Category: Social

The Oakura Bay Community Hall gets a makeover

by Norma de Langen

The year 2022 was the year the wider Oakura community saw a great deal of progress made on a number of community projects. However, none more so than on the long overdue makeover of our much loved Oakura Bay Community Hall. 

In the early stages, Chrissy Henderson and Colleen Ferguson proved extremely adept at writing grant applications, successfully receiving much needed funds from both the Lotteries Commission and Whangarei District Council, for which we are extremely grateful. Along with these funds, a hugely successful community fundraiser instigated by the Oakura Hall & Reserves Board to ‘Buy a Window’ proved to be an absolute winner. Not only did the local community get in behind this initiative, the Committee was also the recipient of two very generous donations from donors in the United States and Australia. 

Work on the hall began in earnest in April/May of 2022 and was completed by the end of October. Managed and led by Committee Chairman, Glenn Ferguson, the hall and the adjoining Medical Centre were reclad, prepped and painted, the old windows replaced and a ramp built to provide access for all ages and abilities. Glenn was ably assisted by fellow builder John Fitt, Malcolm Devereux, Clint Shields, Marty James, Guy Fuller, Guy Mawson and local electrician, Gareth Preston. Dempster & Hill Electrical also assisted with mains power issues. We owe them all a huge debt of gratitude for providing many hours of labour as well as their professional expertise. We also give thanks to local store owner, Nena Rogers for generously providing scaffolding and Travis for assisting. Simply put, we would not have a ‘new look’ hall if it were not for the combined efforts of these people in particular. 

We also give thanks to any, and all other community members who were able to assist. A special mention must go to the team of ladies who provided baking to keep spirits high and stomachs full. 

Although the final outcome looks amazing, it wasn’t always plain sailing for Glenn, John and the rest of the team. Numerous stop/starts occurred due to a long, wet winter, along with unavoidable hold-ups obtaining materials, the result of the Covid-19 restrictions that plagued 2021 and well into 2022. However, in due course, the exterior of the building was completed and the hall and Medical Centre are now looking very stylish indeed.

Following on from the outside work, 2023 will be the year the inside gets a makeover. Planning is well underway for work to be done on the floor, walls and kitchen. Already, heat pumps generously provided by Foundation North, have been installed and are now operational.

Once again, our heartfelt thanks to all that assisted, funded and supported the makeover of our community hall.

Whangaruru Community Sports Hub nears completion

by Hamish Haika, Deputy Chair, Whangaruru Coastal Community Group – published in the Pothole, March 2022 edition

There has been great progress made on our Whangaruru Community Sports Hub in Oakura over the last few months, despite the impacts of Covid. It’s been a long journey, but we hope to be done in a few weeks and have a place all in Whangaruru can be proud of. The community has willingly given their time and we are very grateful. From the rugby boys cleaning and painting to Craig and the NUD team donating machinery and their time to help with the power connection, to Dave and Pete on the brushes, our kuia/kaumatua support and many more. Even the smallest of tasks has made a difference.

As a community, we are gearing up for the start of winter sports and we are very strong in many codes, both seniors and juniors, including rugby, netball and basketball. Our Rugby Club has not been able to play home games during the build and like many sports, has had to meet the demands of Covid. It will be great to soon play at home at this new multi-code facility. This year, our rugby juniors will play an in-house competition and there are four Whangaruru teams already with the possibility of more to join. They will be our senior curtain raisers and we invite you all to come along and support them. As we complete this building and look forward to a wide range of events being held here, we are already well into planning for the next stage which includes an additional rugby field and hard courts. We want to ensure the current and future generations of Whangaruru will enjoy and benefit from our efforts and the aspirations of the community.

Update: Although the community sports hub building was not completed in time and therefore is yet to officially open, the first home game of the season was able to be played on 21 May 2022 on home ground. Whangaruru RFC won their game against Marist 31-19. Congratulations!

Photography courtesy of Samzsz Sun

Beach Hop Dance at Oakura Bay

By Margaret de Jong

Oakura Hall was swinging once again to the music of the Basin City Big Band on the last day of February.  The dance floor was jam-packed with enthusiastic dancers as the band of 20 plus musicians pumped out some old time and modern music.  The atmosphere was fantastic; the hall decorated for the Beach Hop theme with surf and boogie boards, buckets and spades, beach balls and fishing nets and rods adorning the walls and hanging from the ceiling amongst the fairy lights. With a true community style supper at half time, and donated spot prizes awarded, the evening was a great success for all.

So can we continue like this ?  YES of course. In April we will have a Dancing Through the Ages theme with the Steve Tulloch Band from Auckland .  Steve has a 3-piece band who play chart hits from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.  On alternate months, we will hold casual dances in the hall – no theme, decorations or pre-sold tickets – just dancing.  Just $5 at the door on the night, turn up if you like and enjoy an evening of non-stop dance music, streamed through the sound system. BYO drinks and a plate of finger food for a shared supper. 

Mark it in your calendars – Saturday 21st March from 7pm.  We warmly welcome suggestions on dance themes or ideas to improve your evenings of dance.  Check out our Facebook page, Oakura Dances, for information on upcoming dances.

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