It’s a circus out there

It’s showtime, Mike Turinsky and Jasmine with performers of Cirque Grande. Time photo Wayne Martin

Everyone loves a good Samaritan.

However they’re not always thanked for all their selfless work in the community.

This time it was different as Mike Turinsky of Young Life NZ Trust (which works with young people in the community to help them reach their full potential) and Jasmine Yang of  Jasmine Trust (which helps immigrants settle down), decided to change that.

They invited community groups and volunteers who work tirelessly to make the Howick, Botany and Flat Bush a better place to live in, to a free opening night of Cirque Grande, the new circus at Murphy’s Bush Reserve.

The rain certainly didn’t stop people from pouring in for the opening show of the entertaining and interactive circus that had kids enthralled by gravity-defying feats of the acrobats and performers.

The stands were full with volunteers from the Salvation Army, Youthtown, St John’s Ambulance, Flat Bush Neighbourhood Support Group, Martist Eastern Junior Rugby, Pakuranga Chinese Association, Korean Positive Ageing and Hilltop Heights Neighbourhood Group–to name a few.

“We reached out to local community organisations to extend the Cirque Grande’s invitation to their members,” said Turinsky.

The highlight of the circus was the Globe of Death that had five young motorcyclists zooming in and doing hoops at high speed as they showcased their synchronised acrobatic skills in a meshed sphere ball.

Jeni Hou, a third generation owner of the circus, said that when she first came to New Zealand 19 years ago, she got in touch with Auckland Councillor Paul Young who used to be an event organiser who got international acts to SkyCity.

Knowing that she came from a family of circus owners, he worked with her to get Chinese acrobats to perform at SkyCity. After Jeni finished her studies here, he even offered her a job at his office and helped her to immigrate to New Zealand.

Jeni said she was grateful to Cr Young who is like a big brother to her and helped her settle into a new life of bringing the family-friendly circus to New Zealand.

  • The Times has two double pass to giveaway to Cirque Circus at Murphy’s Bush Reserve Bush that runs till July 7. To win, enter times.co.nz/competitions by midnight July 3.

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