About: Hayley Westenra International (HWI)
Supporting Hayley since 2003
HWI is endorsed and supported by
Jill and Gerald Westenra
HWI Management Team
updated: 28 February 2012
Dave Ludlow (webmaster, UK) Joe Sukenick (USA)
Administrators, Reporters, Contributors
Richard Norrington (UK)
Senior Moderator, Reporter, Contributor
Jillian (Australia) Martin (UK) Steve H (UK)
Global Moderators, Contributors
Caitlin (USA) Dori (NZ) Nordly (Canada)
Forum Support, Contributors
Hayley's Artist Management
updated: 1 January 2012
HWI Contact Information
You may contact us by joining the Forum or email the webmaster: webmaster AT hayley-westenra-international DOT com (replace AT and DOT by the usual email symbols).
HWI General Information
Hayley Westenra International (HWI) is a long -established fully independent website (with a separate discussion Forum) for fans and supporters of Hayley Westenra, which we created in 2003. This was the year in which Hayley first achieved International success (outside New Zealand), with her album "Pure".
Our content is drawn from contributions by our own staff, fans or other supporters (including photographs and videos) or more widely from the Internet and other media. HWI is staffed and supported entirely by unpaid volunteers and we do what we do out of our own pockets for no other reason than our wish to support the career of Hayley and to help bring her to the attention of a wider audience.
If any of the material that we publish infringes anyone's copyright this is unintentional and it will be removed at once on request by the copyright owner or their appointed agent(s). Any such request may be made to the webmaster (see Contact section above) or by joining the Forum and contacting an Administrator. Likewise, please ask permission in the Forum or from the webmaster (see Contact section above) before reproducing any of our material anywhere else.
Items of interest are welcome in the Forum, and for possible inclusion here on the main website. Full credit will be given for any material published.
The History of Hayley Westenra International
Why would two men, both in their fifties, devote a significant part of their lives to the creation of a website for a 15-year-old girl who happened to have a good singing voice but who lived on the far side of the world and whom they, at the time, had never met? There are two answers to that question. One is that the singer was Hayley Westenra! The other is that the two men were Keith Sheel and Simon Smalley and anyone who knew them would not expect them to do anything else.
In 2001, Keith and Simon came to know one another through their involvement in a support site for Charlotte Church. It was there that they first heard Hayley’s voice and in early 2002, they created a UK support site for Hayley.
Meanwhile, a small fansite existed in New Zealand but its owner, for reasons not known, chose to close it down. His files were sent to Keith and Simon for inclusion on their own newly-created site.
Apart from the love of his dog, Charlie, and numerous cats, Simon’s great interest was web design. He had created a few sites on various themes, not all of which were musical. Keith’s interests were diverse and included genealogy, word and numbers puzzles, and the life and works of Lewis Carroll. They both had a passion for classical and crossover music and especially for good quality vocals. They quickly realised that you are not likely to hear anyone better than Hayley.
Keith and Simon’s site was subsequently moved to a new host. In doing so, its name was changed and so Hayley Westenra International was born and officially launched on 24th May 2003.
In those early days, HWI was actively supported by a small group of people whose names may be familiar to you – Belinda (NZ), Gerrit (Netherlands) and Steve Macdonald (US), for example. Even then, we were truly international!
The HWI Forum was created by Keith in July 2003.
I first met Hayley in December 2003 in London following her brief appearance in a charity concert in Trafalgar Square. My first involvement with the site was to post a message on its guestbook a few days later. Within the hour, Keith emailed me to ask if I would write a review of the event. Dave Ludlow’s involvement began at approximately the same time after he read a recommendation on a fansite for Eva Cassidy, who sadly had died a few years earlier.
Over the next few months, Dave and I became increasingly involved with the site and Keith asked us to become Global Moderators of the forum. By now, we had both seen Hayley on several occasions, often meeting up with Keith and Simon.
In March 2005, Keith confided in me that he was terminally ill. A few months later, he asked Dave and I to take full control of the forum and so we became Administrators. Keith died of cancer in December 2005 at which point Simon became the sole owner of the site and the forum was registered to me.
I had been aware for some time that Simon had health problems and he was diagnosed as having cancer earlier this year. Like Keith, his health declined rapidly and he passed away in June 2007.
Over a prolonged period during the latter half of 2006, Simon and I had discussed the long-term future of HWI. This culminated in a little business deal whereby I became the site owner and now try to fulfil Keith’s role as its “front guy”. Meanwhile, Dave took on Simon’s role as Webmaster.
HWI’s aim is, and will continue to be, to promote and support Hayley in any way we can. It also serves as a tribute to the guys who created it, our friends, Keith and Simon.
Change of Ownership September 2009
After well over three years running the forum and nearly three years ownership of the website, Roger has decided that for personal reasons, he is unable to continue. As I have been his forum co-administrator and the website webmaster, Roger offered both positions to me. His decision was sudden and it came as a great surprise to all of us, so to minimise the impact and to allow a smooth transition, I agreed to take up his offer. Joe Sukenick, who has been a member of the forum since 2003 and who was a senior moderator, kindly agreed to provide much needed support as my co-administrator in the forum and deputy for the website.
Roger has been our respected and popular leader for the last few years, carrying a huge workload in support of Hayley, and we are very disappointed to lose him. We wish him well in whatever he now chooses to do and hope he will be able to join with us at the occasional ‘Hayley’ event. Thank you, Roger, for all you have done for HWI and, of course, for Hayley.
Website Re-Launch April 2010
About two years ago, within a year or so of agreeing to accept the role of webmaster, it became clear to me that the original HWI website (which is better described as a series of websites) had become too complex and difficult to maintain effectively. Keeping it up to date had become slow and cumbersome as it grew, and in practice, updating could only be done by one member of the management team, the webmaster (me). It was then that I first looked at the possibility of redeveloping and re-launching the website using a modern Content Management System (CMS) which would allow the updating work to be shared and would help us to keep the website up to date.
But then, none of the available "open source" CMS software could do all that we needed, in a way that would let other members of the management team get involved and help to keep news, events, photos, videos etc. up to date. However, I kept my eye on the situation and by late last year it was clear that the Drupal CMS had developed to a point where we could use it to build a redeveloped website to meet all our initial needs, and to allow room for future development and expansion.
In November 2009 I started work on the redevelopment, using the "Drupal 6" CMS and before the end of the year, Joe and Richard were helping me with considerable and much needed functionality testing and advice on design aspects, not forgetting lots of news and events content added by Richard. In the New Year, we were able to bring in the rest of the management team for their thoughts too and between us, we decided early in March that we could be ready for the re- launch within a month.
So on 10th April 2010, Hayley's birthday, we re-launched the website using this modern Content Management System, allowing us to maintain, update and continue to develop the website in future as a team. But it does not end there, we intend to add some significant improvements and enhancements in the coming months so keep an eye open for them. We hope that you like it.
10th April 2010