Centre is celebrating
Celebrations are brewing in the village as the Havelock North Function Centre prepares to celebrate 20 years.
The centre is the hub of the community — a place both locals and visitors make full use of.
The function centre is the result of a community that had a vision and followed through with passion and pride.
Lynda Jones, one of the managers of the centre, said it was originally named the Havelock North Community Centre.
“The concept for the centre was sparked by Mark von Dadelszen. He was the mover and shaker who got the ball rolling,” Lynda said.
Mark will be speaking at the celebrations to be held at the centre on Sunday, September 16.
There will be a special concert with performers Margaret Cooper, Dana Parkhill, Frances Morgan, Paul Carnegie and Joe Christensen, followed by drinks and nibbles by Pure Catering.
The community centre was designed and constructed to provide attractive, modern and centrally located facilities for Havelock North residents and visitors.
It is run by a trust formed in 1991 which at the time included current trustees Colin Shanley and Peggy van Asch.
Peggy, who has been involved with the centre from day one says they needed a focal point after the library was built.
“Everyone in the village wanted to be a part of it. There were so many fundraising events — it brought out the local camaraderie and showed just what a fantastic community we had and still have in Havelock North.
“I’m so proud of the fact that everyone came together — the centre has proved to be a fantastic asset to not only Havelock North but to Hawke’s Bay.”
When it first opened a group of volunteers from Havelock North Age Concern would staff the desk.
Today it is run by Lynda, who job shares with Cherie Almond.
Lynda loves her job and says it was a chance encounter that landed her the position.
“I was in the fish and chip shop when I met the person who had just landed the management job at the centre. I congratulated her and asked her to keep me in mind if any work came up. Two weeks later she called me — that was 18 years ago.
“I just love it. Everyone thinks we just sit behind the desk. Far from it — we do everything from running a business to unblocking trains.”
Both Lynda and Peggy say they are grateful for all the support they get from the Hastings District Council especially Colin Hosford and his team. Looking forward to the next 20 years they agree that the centre will carry on being the centre of the community.
“We have moved with the times and will continue to do so. The place is looking fantastic.
“We are always getting compliments form people who use it whether it be two people for an interview or 250 people for a wedding or conference,” Lynda says.
“Come along and celebrate with us on September 16. It will be lots of fun.”
■ If you would like to attend the birthday celebrations RSVP by September 6 to 877 3470 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Lynda Jones, Peggy van Asch and Cherie Almond outside the Havelock North Function Centre which is celebrating 20 years next month.