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25 Years Changing Lives - Duffy Books in Homes

Children were front and centre at a reception celebrating 25 years of the Duffy Books in Homes programme. Stemming from an encounter author Alan Duff had with a group of children who didn't own books, Duffy Books in Homes will give out it's 13 millionth book this year - that's more books than are held in the entire New Zealand library system.

Amongst the speakers was one of the first people to receive a Duffy book, Charles Ropitini. A former opera singer who now works for Napier City Council, Charles told guests how the book he received was the first thing that had ever solely belonged to him and spoke movingly of how illiteracy closes down people's opportunities.

The stars of the night were the students from St Anne's School who sang the Duffy song and did some kapa haka.

Image of Dame Patsy hanging out with the St Anne's School students
Image of Dame Patsy and Alan Duff

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