Sign sale set to go

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - By LAURA MCLEAY

The signed Mata­mata pub sign that has gen­er­ated world­wide at­ten­tion will be up for auc­tion on Fri­day.

Cap­tain John Smit, Willem Al­berts, Bakkies Botha and Butch James signed the New Zealand Com­mu­nity Trust sign that they ad­mit­ted tak­ing from Trac Sports Bar in late Septem­ber when they passed through Mata­mata.

It will be listed on eBay on Fri­day, Oc­to­ber 7 un­til Mon­day, Oc­to­ber 17 and 100 per cent of the money raised will be do­nated to Pohlen Hos­pi­tal.

Mr Smit has since

apol­o­gised for the in­ci­dent which was meant to be merely a prank and was happy to put the sign up for auc­tion.

Owner Gail Bai­ley said the bar had de­cided to list it from Fri­day be­cause an auc­tioned item could only be listed on eBay for a max­i­mum of 10 days. ‘‘This way the auc­tion will last un­til af­ter the semi-fi­nals (Oc­to­ber 15-16) are over,’’ Mrs Bai­ley said.

‘‘We hope we can raise a de­cent amount from the sign to give to Pohlen. I am happy with how this has turned out – it has def­i­nitely been a hu­mor­ous sit­u­a­tion. I have had the mickey taken out of me ever since I chased them.’’

Trac Sports Bar has had a long- stand­ing re­la­tion­ship with Pohlen Hos­pi­tal and sup­ports it an­nu­ally through a char­ity golf tour­na­ment backed by the trust to raise money for any new de­vel­op­ments or ren­o­va­tions.

‘‘ Pohlen Hos­pi­tal is such an im­por­tant and valu­able as­set to our com­mu­nity. It is a very unique hos­pi­tal and we are very lucky to have it here,’’ Mrs Bai­ley said.

‘‘Ev­ery­one in our com­mu­nity uses Pohlen so this way ev­ery­one ben­e­fits.’’

Funds raised through the auc­tion will be put to­wards the $1.6 mil­lion up­grade that in­cludes an additional clinic for Mata­mata Med­i­cal Cen­tre, up­graded elec­tri­cal and hot water sys­tem, de­velop- ment of a new wing project with six new en suite bed­rooms, ex­tra staff park­ing, up­graded ma­ter­nity suites, re­fur­bished lounge and an ex­tended kitchen.

Pohlen Hos­pi­tal chief ex­ec­u­tive An­ton Turner said it was thrilled to be the re­cip­i­ent of the do­na­tion. ‘‘We are re­ally ap­pre­cia­tive of all the sup­port from Tracs and it has been a con­tin­u­ous thing. It is amaz­ing when peo­ple in the com­mu­nity step out to help us,’’ he said.

To find the list­ing on eBay on Fri­day morn­ing ei­ther search, ‘‘ Spring­boks sign pub sign for char­ity’’, user­name ‘‘Trac­sports­bar’’ or visit the Mata­mata Chron­i­cle Face­book page for the link.

Go to www.face­ Then ‘‘Like‘‘ the Mata­mata Chron­i­cle face­book page.

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