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Fantastic fundraising . . . Hospice South Canterbury volunteers Barbara Collins (left) and Raewyn Guise show off this year's hospice fundraising tea towels, which feature the now-demolished Hydro Grand. PHOTO: THE COURIER FILES

2018 was an eventful year for South Canterbury. The Courier reporters Greta Yeoman, Claire Allison and Chris Tobin look back at some of the leading stories of the year’s papers.

Commemorative fundraiser tea towels made the paper on December 6, as Hospice South Canterbury launched its 2018 tea towel fundraiser featuring the Hydro Grand.

While the building may have gone, the memories live on – this time in people’s kitchens.

The set of three souvenir tea towels include images of the old hotel, accompanied by quotes and song lyrics. The quintessential line from Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi – they paved paradise and put up a parking lot – was particularly prescient.

Volunteer Raewyn Guise spent hours looking for book and song titles and quotes to accompany the images, but said she had to give credit to a commenter on a Facebook post about the demolition of the Hydro for the Big Yellow Taxi reference.

“It was just after it was pulled down, and someone said, ‘The song says it all’ . . . they should probably get a free tea towel for that.”

Speaking to The Courier in mid-December, Orbell St Hospice Shop manager Karyn Lewis said the tea towels were selling “very steadily”.

She expected demand for the fundraising items to increase as Christmas got closer.