Monday, September 28, 2015

Welly-moot #4.5, Elrond - report

Our Welly-moot #4.5 meeting was held last Sunday, 27 September at Embassy Theatre.

We started with a roundtable introduction for the new Welly-mooters; Elanor, Ayumi, and Noriko, and longtime absent but now returned Welly-mooter, Ryan. After some general updates from Jack and shared updates, we started talking about today’s theme "Elrond".

Gladly most of members had done some homework of researching about Elrond and we shared what we found. Jack started by presenting a short biography about Elrond; when he was born, his early life, his adult life, and his children. Especially interesting was that Elrond is not exactly half-Elf and half-Human but 9/16 Elf, 3/8 Human, and 1/16 Maiar.

The discussion continued about his parents and his children, especially Arwen about, and how she met Aragorn, and how Elrond felt about it.

The ultimate question posed was “Do you choose mortal life or immortal life? “ Elrond was given a choice and remained as an Elf but his brother Elros became a man.

Everyone had different views and opinions, and so the discussion was going on and on. We had good robust moot, indeed!

Sad news is one of our active members Seiko is leaving Wellington and going back to Japan. We originally met her at the Archway Opening Ceremony at Rivendell this year. We enjoyed having her with us, sharing her passion for Middle Earth. We will miss you, Seiko.

Good news is Ryan has come back to Wellington. He had left almost 3 years ago. Ryan, welcome back to New Zealand and we are happy to have you back. Let's hope it is permanent this time!

Next meeting is on Sunday 29th November. We are hoping to have a special guest for the last Welly-moot meeting this year. We will announce as soon as we can.

 Keep checking our website. Talk to you soon.

  - Alex

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Headsup - Welly-moot #4.5 ("Elrond") is tomorrow at 2:00pm!

Don't forget, the next Welly-moot will be held tomorrow September 27th, at the Embassy Cinema, at 2:00pm.

The subject will be Elrond, so let's see what interesting facts people can find out about him. Here's one: although Hugo Weaving ended up playing him in Peter Jackson's movies, apparently David Bowie expressed considerable interest in playing him also.

We'll see you there! Usual rules:

New members welcome!
Membership is free, and for life.
Bring money for coffee and/or cake from the Embassy Cafe.

  - Jack

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Stansborough Textiles reopens its doors!

Earlier this month, Welly-moot received an invite to the exclusive Grand Opening at Stansborough Textiles on Wednesday September 9th.

Stansborough, the company behind the Fellowship cloaks, has moved to their new venue in Petone, Lower Hutt. Unfortunately Jack was on a business trip in South Island, so one of the fellow Welly-mooters, Cinnamon, joined me (Alex) as representation of the Welly-moot. Cinnamon was a great companion and we met up with some very passionate people for arts and designs. It was a special night.

New gallery

Secret wardrobe

The tour of the hundred year old weaving machines – they are magnificent

Guess who we met! Alex with Daniel Reeve, Caligrapher, who created the maps, Bilbo’s book, and Thorin's contract in the Peter Jackson’s movies, Lord of the Rings and Hobbit.

The Grand Opening for the general public was today (September 13th), so go and check them out, or give them a call to arrange a tour!

  - Alex

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Welly-moot #4.5 - Elrond

At the end of this month, on September the 27th,  the next Welly-moot will be held once again at the Embassy Cinema, at the usual time of 2:00 pm.

Since we've reopened Rivendell here in the Wellington region earlier this year, we thought it might be interesting to see who runs the place, and how he got there. Lord Elrond, father of Arwen, is the topic of our discussion this meeting.

So come join us, bring your books (since Elrond has been around for quite a while, he's in quite a lot of the tales), and let's figure out his backstory, his relationship with Gandalf, and let's meet Arwen's mum, her brothers and her uncle.

The meeting will be open to new members again. Membership is still 100% free (although bring money for coffee and/or cake), and membership is for life. Please "Share" this post around your various social media hangouts.

See you all there!

  - Jack

Friday, July 31, 2015

Welly-moot #4.4 Mid-Year Christmas

On Sunday the 26th of July, the Welly-moot was held at the home of myself & Alex. I didn't mention this at the moot, but it was our 30th Tolkien get-together! Rather than a "proper" Tolkien-related theme, it was more of a purely social gathering this time, for existing members to get together and enjoy spending a very pleasant afternoon in each other's company.

Not much to report really; the food was excellent - thank you everyone for your contributions - and the conversation flowed well. A very special thank you to Cathy from Canada (not present at the moot, unfortunately) for providing the most excellent Maple flavoured coffee - I'd been saving it for a special occasion. :)

We all had an opportunity to meet with some of the regular members' less regular partners, which was really nice. I also had a chance to show off some of the more precious things in my collection, which seemed to be enjoyed by the group.

No real news to report this month. I'm still in talks with the relevant people about our special upcoming event (!), and I'm hoping to finally be able to go public on that soon. Keep watching this space!

One item - you may have noticed that the official Welly-moot pins, designed by our own member Annabel, are no longer available in Silver, just in the Bronze. If you don't have yours yet, order one soon! They look fantastic. To place an order, just click the "Add to Cart" button on the right hand side of the site.

For the people who had contacted me wanting to join this meeting but where not yet members - the next Welly-moot will be held as a normal meeting, with new members accepted again. Details are on our Calendar page.

I think the last meeting of this year, in November, will be a special one - it will mark the 5th anniversary of the existence of the group. Might have to have some prizedraws for that one!

Also: I'm taking suggestions for our September Welly-moot theme! Email/facebook message me!

  - Jack

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Coming up: Mid-year Christmas moot July 26th

This July the 26th, the Welly-moot will be held at the home of Jack and Alex, as a mid-winter Christmas moot (welcome to the southern hemisphere!). As this is our home, we won't be taking on new members this meeting.

Please RSVP via email to let us know you're coming, and to get the street address. If you're not sure if you're an existing member, drop me a line also!

The event will be the same as previous years, and we're once again aiming for a "bring a plate" lunch, so please bring something yummy to share. Home-cooked will receive the best compliments (hint!)...

Details of the lunch:

  • Arrive here at around 11:00am
  • Lunch will be served around 12:30pm
  • Finish when we're good-and-done

So, one more time - please send me an email to let me know you're coming. We cancelled last time due to lack of RSVP's.

My address is

  - Jack & Alex

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Welly-moot #4.3 report ("Gandalf")

Welly-moot 4.3 meeting was held last Sunday, 31 May at Embassy Theatre.

We started with Jack’s greeting and updates with some projects as usual. There were some exciting updates for the members. We promise that we will post them here on the Welly-moot site as soon as we are able to announce it officially. It won’t be too long so keep your eyes out for it.

Next, we took a moment to remember Andrew Lesnie, who passed away at the end of April. As fans of Sir Peter Jackson’s movies, especially ‘Hobbit’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’, we all know of Andrew’s contribution and passion for movies. You will be remembered, Andrew.

[Picture] Andrew Lesnie (1956–2015)


The theme of the day was “Gandalf” – What are your favourite passages in Tolkien's writings that describe Gandalf's wisdom, humour, and personality?

The most popular and famous one was this one:
“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us”
Alex shared her memory with Ian McKellen and her story why she came to New Zealand. She is not the only one to choose this quote, some other Welly-mooters from overseas have been inspired by this phrase also, and that is why they are in Wellington now.

There are some phrases from Gandalf are applied in our world as well. The phrase which Gandalf says to Denethor, Steward Gondor, when Denethor refuses to listen to Gandalf's advice on ruling the city. Denethor says "the rule of Gondor [...] is mine and no other man’s, unless the king should come again". Gandalf responds with:

"Unless the king should come again? Well, my lord Steward, it is your task to keep some kingdom still against that event, which few now look to see. In that task you shall have all the aid that you are pleased to ask for. But I will say this: the rule of no realm is mine, neither of Gondor nor any other, great or small. But all worthy things that are in peril as the world now stands, those are my care. And for my part, I shall not wholly fail of my task, though Gondor should perish, if anything passes through this night that can still grow fair or bear fruit and flower again in days to come. For I also am a steward. Did you not know?"
Gandalf is alone amongst the five wizards (or at least amongst the three we know) that he tries to own nothing, and rule nothing, and have no house of his own. Middle-earth is his terrain, and he keeps his eye on the larger picture.

Then there's the phrase from Gandalf to Frodo:

Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends."
This applies our world as well. No one has the right to make judgement for any lives to live or die.

Jack pointed a slightly different character of Gandalf in the book The Unfinished Tales. Gandalf appears to have known all along about Saruman's visits the the Shire, and about his secret addiction to the Halfling's weed. At the Great Council meeting held in 2851, Gandalf appears to have smoked for the first time in front of the council, and defended its use a a way to clear his mind. He recommends it to Saruman (actually knowing full well that he already uses it). Jack's quote isn't a quote as such, but a description of Gandalf's last response to Saruman, as the meeting come to an end:

Gandalf did not laugh again; and he did not answer, but looking keenly at Saruman he drew on his pipe and sent out a great ring of smoke with many smaller rings that followed it. Then he put up his hand, as if to grasp them, and they vanished. With that he got up and left Saruman without another word; but Saruman stood for some time silent, and his face was dark with doubt and displeasure.
Subtle as a brick, is our Gandalf.

As we all know that the common idea or image of Gandalf is ‘father’ figure. When Gandalf is saying good-bye to Hobbits, he says:

You must settle its affairs yourselves; that is what you have been trained for. My time is over: it is no longer my task to set things to rights, nor to help folk to do so. And as for you, my dear friends, you will need no help. You are grown up now. I have no longer any fear at all for any of you.

Here it goes. Not only people but Hobbits, Dwarves, and even Elves rely on him. Gandalf has such heavy responsibility (or burden) on his shoulder in the Middle Earth.

Gandalf is one of the most important and centre characters in Middle Earth. We think because of these characters we are enchanted by the stories of Tolkien’s.


All in all, a good meeting, and a terrific discussion. We're looking forward to the next one!