Sylvie Montgomery has volunteered with other community members in Hororata to positively progress the township

Caring for the parish

by Ann van Engelen

Carol Gurney opened Carol’s Closet in Hororata to support the local St John’s Parish as the township continues to move forward after the September 4 earthquake in 2010.

“Sylvie Montgomery has been volunteering at the store since it opened three years ago. She has a natural flair for fashion, is amazing fun and generous with giving her time. She always gets the customers laughing,” says Carol.

St John’s stone church suffered damage from the earthquake, and the profits Carol’s Closet make is donated to the parish to help with the upkeep.

“The shop used to be the old library in front of the Hororata Hall.

Everything is donated — we have handbags, scarves, jewellery, shoes, evening gowns and hats. We focus on high-end clothing, which I steam clean and check for imperfections. What we don’t use is donated to the Salvation Army.”

Carol has a team of five volunteers including Sylvie.

“I love helping. We have regular customers, travellers passing through and people making special trips because they have seen our Facebook page,” says Sylvie.

“Carol’s Closet is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 11am to 3pm and closed during the school holidays. Eftpos is available, and there is a red bin outside for donations. If we are closed people can phone the number on the door, and we also have groups book to come. They often drop into the cafe for a delicious lunch, coffee or wine.

“Hororata community look out for each other, and it is a very progressive little town. We pulled together after the quake to solve issues ourselves. We organise events such as The Highland Games, the fete and the Night Glow hot air balloon event. The Highland Games and Night Glow attract 12,000 people every year.

“This Saturday, September 14, we have a Swap Meet at the Domain with people bringing car and motorbike parts and other items to sell. What we do helps the community and the parish, and we do that very well.”