John as Bjorn Borg

Who says council employees don’t have fun? On Friday, July 27th Te Ahu staff pulled out several stops as they represented Team Sweden in an internal FNDC Olympic Challenge. It should be noted the Council staff’s representation of their Scandinavian cousins was not to be construed in any way as being unpatriotic. It was just a little fun.

Kaitaia staff  were initially disappointed when they selected Sweden from a hat. It was difficult to find a clear point of distinction for the country. But library, service centre, I-Site and other Te Ahu employees made the best of the opportunity. They each chose a Swedish name for the day. It is interesting to note that Viking roots are still to be found in the meaning of many Swedish names. For instance, Hillevi, Kaitaia senior librarian Helen Yuretich’s choice for the day, means ‘healthy battle maid’.

Smorgasbord is a Scandinavian term, so council staff shared a sumptuous morning feast. It was just a little disappointing no one chose to bake the Nordic standby Sexy Swedish Buns, which feature blueberries, by the way.

Although he never competed in an Olympic event Björn Borg is perhaps the best known of Swedish athletes. In the course of his illustrious career the ‘Ice Man’ was victor in five consecutive Wimbledons and a host of other major tournaments. Librarian John Haines (see above) had to don a wig to impersonate the revered Swedish tennis star.

Swedish band ABBA dominated the charts from 1972 to 1982 so a little of their music was played for the beginning of the FNDC Olympic Challenge at Te Ahu.

My thanks to Don Hammond for the photo.


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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See

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