Long-time Gordonton resident Arthur Riddell reflects on the work of volunteers and their value to the community.
Since New Year 2013 there has been a major tidy-up of the Domain road frontage. The drainage and fencing have been done, and the original gates have been shifted from Gordonton Rd to College Drive. Traffic flows had been making the entrance off Gordonton Rd very dangerous to use. A Peach Rd entrance is also available.
The Gordonton Domain, which incorporates the tennis club grounds, has over the years been used as a pony club and athletic club and is available for hire through the Gordonton district committee.
Gordonton also had a rugby club based at the Domain in the 1930s and again after the war from 1945 to 1955, but although it fielded some very strong teams in some years, its position between Hamilton and the strong rugby centre of Taupiri meant the local club was slowly squeezed out.
(To read Perry Rice’s story on the Gordonton rugby club, click here.)
The four hectares which today make up the Domain were generously donated in the early 1900s by the Peach brothers, who owned land on the south side of Peach Rd.
This work was done by local identities again demonstrating the wonderful community spirit which Gordonton is known for. The area is leased for grazing and so generates a small income for the district committee. Over the years many projects have been done voluntarily, saving thousands of dollars.
To list a few – the Gordonton Beautifying Society committee was formed in the 1950s to tidy up the cemetery and later central Gordonton and Hukanui Park. The old school site was taken over in 1962 and a tremendous amount of work was done to make it workable for Playcentre and Plunket.
The ground preparation of the new school site was completed by local residents, and the money received used to build the swimming pool at the new school.
In the 1990s a decision was made to replace the existing hall and after many meetings a plan was finalised and fundraising started with a very successful result achieved. So when a start was made the old hall was demolished and removed. Donated trees were cut, carried and milled, sand supplied and transported for the foundation. Bricks were laid, all at no cost to the district. The hall was opened debt free in 1998. It was a fantastic effort by all, saving thousands of dollars. Well done again.
Also in the 1990s the Woodlands Homestead and grounds were renovated, a major task with thousands of hours of volunteer work being done by locals and many others from outside the area. This is an ongoing task with much more to be done in the future.
In 1991 all four committees which operated in Gordonton were amalgamated to become the Gordonton District Committee, thus enabling funding and income sources to be prioritised; a major step forward.
What a wonderful community spirit we have enabling all this work to be done at reasonable cost. When you drive through Gordonton it is a pleasure to see and admire the achievements of our volunteers over the years.
- Woodlands volunteer day is on Tuesdays, from 9am to midday. A good morning tea is supplied.