Things are look­ing up in Lawrence


Gold­fields boom town Lawrence, which was badly busted up fol­low­ing the Otago flood state of emer­gency, is dust­ing it­self off and look­ing to more golden times.

Flood wa­ter crip­pled the town, with two of its four cafes clos­ing, after the tor­ren­tial rains on July 21.

Some prop­er­ties and busi­nesses in Lawrence and Mil­ton were badly af­fected by the flood­ing, with Kai­tan­gata only nar­rowly miss­ing go­ing un­der in the del­uge.

How­ever, after three month’s clo­sure, well-known trav­ellers’ stop-off Cafe 26 on Ross, in Lawrence, man­aged to re-open in time to take ad­van­tage of Labour Week­end traf­fic.

Across the street, a new­lyin­stalled wa­ter drink­ing foun­tain is also help­ing give back the town’s main street some of its sparkle.

In April, Waitahuna-born builder Tim Dickey, 26, put a pro­posal to the Tuapeka-Lawrence Com­mu­nity Board for the foun­tain.

He was in Lawrence on one of its fa­mously hot, sum­mer days, and in the heat-wave had a brain­wave that the town needed a place to get free, fil­tered drink­ing wa­ter for tourists and lo­cals alike.

He had ap­proached foun­tain mak­ers Tap­wa­ter­wells of Christchurch for quotes, which ranged be­tween $2000 and $5000.

The com­mu­nity board said yes, and six months later, the gold-pan in­spired de­signer foun­tain that even has a wa­ter bowl for dogs, was in­stalled out­side the Lawrence In­for­ma­tion Cen­tre and Mu­seum.

Dickey, who works for Lawrence builder David Bark­man and helped get flood-dam­aged 26 on Ross up and run­ning again, used his busi­ness know-how to put the con­cept to­gether.

‘‘I’d have been happy to put up my hand and I’d have done the ma­jor­ity of the work my­self if the coun­cil’s health and safety had al­lowed, and if we hadn’t got the fund­ing, I’d have hap­pily fundraised.’’

How­ever, the com­mu­nity board got be­hind the project, and Dickey is stoked with how the project’s turned out.

‘‘It looks great and ex­actly what I en­vis­aged.’’

Tuapeka-Lawrence Com­mu­nity Board chair­man Garry McCorkin­dale said it had been great to see a lo­cal per­son, es­pe­cially one of Dickey’s age, show the ini­tia­tive to get the project across the line.


Tim Dickey tries out the new foun­tain, a com­mu­nity project he ini­ti­ated.

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