment for guests. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and friends provide musical entertainment for guests. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Alexia Apiata, 7 and her brother Jodeci, 10 get ready to dig in to their Christmas feed. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Alexia Apiata, 7 and her brother Jodeci, 10 get ready to dig in to their Christmas feed. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Liz Kirkland, left, and Masterton District Councillor Deborah Davidson take registrations at the door. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Liz Kirkland, left, and Masterton District Councillor Deborah Davidson take registrations at the door. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Abinadi, Sam, Kathy, and Zenos Hapi from Masterton came to hear the choir sing. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Abinadi, Sam, Kathy, and Zenos Hapi from Masterton came to hear the choir sing. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Bill and Bev Hague of Masterton. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Bill and Bev Hague of Masterton. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Children line up for a selection of Christmas meats. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Children line up for a selection of Christmas meats. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Ezra Stobbart volunteering at the lunch. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Ezra Stobbart volunteering at the lunch. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Peter and Liz Hing. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Peter and Liz Hing. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Joe and Nadine Hawea of Masterton. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Joe and Nadine Hawea of Masterton. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and friends provide musical entertainment for guests. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and friends provide musical entertainment for guests. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and friends provide musical entertainment for guests. From left, Ben, Tuakana, and Kiri Riwai Couch, and Paremo Matthews. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and friends provide musical entertainment for guests. From left, Ben, Tuakana, and Kiri Riwai Couch, and Paremo Matthews. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Kids love the jumping castle on site. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Kids love the jumping castle on site. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Sisters Angel and Michaela Norman show off their candy cane haul. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Sisters Angel and Michaela Norman show off their candy cane haul. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Siblings Robin Lane and Jackie Cooper of Masterton. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Siblings Robin Lane and Jackie Cooper of Masterton. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Peter and Jackie Rimene of Masterton. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Peter and Jackie Rimene of Masterton. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Chris Archer of Woodville and Ann-Marie Bengston of Pahiatua. Ann-Marie has been coming along to the lunch for eight years now. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Chris Archer of Woodville and Ann-Marie Bengston of Pahiatua. Ann-Marie has been coming along to the lunch for eight years now. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Elsie Murray and Michelle Norman. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Elsie Murray and Michelle Norman. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Santa Claus. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Santa Claus. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Kids line up for desserts. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Kids line up for desserts. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN