New Zealand, D9930

Building Retirement Flats at Atawhai, 1984

This project is remembered by those who worked on it as probably the most effective one the Club has ever done. While not requiring as much money as the Town Hall renovations, this project required a lot of labour, and members responded willingly, giving time after work and in their weekends.

Brief historical summary


Press Releases

Photos of the Club at work

Press report on completed project

  • Early History
    • June 1983. Bill Love's committee, (Community) suggest the Club finance and build a flat at Atawhai. Based on an idea suggested by Ben Edginton.
    • Club accepts the project in the same month.
    • August 1983. Reported the architects had started on the plans
    • Site clearing started in January 1984
    • The floors were poured in February 1984
    • Units completed March 1984
    • April 1984, "Roof" shout a huge success.
    • March 1985, the units were handed over to the PSSA.

This major project was completed in the Club's jubilee year, 1984

Building two residential homes at PSSA's Residential Centre in Taradale, is one of the projects the Club is most proud of. As well as a contribution of $8000, the project was achieved through the willing guidance of its team of building experts plus the contribution of labour offered by its members. Through the weeks of summer, using daylight savings, members rolled up to offer their help after they had returned from work. They completed a wide range of work from the laying of the foundations, to the landscaping of the gardens. The building professionals estimated the value of this labour was worth $45,000.

  • Inner Wheel and Altrusa contributed $1000 for carpeting and cooking utensils.

The key members of the Building Committee who supervised all aspects of the whole project and contributed their own time in their specialist areas, were

  • Ron Schofield (Chairman, Plumbing)

  • Ben Edginton (Building)

  • Ted Skudder (Plumbing)

  • Dave Rench (Bricklaying)

  • Ian Kepka (Building)

  • Bill Love (Building)

  • Jim Dine (Electrical)

No project epitomises the spirit of Rotary and serving its community, more than this one.

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Report of the Building Committee to the Directors

On 12 July, 1983,  a meeting was held at Ron Schofield's to form a Committee to handle the building of  2 flats at ATAWHAI for PSSA, as our 25th Jubilee project.


Those present were:- Dave Nichol, lan Kepka, Jim Dine, Mark Read, Ted Skudder, Bill Love, Ben Edginton, Bill Beaton and Ron Schofield. A Building Committee was elected and they are; Ron Schofield (Chairman), Ken Jobson, lan Kepka, Ben Edginton, Bill Love, Ted Skudder, Jim Dine and Dave Rench.


It was decided that the first step was to obtain sets of plans and have these available for each of our builder tradesmen for perusal. All the steps, such as necessary services to siting, permits, power, water and all necessary services to be organised. A cheque account to be set up; methods of paying into this account by PSSA to be attended to. After our builders have set out the job and estimated our labour involvement, teams will be recruited and asked, or told, how often their help will be required.


It was decided to start as soon as possible and make the most of this summer, daylight, saving, and anyone who may be able to help during their Christmas holidays. lan Kepka has offered "Kwiknail" to do all framing and deliver onto the site.  Club to supply materials. Dave Rench has offered to do brickwork.


With 3 plumbers, 2 electricians, 4 builders and 77 labourers we don't anticipate any problems in handling this project, and carrying it through to a successful conclusion.


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The Taradale Times reported on the 24th August, 1983

Atawhai to benefit from Taradale Rotary jubilee

The Taradale Rotary Club today announced plans to build a double unit at the Atawhai Centre as a 25th anniversary project. Work on the new unit, which is to be built to the same design as the existing Atawhai flats, is expected to be under way within a month.

The club is contributing $8000 of the total cost and is providing all the labour to complete the job. Club president Mr Bill Beaton said the project is the biggest the club has taken on.

"Over the years we have helped the community in all sorts of ways from our auction day proceeds but this year, being our 25th anniversary, we wanted to make a special effort,", he said.

Half the funds needed are already in hand and the club anticipates the rest will come from next year's auction and market day. Mr Beaton said building skills from among the club's membership are diverse enough to do the whole job.


A building committee, under the chairmanship of Mr Ron Schofield, is made up of builders, a bricklayer, a plumber and an electrician. Mr Schofield said the committee will spearhead the building effort but will "call on 77 labourers from the club" to roll up their sleeves and help."

Hawke's Bay Herald Tribune, Wednesday, January 18th 1984
Ground cleared for flats

The ground was cleared today at Taradale's Atawhai Home for two new flats being built Jointly by the Taradale Rotary Club and the Presbyterian Social Services Association.

Four of the people Involved in the building programme (from left) Mr lan Kepka, building supervisor, Mrs Lesley Nilsson, principal nurse at the home, Mr Callum Kirkpatrick, chairman of the PSSA, and Mr Bill Beaton, president of Taradale Rotary, look over the plans of the units.

The work is expected to be completed in 12 months and the two flats will be used by elderly or disabled people who can live with a minimum of care from home staff.

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The following photos were made available by Bob Twaddle and Jim Dine and are a tribute to the late Ben Edginton and late Ron Schofield. Ben is seen in a number of them in his favourite building dress- just a pair of shorts and boots.

Work starts on the foundations. Mid-Feb 1984

Mark Read and Dave Rench in control

Mark shows new found skills while Ben checks the alignment

Ben- master builder

The team. Part of the 77 labourers!

Foundations are down

Charlie Bell and Bob McCaw showing great style!

Framing goes up.

March 1984

Clendon Street and Colin Carson

Leith Peddie and Norm Lee

Building homes is more fun than selling them!

Ron Schofield, Yick Gee, Ken Jobson

Dave Rench works to perfection

Dave Nichol looks worried; Ron Ward has "no worries"

Doug McGechan decide tape is better!

Gil Atkins tell Stuart Lothian what to do

Harold Howard just loves filling cavities; Ken Jobson does a bit of finishing

Jim Dine turns the lights on

Jim Gordon looks a little bent

John Poppewell (front) takes a long drag. Jim Germain and Ron Schofield look dubious

Bob Twaddle does it in style; Kel Tremain packs down on the side.

Keppy (Ian Kepka) does the heavy work

Kyle Symons and Doug Rees put their "shoulder to the wheel" as Doug used to exhort the Club when he was Editor

Bob McCaw and Mark Read admire Derek Rickett's style

Left. A couple of bankers consider their balance sheet. Denis Swan (rear) and Brian Neilson.

Right. John Campbell with a "Flower Barrow"

Noel Ashenden works on the fancy stuff

Ron Ebbett show Mark Read how its done

Dennis Swan (Swanny) gets dirty

Ted Skudder does the hard work

Iain Angus organises the tree planters

Greg Gear, Tony Trent & George Mitchell (resident and 87!) pause for a snap

Win Geenty in dangerous territory

Team Atawhai

The first plants go in

The finished product from the front. Feb 1985

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Daily Telegraph Tuesday March 28th, 1985

Efforts earn top award

Taradale Rotary leader Mr Ron Schofield surveys the flats at Atawhai home for the elderly. His contribution to the flats earnt him one of the Rotary's highest awards the Paul Harris Fellowship. Taradale Rotary built the flats last year with voluntary labour, and also provided $8000 towards building materials, and $1000 worth of shrubs.

The Inner Wheel and Altrusa clubs of Napier each donated $1000 for carpeting and cooking appliances, and many Napier firms also contributed their assistance.

An auction held by the Rotary Club last year raised $15,000 towards the two flats. A similar auction is being held by clubs on Saturday to raise money for the Hawke's Bay Hospice.

Hawke's Bay Herald Tribune, Monday, March 18th 1985


Taradale Rotarians give units to Atawhai


Two double-bedroom home units at the Atawhai centre for the elderly at Taradale were officially handed over by the Taradale Rotary Club yesterday.


The Rotarians have provided $45,000 worth of labour over the last 14 months to build the units.


The project marked the club's silver jubilee and the buildings were officially opened by the founder president, Mr Tom McDonald. The buildings were handed over to the Presbyterian Support Services, which run the Atawhai centre.


As well as the labour content, the Rotarians also provided $8000 toward the building materials and $1000 worth of shrubs.

The Inner Wheel and Altrusa clubs each donated $1000 for carpeting and for cooking appliances.

Mr Tom McDonald, founder president of the Taradale Rotary Club in 1959, officially handing over units at a function yesterday

The project leader was Mr Ron Schofield and he was awarded one of Rotary's top honours a Paul Harris Fellowship for his work on this project. Also present at yesterday's opening were the MP for Hawke's Bay, Dr Bill Sutton, and Napier's mayor Mr Dave Prebensen.

The following photos have been made available by Bill Beaton, president at the time the flats were officially handed over to the Presbyterian Support Services

President Bill Beaton

Vice President Mark Read

Dr Bill Sutton, MP for Hawke's Bay

Rev Duncan Jamieson

The Mayor, Mr Dave Prebenson

Ron Schofield presented with certificate of thanks from PSSA

Ron Schofield

PP Tom McDonald officially hands units over to Chairman of the PSSA, Mr Callum Kirkpatrick

Mr Callum Kirkpatrick,Chairman of the PSSA

Unveiling of the Rotary plaque

VP Mark Read hand certificate of appreciation to Ben Edginton

Ron Schofield, Chairman of Building Committee and Paul Harris

Tom hands the keys to the new owners

The Rotary plaque

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