Serv­ing Al­bert Town over 50 years

Central Otago Mirror - - CONVERSATIONS - BRUCE HEBBARD

The Al­bert Town Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tion is in its 50th year of over­see­ing the needs of the com­mu­nity.

Al­bert Town was the first town and com­mer­cial cen­tre in the Up­per Clutha in the 1860s. It boasted the first school, post of­fice and ho­tel.

Tem­ple­ton and Sons En­gi­neer­ing is the old­est con­tin­u­ously op­er­at­ing busi­ness in the Up­per Clutha and per­haps all of the Queen­stown Lakes District.

The as­so­ci­a­tion was orig­i­nally formed as the Al­bert Town Ratepay­ers As­so­ci­a­tion in 1966, mainly in re­sponse to the pro­posed hy­dro de­vel­op­ment on the Clutha River.

One of the pro­posed schemes would have flooded the lower lev­els of what has be­come known as Old Al­bert Town.

Over the years, sub­se­quent com­mit­tees have dealt with is­sues such as kerb and chan­nelling, tar seal­ing, road­ing and foot­paths, storm wa­ter drainage, parks and re­serves, flood­ing, traf­fic is­sues. They have worked with the Vin­cent County Coun­cil, the Queen­stown Lakes District Coun­cil and other in­ter­ested or­gan­i­sa­tions to make our com­mu­nity a bet­ter place to live.

The present com­mit­tee still pur­sues is­sues en­coun­tered 50 years ago, along with many new ones. We still sub­mit to the coun­cil. This year’s sub­mis­sions in­cluded re­quests to con­struct new foot­paths, kerb and chan­nelling, con­trol­ling traf­fic speed along Ali­son Av­enue and Gunn Road, im­prove­ments to the Al­bert Town La­goon, and toi­lets for the com­bined walk­ing track­cy­cle­way be­tween the Lake Out­let and Al­bert Town.

The as­so­ci­a­tion’s ma­jor re­cent projects have been con­cen­trated at Mc­Murdo Park, where we have built tennis courts and in­stalled ir­ri­ga­tion, a drink­ing foun­tain, a BBQ and a per­gola. This work has been pop­u­lar with res­i­dents.

Tem­ple­tons re­cently do­nated a bike and scooter rack, com­plet­ing our works there. The as­so­ci­a­tion holds an an­nual Party in the Park, which has been a great suc­cess.

We are now ne­go­ti­at­ing with NZ Trans­port Agency and the coun­cil to re­place the en­trance signs to Al­bert Town, which have been there for at least 35 years.

This year the as­so­ci­a­tion formed a sub-com­mit­tee, Guardians of the Al­bert Town La­goon (GOAL), con­sist­ing of com­mit­tee mem­bers, wildlife ex­perts, a coun­cil­lor and lo­cal res­i­dents. This unique ur­ban wet­land hosts a myr­iad of wildlife. The coun­cil started a restora­tion pro­gramme in 2007 and GOAL aims to com­plete that and oversee on-go­ing main­te­nance.

The as­so­ci­a­tion has a proud his­tory of serv­ing Al­bert Town over fifty years and we should thank the peo­ple who have served over the years.

I think my grand­fa­ther Charles Tem­ple­ton, who was chair­man for the first nine years, would be happy with the Al­bert Town of to­day. In fact it has most likely ex­ceeded his wildest dreams.

Bruce Hebbard is Al­bert Town’s chair­man

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