New Zealand, D9930

Community Projects

Most community projects raise small funds of money such as stock-taking and concert clean-ups. These funds are usually not targeted to a specific activity, but are banking in the Club's Project account for latter distribution.

These smaller projects usually  have a manpower component where members turn up to help with construction labouring. They may also have a financial contribution as well. 

1962 Osier Rd Park

1962 Mayoral Chain

1965 Waiohiki Play Centre

1967 VSA Concert

1969 Taradale Club

1971 Taradale Park Waterwheel


1966-2009 Community Seats

1978 Cripple Children Home Driveway

1982 Mobility Bed

1986 Centennial Podium

1998. BBQ for Atawhai

1993 Denise Gordon Telephone Appeal

1993-2009 Teddy Bears Picnic

1999 Time Capsule

1999 Plunket fence

2002 Town clock

2005 Reader Assistant Programme 

1962-64. Osier Road Park

Purpose:  This was probably the Club's first major "hands on" construction project. It was decided in 1962 to develop a children's' park on the corner of Osier Rd, opposite St Joseph's Maori Girls College, and alongside the kindergarten. Initially there was talk of calling the park, Rotary Park. Eventually this was idea was dropped.

Means:      Club members offered their services, to construct a playing area for children.

Outcome: The Park was completed in 1964 and handed to the Taradale Borough Council. After the hand over, in Eric Mason's year as President, the Club approved money of £11 to erect two seats in the Park. These were completed in 1966.

Since then Napier City Council has assumed responsibility, and the playing area has undergone redevelopment.

In 2004 only one seat exists. The seat in the park has a Rotary emblem, but otherwise there is no sign that this was a Club project carried out over 40 years ago.

Recently (2010) the seat was vandalised and the brass logo removed. Requests to Council for a small plastic plaque stating the Clubs early role, has not been acted upon.

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1962 Mayoral Chain


Mayor Fred Yeo wearing the Mayoral Chain presented by the Rotary Club of Taradale

Purpose:  This was initiated by the Club at the same time as the Osier Road playground.    

In 1959, the Club initiated its first community project by launching an appeal for funds to have a mayoral chain made for the Taradale Borough Council. The chain was eventually made and presented by the fourth President, Fred Yeo, to Mayor Arthur Miller, in 1962. Fred was a Foundation member of the Rotary Club of Taradale and Mayor from 1953 (the year Taradale became a Borough) to 1959. Arthur Miller was mayor from 1959 until Taradale merged with Napier City in 1969.

Means:      The Club organised an Appeal to the local Taradale Community. It took four years but eventually the Chain was presented to Arthur Miller at a Club meeting in 1963 as remembered by Jim Dine.

The Napier Mayoral Chain displayed by Mayor Barbara Arnott, 2011

Outcome: The Taradale Mayoral Chain has a continuing history because following Amalgamation, the chain became links in the Napier Mayoral Chain.

The features of the Napier mayoral chain were explained to The Video History Production team when they visited Mayor Barbara Arnott in her office in 2011. The upper strand and medallion is incorporated into the full Napier mayoral chain that is shown on the right. The Taradale braid has “1953” inscribed as links in the chain, depicting the year Taradale was declared a Borough. It merged with Napier in 1968..

Gil Cooper (Member 1959-2016) was a Taradale Borough councillor at the time amalgamation with Napier was being considered and he recalled these days when he addressed the Club at his last meeting.


Napier Mayor, Peter Tait (Left) and Taradale Borough Mayor, Arthur Miller discuss amalgamation

Amalgamation: I was of the generation where anyone of my father’s age group was known as Mister and so it was not easy for me to address the president as “Tom”. One of the things mentioned was attendance – I got the impre10ssion that 100% was expected and without trying, I attained that in my first full year and that was something I maintained for 53 years until a short spell in hospital intervened.

Being relatively young and easily impressed, I found it hard to say “No” and when Ron Munro suggested that I should stand for the 1961 Taradale Borough Council elections, I agreed. There was no real campaign and probably my alphabetic listing found me elected.

Towards the end of the second term, mayor of Napier, Peter Tait, invited us to a meeting in the HB County boardroom. Quite a bit of development had been taking place in the Greenmeadows area and we assumed it would be to talk about altering boundaries, Peter Tait put forward a suggestion that Taradale merge with Napier.

Gil Cooper addresses the Club on his last night 14th July 2016

Screaming headlines in the Daily Telegraph – “Sukarno (Indonesian dictator at the time) on the horizon [Peter Tait] wants the jewel of Taradale in his mayoral chain!”

At the next meeting of Taradale Council, I suggested we should think about this – it could be good for Taradale. Septic tanks, artesian wells, open storm-water drains and many unsealed roads. Our rates were much higher than those of Napier and there was a guarantee that our rates would be held until Napier rates rose to our level.


Over a period of time we would receive ‘town supply’ water, sewerage connection in place of septic tanks, a proper storm-water system to replace the open drains, footpaths and sealed roads.

We agreed to the merger proposal and for the last 6 months (1962) of the triennial period, mayor Arthur Miller, deputy mayor Doc Haskell and myself, were seconded to the Napier City Council.This was the best thing that could have happened for Taradale and we have never lost our identity.

Gil Cooper, 14 July 2016

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1965-67 VSA Concert

Win Geenty, President of the Club, presents a cheque to VSA representative Mr Mitchell.

Purpose:   Napier West Club approached other service clubs to support fund raising to send a VSA (Volunteer Service Abroad) team overseas. Harold Howard raised the subject with the Club in June 1965. Directors gave approval for the project in August.  In September 1966, the Bulletin reports that Bill Beaton reported from a meeting of the International Committee, that funds to support VSA would be raised by staging a concert.

Means:      In early 1967 it was announced the concert would be held in April at the Municipal Theatre, that it would be "super", and everyone was expected to attend. Prior to that, all members were  required to sell tickets. Past President Eric Mason visited many service clubs in the District to encourage their members to attend.

Norm Compton is credited with organising the concert and booked a popular Maori Concert party which had recently returned from a tour of North America. Two months later Norm resigned from the Club because of business commitments.


Outcome: The concert was a great success and congratulations were received from Mayor Mr Arthur Miller and Mrs Miller. President Wyn Geenty thanked all Club members for their involvement and in particular Norm Compton, whose idea it was in the first place, and who put so much of his own time in getting it organised.

At a combined meeting with Napier West in May, 1967, President Wyn Geenty presented VSA with a cheque for £337.0.0. This was accepted by the local representative, Bill Hyde, because weather had closed the Wellington airport and the President of VSA (NZ), Mr Mitchell, was unable to attend.

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1965 Waiohiki Play Centre

In 1965, when Ted Morris was President, it was reported that a play centre had been established at Waiohiki and Gil Cooper (right) was appointed by the Club as a liaison person. Gil recalls

"I was the contact person that year should the Centre people have any problems.  I don't recall it going beyond that year and the only call on my services was a phone call early one morning when a very quiet voice asked me to be present at the marae at 10.00am to be Father Xmas hand out the kiddies Christmas presents.  The presents were all named, with all the full Christian names of the children which I had to get my tongue around and some of them were up to a metre long!"

It must have gone further than that, because the Director Minutes from the time state that the Waiohiki Play centre to be revived. What happened to the original? In November 1966 it was reported that "Ted Waaka thanked Gil Cooper for the good work he had done in establishing and carrying on the Play Centre at Waioihiki."


In 1983 the  Marae was reported to be $26,000 overspent on its upgrade. Ian Kepka and Peter Sugden to meet the group informally and reported back to the Club. Later $1000 was paid to Marae committee.

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1969. The Taradale Club

Purpose:   While not a Club project in the sense the Club assumed management, this major community development was the brain child of Past-President, Dave Nichol. He acknowledges the concept was too big for one community organisation, but he started with the Taradale Rotary Club, whose members gave the idea their support and many signed up as foundation members and helped Dave in any way they could. Many Club members paid $10 to take up initial membership.

Means:     A quote from "Taradale: The Story of a Village 1844-2000" describes how the project got started and the initial building completed.

"A packet of cigarettes was the inspiration for the beginning of the Taradale Club. David Nichol, the club's foundation president, tells the story: 'I went to the pub with a few blokes after work one Friday night. One of my mates had difficulty getting cigarettes out of a machine and it took the bar staff an hour to get it sorted out. We walked out of there thinking it's time we built our own club.'

"And build it they did. After canvassing various men's groups in the district David was convinced there was enough support for the project. The first general meeting. which was held in the Taradale Town Hall on 13 October 1969, attracted 300 prospective members who elected a steering committee."

"Negotiations went ahead to purchase 2.32 hectares of land in Wharerangi Road from market gardener Jackie Yee On for $ 15.000. By December membership had grown to 400 with 100 on the waiting list and the following year the club was granted a charter. Durney Construction began building the $73,000 premises in March 1971 and the club was officially opened on 19 July."

Outcome: The Taradale Club has grown over the last 30 years to become a very popular venue offering a wide range of activities and excellent dining.

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1971. Water Wheel

Purpose:   To restore an old water wheel and erect it in the Taradale Centennial Park for the beautification of the area and preserve a sense of history. It was the original idea of Jim Montgomery who pursued the project for more than a year before it was concluded in early 1971.

Jim Montgomery

Installing the lighting.

Jim Germain, Bill Schwalger, Kyle Symons, Bert Miller, Jim Dine, Derek Ricketts

Means:     The 3 metre wheel was originally built for the Mount St Mary Seminary before World War I. Connected to a small generator, it provided electric lighting for the brothers and priests. At some stage it was acquired by Mr Ernest Clifford, who used it to generate electricity at his Moeller St home before the reticulation of electricity to Taradale. The project was first raised in 1964 as Past President Michael Davies recalled. In 1966 Ted Morris recalled the Waterwheel was moved to Jim Montgomery's house for repair. However it was not until late 1969 that a number of members assisted Jim with the restoration including Peter Sugden (Community Director) and Ian Kepka.

In 1973 an additional project was initiated, and club members assist electricians, Kyle Symons and Jim Dine, install cabling to allow the waterwheel to be illuminated. Sadly, this was short-lived as the lights were destroyed by vandals.

Tony Billing, Reserves Manager for the Napier City Council, recalls  that over the 19 years following the original restoration and relocation by the Taradale Rotary Club the waterwheel fell into disrepair and began to deteriorate to the extent that it was no longer functional. In 1990 it was removed from its current location and transported to the Napier City Council workshops where the carpenter of the day (Hans Hengst) undertook a total rebuild of the waterwheel. This took several months and resulted in virtually the replacement of all of the existing timber structure. Following completion it was reinstated back into the same location in Centennial Park.

$100 in funding was made available by the Club to assist with the original installation of the waterwheel.

Ron Schofield, Jim Montgomery, Harold Howard, Brian Montgomery, Dave Rench, Brian Leadbetter.

Outcome: The Wheel was commissioned in a handing over ceremony to the Mayor, Mr Peter Tait, in April 1971.

Thanks to the Club's initiative, plus the maintenance work of the Napier City Council, the wheel has for many years been a centrepiece of the gardens in the Centennial Park section of Taradale Park, attracting people to it, and preserving a little of Taradale's history.

The newly installed plaque 2015


Waterwheel & Plaque 2015


Update:     Some time after the commissioning of the plaque, it was destroyed by vandals.

It was not until 2014, when City Council CEO, Wayne Jack spoke to the Club that Bob McCaw asked about Parks and Reserves giving due recognition to the work of the Club. He took this up with Tony Billings, director of Parks and Reserves, who quickly agreed with costs being shared between the Club and Council. Wording for the new plaque was written by Bob McCaw and Peter Sugden, while Graham Duncan organised production of the plaque and sponsorship by  Fastway Print. The new plaque was installed late April 2015


A Community Project of the Rotary Club of Taradale

This 3 metre wheel was originally built for the brothers and priests of Mount St Mary’s Seminary to provide them with electric lighting before World War I.  It was later acquired by Mr Ernest Clifford, who used it to generate electricity at his Moeller Street home, before the reticulation of electricity to Taradale.

In 1966 the Rotary Club of Taradale took possession of the wheel when club member Jim Montgomery moved it to his house (now Montgomery House) for repair. For the next three years members of the Rotary Club worked on the wheel, which was finally installed on this site in 1969. In 1971 the Waterwheel was officially opened by the Mayor of Napier, Sir Peter Tait.

In 1990, after 21 years in the water, the original wooden wheel was deteriorating, so it was removed from its current location and transported to the Napier City Council workshops, where work was undertaken by Hans Hengst to totally rebuild the waterwheel.

At the completion of this work, it was reinstated here in Centennial Park.

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1968-2009 Community Seats

The Osier Road seat

  • The first seat (left)  was part of the Osier Road Park project. The Club approved money of £11 to erect two seats. Minutes record that these were completed in 1966, but only one is currently in existence.

The Mac MacCalmont seat

  • The second seat (second left) was erect in Gloucester Street in memory of Mac MacCalmont. Mac was the club's first Sergeant at Arms and was a very popular member of the club for twenty five years. In Mac's year as Director of Community Service, (1967- 68), many of the projects he arranged were working bees to help people in need. These projects helped to develop the fellowship in the club. On his death, in the 1982-83 year, the club honoured him by building a memorial seat in Gloucester Street, near the Atawhai Centre. This is one of two memorial seat erected for members of the Club who have passed on.

The Cruse Club seat

  • A third seat (third left) exists on the corner of Puketapu Road and Devonshire Place, erected as a place for residents from the Masonic Resthome to rest on their walks to and from town. The seat was funded by the residual assets from the winding up of the Widows' Cruise Club. Amazingly this seat was stolen in 1999 and then returned, but required some repair.

The Library Club seat

  • A fourth  seat (right) was erected in 2004 outside the main entrance of the Taradale Library as part of the Club's assistance to the new facility.

Gavin Thomas Memorial Seat.

Gavin's widow Shona with President Richard Howell 2009

  • In 2009 a fifth seat was installed when Gavin Thomas died. During his time as a member of the Club, Gavin had served for a lengthy period as Treasurer during the 1990's as well as serving on a number of committees. He was a past chairman of the Kel Tremain Memorial Education Trust, and was the last convenor of the Auction Committee. He served the Club well, and the Club responded by ensuring he would be remembered by paying for a memorial seat in the Knightsbridge area, the second club member so honoured.

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1978. Concreting the drive at the Cripple Childrens' Home

Dave lays the final touch. Kel looks pleased with the efforts of the team

Purpose:   In 1978 Kel Tremain informed the Club that the Crippled Children's Home in Anderson Road needed their large drive concreted. They could afford the cost of materials.

Means:      Kel organised members to assist with the laying. Dave Rench supervised to ensure a professional job was done. The Club granted $1500 to the project.

Outcome:  A professional job done, and a driveway the CC Home were delighted with.

Kel and Pam

Dave casts a professional eye over the finished product

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1981. Mobility Bed for Multiple Sclerosis Sufferers


Purpose:   In 1981 the Club's Community Service committee led by Ken Carson (photo right) sort funds from the Club to build a special bed to ease the mobility of multiple sclerosis sufferers.

Means:      The club made a grant of $1000 to assist with the development the bed. A prototype model was built by Hastings Engineer, Mr Phillip Sowerby. 

Outcome: The bed was completed and handed to the Multiple Sclerosis Association for use by one of its members.

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1986 Centennial Podium

Purpose:   To provide a podium in Gloucester Street as the Club's contribution to the 1986 celebrations of Taradale's Centenary Celebrations

Means:      Two members of the Club, Bill Beaton on behalf of McDonald's Supermarket, and Derek Ricketts of Scott & Ricketts, contributed $2000 each to the project. The Club matched this with a contribution of $4000.

Outcome: For over 20 years now, the podium has been a favourite resting place for shoppers, a centre for speakers, particularly local politicians during elections. Recently Chris Tremain, son of the late Kel Tremain (TRC member) used it on his way to successfully winning the Napier seat in the 2005 elections.

In 2010 the retail centre was completely redesigned and the podium has been removed.


The plaque was rescued prior to the destruction of the podium, but a place for it has not been determined (2010).

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1988. BBQ for Atawhai Residential Home

L to R. Bruce McLeod, Pres. Brian Neilson, Matron, Unknown, Bill Love.


Purpose:   To provide a barbeque for the use of residents in the Atawhai residential home

Means:    The club made a grant of $500 to assist with the development of BBQ which was constructed with the assistance of the Polytech

Outcome: The BBQ was completed and presented to the matron of Atawhai on behalf of the residents.

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1993 Denise Gordon Telephone Appeal

Denise leaving the hospital.

Purpose:   In 1991 Denise Gordon, daughter of late club member Jim Gordon and wife Noelene, fell ill with a liver disorder and needed a liver transplant which could only be obtained in Sydney.

Means:      The Rotary Clubs of Napier combined in a fund-raising appeal during 1993. Taradale Club members joined members of four other Rotary Clubs to run a telephone appeal. Members worked the phones for 11 nights with 6 people required to man the phones for 2 hour spells.

Outcome: The appeal raised $30,000 and Denise had a successful operation in Sydney in 1993. Sadly it was reported in the Bulletin that Denise has died from cancer in 2002. However, as a result of the appeal, Denise enjoyed another nine years of life she may not have had. During this time she married her long time boyfriend, Ron Davey, and they had a daughter, Sonya, which gave Denise great joy. At the end of 2014, Sonya completed her High School education at Woodford House.

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1993 Teddy Bears Picnic

The Gang, 1993

L to R. Bert Thomas, Clive Adams, Brian Wright, John Skilton, Brian Neilson, Trevor Kilpatrick, Dave Nichol, Ian Kepka, Nevin Dawson, Unknown, John Aikman, Pete Sugden

Each year since 1993, the call has been made for members to assist with the erecting (and pulling down) of tents for the annual Teddy Bears Picnic.


This very popular event is held in spring every year to raise funds for the Arthritis Association, and children and their parents descend on the Greenmeadows Park site to enjoy the activities for a day. Below are photos of the workers taken in 1993.

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1999. Taradale High School Time Capsule

Taradale High School Foundation Chairman, Graham Duncan, and Taradale Rotarian David Drake guide the time capsule to its final resting place.

Purpose:  In 1999 Taradale High School established a Foundation with the purpose of establishing a trust fund to assist  the school meet its long term goals of providing its students excellent educational opportunities. Past-President Graham Duncan was chairman of the Foundation and raised the prospect of the Club helping in the promotion of the concept.

Means:    The Club's Youth committee accepted the concept as a project and the Club promoted sale of capsules at their Charity Auction and to its own members, families and friends.  as well as organising  many members to assist with the manual work of burying the capsule.

Outcome: 5000 mini-capsules were sold to the public at $40 each. There was a discount for multiple purchases, so the project raised nearly $20,000 to help start the Foundation's trust fund.

On Dec. 18th 1999, HB Today reported

After months of planning Taradale High School buried its millennium time capsule today.

The fibreglass capsule was filled with 5000 plastic boxes which clubs, businesses and individuals had filled with mementos including photographs, wine, stamp albums, letters and school reports.

The capsule will be unearthed from the school grounds in 2050, and the chairman of the school's foundation trust, Graham Duncan, expected it to deliver a few surprises.

"Our whole communication system will be different by then," he said. "We may have had a significant environment change and politics and education could all be new,"

Mr Duncan had filled his own capsule with family mementos for his children and a video of the landscape and buildings in the area.

"Who knows, we could have another earthquake and this is one way of recording the history of our area for posterity."

Oxygen was sucked out of the capsule and replaced by nitrogen to preserve its contents before it was set on a concrete base and surrounded in gravel inside the school gates.

A list of the capsule's beneficiaries would be kept at the school and owners would be issued certificates for safekeeping.

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1999. Taradale Plunket

L-R Unknown, Gil Atkins, David Drake, Brian Neilson, Ray Burney, Leith Peddie, Bob McCaw

Purpose:   In 1999, at the initiation of Mark Read, a large group of members gave up their mornings to assist with the erection of a secure fence around the Taradale Plunket Room grounds.  Of interest is the fact that the buildings were built in 1952 by Arthur Stafford.

Means:      Members turning up with spades, forks, hammers, trailers, concrete mixers, and other tools required to build a fence, PLUS, the willing labour of over 30 members during 3 weekends and evenings. The Club donated $2500 from the 1998 Auction to pay for materials.

Outcome: A child-proof fence which was greatly appreciated by the Plunket Committee.

John Aikman

Ron Ward & Ian Aitkins watch the workers

The finished fence

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2002. Taradale War Memorial Clock Tower

Purpose: To assist with the installation of floodlights to highlight the town clock.

Means:      In 2002 the Club donated $1000 to the project  in which it combined its efforts the Taradale RSA. The City Council provided drains etc for cables and lights and members turned out for working bees to pour concrete surrounds and upgrade the surrounds.  Members were invited to the brief lighting up on Wed, 9th October. The project was lead enthusiastically by Past-President Bob Twaddle ably assisted by Club member Robbie Symons. Indispensible help was given by past Rotarian David Prebensen, who solved all the technical problems relating to the lighting.

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Outcome: The revitalised clock tower is now a beacon at the entrance to Taradale and something the community is very proud of.

2005. Reader Assistants

Purpose:   To assist young primary school students with learning to read thus freeing teachers to work with other students.

Means:      In 2005, Mary Wise, a local reading specialist in the Hawkes Bay region, approached the Club to build up her team of adult reading assistants. Mary has been running a programme of using volunteer adults to help students with reading difficulties and work with class room teachers on a reading recovery program for them. Half a dozen members of the Club responded to the call, such as Frank Crotty (seen on left with young students), Selwyn Dyet, Bob Knappstein and Brian Neilson. These people give an hour a week of assistance.

Outcome: Club members involvement in the programme has lasted for more than a year, and a number of young Napier students have benefited from the help these adults are able to give them with their reading.

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