Serving Albert Town over 50 years
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