The annual Joytime Finals have been taking place at New Brighton’s Floral Pavilion for more than 40 years. This year's final however saw a newcomer take the spotlight in a surprise arrival at the theatre.
Floral Pavilion staff member Hazel Grealis was off duty on the plaza when she and Senior Steward Moira Smith were called to the washroom to help Emma Payne, who was in the late stages of childbirth. Within minutes baby Sienna had arrived, delivered by Hazel and Emma’s sister, Kim, who attended to Emma and Sienna until the emergency services arrived.
Hazel said: 'I got to the bathroom just in time as minutes later baby Sienna arrived. Over the phone, the emergency services guided me through tying the umbilical cord which I did using a shoelace from one of our volunteer ambassadors! I had to be calm at the time but it was only when I got home that the shock kicked in. I’ve spoken to Emma’s sister Kim today on the phone and she said both mum and baby are doing very well. We’ve arranged to meet in a few weeks so I can say a proper hello to little Sienna.”
David Mackenzie, Theatre Manager said: " This is our first baby in the Floral’s 104 year history. We can’t praise Hazel and our other Front of House staff enough for handling the situation so well in what must have been a stressful time for all involved. We would also like to thank the emergency services who guided our staff and arrived to take mother and baby to hospital.
"We are so happy to hear mum and baby are doing well. This new baby will be part of the Floral family forever. We have just started two new baby activity groups on our Plaza and baby Sienna is welcome anytime and we look forward to welcoming our ‘Floral baby’ back here very soon! But most of all we want to wish mum and baby best wishes and send our love.”