Raising the Pole By Patrick Downey

Last week a new power pole was installed at the centre as part of the electricity upgrade project.  I watched the pole lifted into position by crane in a scene reminiscent of a flagpole raising ceremony that I witnessed at a sagadawa festival in Tibet ten years ago.

In that ceremony the massive pole was covered in prayer flags and was circumambulated by chanting monks, supervised by Chinese riot police, and photographed by my trekking group. The successful setting of its position was taken as an omen of good fortune for Tibet for the coming year.

Our power pole raising was accompanied by the sound of diesel engines of the crane and digger, directed by linesmen in hi-viz, and photographed duly by the caretakers. Its positioning was a success and is surely a good omen for the coming year for the Wangapeka.

Postscript – although the power pole is in place there are still visits from the electrician and surveyors that need to happen before everything is finished and online