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Plucky bunch . . . Temukalele Tamariki meets at the Temuka Library on Monday afternoons. PHOTO: GRETA YEOMAN

by Greta Yeoman

Pop into the Temuka Library on a Monday afternoon, and you might find a small group happily strumming away on ukuleles.

The town now has its own ukulele group, complete with a catchy name – Temukalele.

Its younger spin-off, Temukalele Tamariki, is for school children and meets at the Temuka Library on Monday afternoons, while the main Temukalele group gathers at St Peter’s Anglican Church Parish Centre in Dyson St on Thursday evenings.

While the popularity of the four-stringed instrument in Temuka might not match that of neighbouring Geraldine, which hosts the the annual Geraldine UkeFest, it has a small and dedicated fanbase attending the weekly gatherings.

Organiser Stevie, who did not want his last name used, said about nine children attended the Monday afternoon sessions, and about 10 or more came on Thursday evenings. He was planning on calling the group the Temuka Ukulele Group when the name Temukalele popped into his head.

“Everyone laughs but I think the name will stick.”

Member Jane Sutherland attends both groups, including joining her grandchildren on Monday afternoons.

It was “really relaxed” and also gave young Temuka residents the chance to develop their talents, she said.

“It’s amazing how fast they pick it up.”

The Monday afternoon group had originally run later in the day, but the children tired easily after a day at school so it was shifted to 3.30pm, Stevie said.

However, Ms Sutherland said the Thursday evening sessions were popular with younger residents during the school holidays.

Temukalele Tamariki is for young people and is free. It is based at the Temuka Library and begins at 3.30pm on Mondays. The Temukalele group meets at St Peter’s Anglican Church Parish Centre in Dyson St on Thursdays, from about 6pm.

For more details or to join either group, contact Stevie on 27562-9135.