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Flight of fancy: Cheeky Tintin the Indian ringneck parrot with owner Oriana Follas, 10, of Albany.
Photo: BEN WATSON
Tintin's big adventure
By MICHELLE ROBINSON
I didn't think they'd
bring the whole fire
engine. I thought
it must be really bad.
Oriana Follas, 10
How many men does it take to
rescue a parrot from behind a
Four firemen apparently.
The Albany fire crew had to
cut a hole in a kitchen cabinet
for Tintin the Indian ring-neck
parrot to escape out of.
The young blue-coloured bird
got stuck after attempting to fly
His clipped wings had grown
just enough for him to reach the
top of the cabinet, but not
enough to stop him from falling
Owner Howard Follas of
Albany rang for help after he
was unable to coax him out.
It was one of those cases
where you don't know what to
do. I was blank.''
Tintin's often allowed out of
his cage but had never flown
He can flutter softly but
We didn't realise his
feathers had grown so much,''
He showed his true charac-
ter at the wrong time.''
Tintin was a bit quieter than
usual when the we visited and
needed a bit of encouragement
to come out of his cage for a
It was Mr Follas' 10-year-old
daughter Oriana who suggested
the fire brigade be called to res-
Oriana calmed down when
she knew help was on its way
but burst into tears again when
she saw the firefighters.
I didn't think they'd bring
the whole fire engine. I thought
it must be really bad,'' she says.
But the boys soon reassured
her they weren't out of their
They told me funny stories
about animals they've rescued,
like a calf that got stuck down a
ditch. It was okay.''
Firefighters have rescued
cats out of trees, off roofs and
even a seagull that got stuck
between a building and an office
window, distressing staff.
The Follas family was very
impressed with the firefighters'
efforts to rescue their pet.
I couldn't believe it.
They were here for the best
part of an hour,'' Mr Follas
He eventually coaxed Tintin
out of the hole after firefighters
The little bird is none the
worse for wear, but perhaps a
Year of Rabbit welcomed in
Fan dance: Dana Choi from the Korean Traditional Music and Cultural Group performs the fan dance.
Photo: JAKOB SCHMITT
A record crowd of around 8000
ushered in the Year of the Rab-
bit at the Chinese and Korean
New Year Festival in North-
Northcote centre manager
Dean Wilson says a cultural
show featured performances
with a strong focus on the
They included promising
North Shore band The Hangar
from the Philippines and four
hip-hop groups from across
Auckland that dished out high
The main celebration the fol-
lowing day saw a deluge of
visitors that made the town cen-
tre come alive with colour, cul-
ture and Asian cuisine. The
main stage was once again in
full swing with a variety of
Chinese, Korea, Taiwanese,
Highlights included a spec-
tacular Chinese acrobat show
by the Flaming Phoenix Enter-
tainment Group, performances
by North Shore Chinese
Society, tae kwon do demon-
stration by the Se Jong Team,
dance from the Macang Dance
Company and the Lion Dance
from the Epacs Dragon and
Lion Dance Team.
Other highlights included an
art exhibition on the life of New
Zealander Rewi Alley, a prolific
writer about 20th century
China who established many
technical schools there.
There was also a have-a-go
marquee set up by Harbour
Sports featuring badminton,
golf, netball, petanque, rhyth-
mic gymnastics and tennis.
Norman King Square was used
throughout the festival by
Chinese folk band Silk Road
and featured a preschool
activity area hosted by the Bir-
kenhead Northcote Community
NORTH HARBOUR NEWS, FEBRUARY 18, 2011
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