Who started all this?
1958 - 2015
On the 3rd April 1958 a meeting was held in Carl Spender’s garage to form the Whangamata Boatmen’s Association.
Objects of Association quote “To enable boatmen to approach and consult Thames County about all matters concerning boat owners and users re wharf and harbour facilities. Those who attended were: Doug Norman, Wally Findlater, Bunty Brown, Ben Thompson, Colin Patchell, Stan Death, Jim Ansell, Laurie Jameson, Roy Nicholls and Jack Tew” unquote.
There were five apologies from Albie Deadman, Lex Aikman, Ben Morris, Si Bailey and Alex Dargan.
Wally Findlater became Chairman until 14 May 1960 when Stan Death accepted nomination and was elected unanimously. The successive committees for several years wrote reams of letters to the Thames County Council trying to gain amenities such as fresh water on the wharf and lower landing built onto said wharf for ease of loading and unloading. Finally, Stan organised working bees and members of the club were levied Three pound Ten shillings ($7.00) each and under Stan’s supervision we had a bore put down, supplied our own pump and laid the water onto the wharf. This was completed in 1960. Then after much more correspondence with the Thames Council re wharf lower landing, they supplied the timber and the club by way of working bees built the lower landing, this was completed in 1962.
In June of 1960 the Committee changed the name from the Whangamata Boatmen’s Association to the Whangamata Boat Club.
In April of 1960 Lex Aikman (another of our life members) became Secretary, a position he held into the l970s. Then in September 1961 we became in Incorporated Society under the name of The Whangamata Boat Club Inc. During this time after more correspondence with the Marine Department the leading lights for entering the harbour and the wharf lights were installed in 1964.
From this time on much discussion, planning and letter writing took place about sites and plans for a clubhouse and marina but our numbers were few, our finances small and our voice to the powers that be was barely audible. Three separate sets of plans were drawn up and three separate sites were granted subject to water rights and town planning consent etc. None of these became reality and our need was growing. It was during this time that game-fishing outriggers began to appear on more and more boats in the harbour, people were becoming more aware of the leisure and pleasure to be gained from game fishing which is available just outside our harbour entrance. As the years rolled by we started running a bi-monthly social which proved a huge success. Initially they were held in the R.S.A. hall and as the numbers grew we moved into the Buffs Hall and eventually into the Memorial Hall. Many will remember the social success of these functions. Our membership rose from 47 to 270.
Through all these years each successive committee never lost sight of the need of having our own Clubhouse and in 1982 this became a reality. A game fishing section was formed within the club and by a Motion at a Special General Meeting changed our name to Whangamata Boat and Gamefishing Club Inc.
This only happened with more meetings and correspondence with the Thames Coromandel District Council, the final result was that in 1985 with much hard work, all voluntary, we had a Clubhouse complex adjacent to the wharf which housed the Whangamata Boat & Game fishing Club, the Whangamata Marine Radio, the Whangamata Search and Rescue Organisation and the TCDC’s Harbourmaster’s Office.
So to that small band of men who started this off in 1958 and held meetings in garages and private homes and bumped their heads against many brick walls in endeavours to achieve a goal we say “bless you and many, many thanks”
Our current building opened in 1999 with only 800 members
The Club now has 6000 members + Some achievement !
Recent Timeline 2007-2014
Plans to undertake the current extension commenced in 2007. The proposal then was to increase the size of the building from 400sqm to 493 sqm and relocate the Kitchen, plans were drawn up and in August at the time we had only 3592 members.
The club committee at the time did not fully support the project so no further action was initiated until 2011 when the Club Manager submitted a bold new Building plan to extend the building by 50% from 400 sqm to 600sgm Commodore Barney O’Neill and his new committee fully supported the bold new project and decided to seek support from the members to undertake the building extension project as we have today. On 4 June 2011 at the AGM our members supported the new building project and with this support the committee proceeded with the project. With the Club members support the building committee decided to hire a professional resource planning consultant to prepare our building consent application to meet the Requirements of the Resource Management Act. We also consulted with Archaeological Consultants; the Historical Places Trust, Te Runanga O Ngati Puu Inc. Specialist Ecological Assessment Consultants’ as well as a Landscape and Visual Architects..
Once these reports were received the club lodged the building consent in July 2012. We were hoping that our expensive consultation process to support our building application would not require a Public Notified Resource Consent Application, but we were unsuccessful. The Public notification process commenced on 7 December 2012. Over 200 supporting submissions were received and only 3 were against.
The hearing was held on 21 February 2013 and finally approval to build on was achieved with great celebrations.
Our members now have outstanding premises and facilities that will ensure the future of this club for many years. With over 20 fishing and social events on the Club calendar our members can now enjoy these improved facilities and share these clubrooms with the wider community.
I strongly urge that future club committees embrace the concept of the extension and ensure that these facilities are fully utilised for the wider community.
Acknowledgements and Congratulations - Roy-AJ-Kevin-James
My building committee
Building Contractors. Congratulations to Baker Construction. Excellent job it was very challenging working for a committee I must add… THANK YOU.