Life on the road to River Valley Lodge
How did that happen?
If you asked me whether I thought I’d end up here, at River Valley, 18 years ago, I’d honestly have said no, but after thinking about it, my journey here began in the 70’s when on one of my first international tours.
That tour, Walt Disney’s World on Ice travelled with over 200 world class skaters.
Travelling with these people was my introduction into becoming aware of what we eat and the impact our actions have on our planet. After a couple of months I couldn’t help but embrace the organic movement and I became aware of where our food comes from. In our down time I learned what a wwoof was (willing worker on organic farms) as that was what we would do in our breaks in Europe and the Americas. Bill Mollison’s book on permaculture became my bible of life so to speak.
Then in the 80’s, working with Michael Jackson taught me about love, kindness to others and caring for humanity. The kindness Michael showed to others, young or old, black or white, for no other reason than he cares, changed me forever. The power of kindness!
Working with Paul Kelly, the Australian singer songwriter, took me to the Australian outback. We did a tour with a bunch of equipment, a generator and a flatbed truck spending 8 months travelling to Aboriginal settlements from Perth across the top of Australia ending in Cairns. We would just setup and start playing for free at each settlement. I was fortunate enough to spend lots of time with aboriginal elders learning about how important the land was, bush tucker and the importance of family.
Finally I ended up working with Linda and Paul McCartney who really helped get vegetarianism, the awareness of what we eat and animal welfare into the main steam. Linda’s team cooked for us every day and showed us all we could survive without fast foods and how to leave the smallest foot print possible with our actions.
After being lucky enough to find my wife, who grew up in Taihape, we settled in New Zealand. As often as we could we would come to Taihape to visit my Father in Law, who for 18 years would say to me, you need to go visit my friend Brian (Sage), he has a great love for music and you may be able to connect in some way. This never happened. Granddad past away last year so we decided to move into the family home in Taihape.
At last, after 35 years travelling around the world I did turn off state highway 1 at the Gretna Hotel, drove along one of the best roads in the world to end up in paradise. River Valley Lodge, an organisation that does care about the land, that does care about humanity and does care about the footprint they leave on this planet.
Now it’s my turn to spread the message, to try and show the world the beauty of this Rangitikei Paradise in a responsible, renewable way, so it will be here for my children and their children.
Hi, my name is Rob Henry, and I’m proud to say that I’m the new sales and marketing manager at River Valley Lodge (or as we say, show, tell and share). I hope to meet you in paradise sometime soon.