Bowentown Boating and Sport Fishing Club recently celebrated the opening of their long-awaited, upgraded deck.
A significantly bigger and better facility, the project has been completed just in time for summer.
Wrapping around the front and western sides of the building and offering unrivalled views of the inner harbour, the deck is described as a “game-changer” by the club’s recently retired ex-Vice Commodore, John Fagan, who saw the project through from beginning to end.
The club’s previous balcony was small and narrow, with limited usability. The new design provides ample space for outdoor dining and functions, John says.
“We wanted a space for people to be able to enjoy a drink and meal out in the open whilst watching the boats and enjoying the beautiful view.”
According to club Commodore, Stu Curd, the committee is pleased to have the project complete ahead of the busy summer season. It will meet the needs of the community now and in the future.
“The size of the deck future-proofs the club for the ongoing growth in the area,” Stu says.
The club was formed in 1962 by a small group who met to discuss their common interest in boating, sailing and other water sports. The initial phase focused on installing concrete boat ramps, followed by building the club rooms.
Since then, the club has developed to be a key organisation in the community of Bowentown and Waihi Beach.
The club rooms are regularly used by community groups and families for meetings and functions; Waihi Beach Coastguard volunteers use the club facilities for training sessions; and the local waka ama group is based at the club.
“It’s not just a boat club; it’s a community centre,” says John.
TECT granted $92,608 and the Lion Foundation granted $35,000 towards the project. The rest of the funds came from club fundraisers and member donations.
In true community spirit, the outdoor furniture was made by locals and given to the club at cost price.
TECT Trustee Mark Arundel, who attended the official opening of the deck in November, says TECT was proud to support a project that involves and benefits such a wide range of users in its community.
“With 1,200 members in a community of 2500 people, the club is a significant community amenity indeed. The huge community volunteer and donation support to the project was heart-warming; the facility is clearly so much more than just a boat club.”