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Birds of a feather

wta090617supduck01 Gaye Gough and Vin Gough, left, and Melvin Pike (here with his buff orpington drake), all from the Wairarapa Poultry and Pigeon Club, present Regent 3 Cinema owner Brent Goodwin with a tray of eggs to thank him for screening the film Pecking Order, which features several club members. PHOTO/GERALD FORD

By Gerald Ford

A few Wairarapa folk with an affinity for feathered creatures feature in a film now on show in Masterton.

Pecking Order, a documentary by Slavko Martinov, covered the Christchurch Poultry, Bantam and Pigeon Club last year as it celebrated 150 years and prepared to hosts the NZ National Poultry Show.

Being a national show, several members of the Wairarapa Poultry and Pigeon Club travelled down, were interviewed, and appear in the film, including club president Melvin Pike.

Martinov spent hundreds of hours interviewing the poultry and pigeon enthusiasts before and during the show – as he humorously documents their obsession with breeding, feeding and presenting the perfect bird.

Wairarapa club member Vin Gough appears in his role as a judge of the pigeon section, and president Melvin Pike has three brief speaking parts of “about 10 seconds each”.

Mr Pike is also the president of the North Island association.

Other locals to be include Leonie Wilson, who breeds silkies, David Pool, a poultry heavy breeds specialist, and Jean Paget.

Gaye Gough was interviewed but does not appear in the film, which shows a few trade secrets that might be amusing to the novice.

In the film the Christchurch club’s veteran president, Doug Bain, is shown washing his white silkie in the sink with Lux flakes, and following with a hair dryer.

“I use Softly,” says Mr Pike.

“We think it’s just normal because we see it all the time,” Mrs Gough said.

However she notes the film is also a homage to the trials and tribulations of voluntary organisations.

Martinov “realized there was all this political infighting going on”, – and the film documents a move to to displace Mr Bain from his longserving role, Mrs Gough said.

“Any group of people with a committee finds these sorts of problems.”

Mr Pike said he was watching the film at the Masterton cinema with his grandson, who was six, without giving away the secret that he was in it.

“He yelled out, ‘That’s my Pop!” and the whole theatre just erupted in laughter,” Mr Pike said.

Another ‘character’ in the film is Brian Glassey, Mr Pike said, pointing to a man on the film poster.

“He’s a character. He’s got more poultry in his house than people.”

The Wairarapa Poultry and Pigeon Club is holding its annual show this weekend at Solway Showgrounds.


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