Rolling up the sleeves and getting the job done
Reserves and community greenspaces are in abundance here in Hurunui, and it’s thanks to the dedication of our great Reserve volunteers and our specialist contractors that these valuable havens remain in tip top shape.
Mel Ruck from Waikari and her team of volunteers make up part of this tapestry.
She has been on the Waikari Hall and Reserve Advisory Group for the best part of the past one and a half decades, and is proof that with a good few willing and keen locals, a community will always be in good hands.
As Chairperson, she sends a special thanks out to Michelle Fletcher, Michele Philp, Bruce Lilley and Collin Twose, who “just seem to know when I have said ‘yes’ to too many jobs, and they just fill the gaps.”
Councillor Linda Murchison is a great source of knowledge at the Group meetings.
Volunteers on the Advisory Group chip in as they can, looking after the Waikari Memorial Hall, Waikari Bowling Club, and the Waikari Domain and Camp Ground.
The Bowling Club is in great hands, currently under the management of very capable licence holders who look after the day-to-day running of the facility.
“The things I enjoy most about being involved is that I get to ‘work’ with people who also care about how our village is seen by others, and how we can make a difference.”
Mel’s involvement in community volunteer work started out at Plunket, then Waikari School, then local netball. The transition into her current roles “just seemed to happen.”
Mel also sits on the Hurunui Community Committee.
“On this Committee I am there to represent our village, via our group, and to see that our needs as a village and community are met.”
Mel is also custodian for the Waikari Hall, which involves taking bookings, hiring out equipment, cleaning when required, gardening and maintenance.
A second custodianship she holds is of the Waikari Domain and Camp Ground. This involves taking bookings, overseeing cleanliness and maintenance, ordering supplies, maintaining the playground area, collecting and banking camp fees, taking enquiries for the camp ground, upkeeping the garden, “and being in the middle when there are differences in opinion” which she admits is her least favourite part of the role.
“Sometimes it’s mad busy and everything needs attention - other times not so much! Volunteering in this community is very rewarding, it is a good feeling to roll your sleeves up and get jobs done. The more people involved the more fun to be had.”
PHOTO: L- R: Michele Philp, Mel Ruck, Michelle Fletcher.