Clutha homes celebrated on fundraising tour
Clutha Valley School goes into the year with an additional $7000 in the coffers, thanks to a house and garden tour that drew visitors to the district in November.
Proceeds from the Clutha Valley House and Garden Tour will be used to help fund a new shade sail and purchase robotics equipment. About 270 people attended the biennial event, which has now been held three times.
Clutha Valley Primary School spokesperson Renee Judson said fantastic summer weather helped make the event a success.
‘‘People enjoyed the variety of homes and gardens, and the opportunity to do a bit of shopping at the market stalls spread through the gardens. People came from as far away as Dunedin, Gore and Wanaka, as well as all around South Otago. Stallholders were from Southland, Mid Canterbury as well as local people.’’
If the school was the richer for the experience, so were two South Otago women, who both once lived at the oldest and most historic house on the tour and enjoyed a nostalgic revisit.
Known today as Point Estate in the farming area of Greenfield between Balclutha and Clydevale, it was the girlhood home of Mavis Mosley, 90, who now lives about 20km away at Stirling.
Born in 1927, she lived in the grand farmhouse from the arts and craft era until 1946.
Her niece Jacqui compiled a comprehensive history of the house and property, which also includes an original outhouse, an island in the Clutha River and a private punt.
The house is believed to have been built somewhere between 1910 and 1920 or earlier.
It is two-storey, but the upper floor has never been completed.
‘‘The upstairs was not finished, and I dreamed I would do it one day when I left at 18,’’ Mavis said.
Also on the tour was Colleen Mears, of Balclutha. She and her late husband Jack lived there from 1961 until 2002. In their time, the farm was named Balihai and the island and punt known as Mear’s Island and Mear’s Punt.
They used the upstairs to dry seed, and said it took about 40 gallons of paint to put two to three coats on the house, such was its size. It has been restored, and is now occupied by Nick and Jennie Wedge, who said it was a wonderful place to live.
More photos from the tour on page 20.
‘‘The upstairs was not finished, and I dreamed I would do it one day...’’
Point Estate was one of the featured homes on the 2017 Clutha Valley House and Garden Tour.
Mavis Mosley of Stirling and Colleen Mears of Balclutha.