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ALEXIA.JOHNSTON

@alliedpress.co.nz

New Zealand’s good old days of the town hall dance are set to live on in St Bathans.

The town will host the popular social occasion for one night on April 13, with the aim of bringing people together as in the good old days, while also raising funds for a defibrillator.

St Bathans Area Community Association members came up with the idea after realising just how much the remote town relies on outlying areas during an emergency.

St Bathans is home to about 15 permanent residents and “hundreds” of visitors and holiday-makers over the warmer months.

The town closest to St Bathans with a defibrillator is Omakau, about 33km away.

Should a life-threatening emergency occur in St Bathans, first responders would be sent from either Ranfurly or Omakau – 30 to 45 minutes away.

Association member Alison Fitzgerald said the Blue Grass Country Dance could make all the difference, by raising the much-needed money for a defibrillator.

“It’s not just for the town, it’s for the local area.”

She said it was not yet known where the defibrillator would be placed, but confirmed it would be easily accessible within the town.

The dance will feature the Valley Bluegrass Band and special guest Jordan Luck from 6pm.

Festivities will start with an auction.

A range of items and experiences are up for grabs, including a “luxury” rail trail bike weekend and accommodation, a photo by Grahame Sydney, a Highlands park experience and vouchers, among others.