Colin Gibson Northern Tour October 2012

Report on the Colin Gibson Workshops Northern Tour
From Gaynor McCartney

We had a wonderful time on the tour.
The local organisers all did a splendid job, including meeting Colin’s plane at Whangarei at short notice when I was stranded in Warkworth with my car getting fixed. This all made life run smoothly for Colin and me.
The atmosphere at each workshop was excellent and we felt everyone enjoyed it all as well as appreciating learning the hymns and hearing many of their stories.
We had a lot of fun, met a lot of wonderful people. It was all just great.

One aspect of the fun we had :- These Hills Workshops have a custom of giving Colin a gift at the end of each series. This time we decided to give him something small and amusing at the end of each workshop. Each one gets a bit closer to “the limit”. So near the end of the St Matthew’s hymnfest, when John Thornley announced I was to say a few words Colin wondered what on earth could be coming next. We had decided to celebrate the first 40 years of Colin Gibson hymns.  Yes – Colin has been writing and publishing hymns since 1972.
For this special occasion, unknown to Colin, his son John and I had worked on a ditty (to John’s tune for “Matthew was a lonely Man”, HiOS 99).

John played the piano wonderfully. The congregation all sang and Colin was completely taken by surprise – much to John’s and my delight.
The Ditty
Colin was a busy man
Way back in seventy two
Someone needed a special song
They said we¹ll leave it to you
At the piano his fingers did dance
Ideas flowed and notes advanced
When sung at the conference all were entranced
God had inspired this man
Forty years on and hundreds of songs
Still flying from his pen
New Zealand images  our own words
Speak of where we live
Confronting injustice and finding the joy
In each day and every girl and boy
I imagine God is singing along
To the latest Colin song

Many many wonderful memories created in that week of music and stories.

The Bookstall was busy too which means the hymns get spread and used in a nice lot more parishes – ecumenically.

On the Sunday we’d been at St Matthew’sRadio NZ’s Spiritual Outlook, interviewing Colin, his son John, and others about Colin’s life in Hymn-writing.

Thanks to all those involved.
I now have to contact the authors and composers of the hymns we used, for their copyright permission to make a DVD / put the files online.
I’ll send out a newsletter to those who left us their email addresses.

Lots to do. It will extend the enjoyment for me.


From Don H.
As one of those involved with the workshop at Mairangi Bay, all I can say is thank you to Gaynor for getting the series of workshops/seminars off the ground. They were a wonderful experience, and many learnt a number of very interesting new songs.

At Mairangi Bay we were also thrilled to have Robyn Allen-Gouge [Methodist minister at Devonport], who shared how she uses various NZ songs with her young people.

I particularly enjoyed learning the background to many of the songs and this made them come alive in a new way.

One of the highlights for me was to see the enthusiasm and sheer exhilaration in the eyes of our soon to be 80-year-old organist. I am sure we are in for some great times as she introduces the various songs learnt.

So, thank you Gaynor, and thank you Colin for your creativity and for sharing so much with us.