150th Gifts – Nelly Jull Park

Waipawa’s 150th Gifts to the future 2010

Our town turning 150 is a time which will only happen once in our history and is an important milestone. It is a time to remember our past and look to the future.

When Waipawa turned 50 the people of the town built the Town Hall. This was gifted not just for their generation but for future generations as well.

When the town turned 100 the town people gifted the Waipawa Town Swimming Pool- a facility that is still used today.

And now that Waipawa is turning 150 years old, we feel that it is important to carry on this tradition and for us to leave something that will be long lasting and meaningful for us now, and for generations to come – in other words our “gift to the future”.

Our town is turning 150!
And what is a birthday without presents?

Our idea for our 150th Gift is to upgrade Nelly Jull Park, by building a Community stage (in an old-fashioned Band Rotunda style) redeveloping the children’s playground, creating an area for older children and youth to hang out, putting in new picnic tables, seating, drinking fountains etc to make the park a more vibrant and alive place!

To keep a record of each of our 150th gifts I have split each project into separate headings of:

1)      Children’s Playground

2)      Basketball Area

3)      Band Rotunda

You can click on each of these headings and be able to see the changes happen

1) Children’s Playground.

Nelly Jull Park

Nelly Jull Park was gifted to our town in 1935 and it quickly became the focal point in our town’s life. In the 1930’s Waipawa District High School in Waverly Street used its fields for Physical Education. Rose gardens and trees were planted, and the old playground equipment from the Domain was shifted down to the park to make the playground (much of that equipment is still there today)

Some of the existing playground equipment is over 100 years old and in need of replacing or repair.

Over the last eighteen months our committee has been frantically fundraising and getting sponsors for the playground from local businesses.

This is how the playground changed!

Nelly Jull Park Playground  January 2008

Nelly Jull Park Playground October14, 2009

First the old playground equipment gets a bit of a spruce up…

Even the Old tractor looks new and colourful with its new coat of paint !

And then the building of the NEW playground begins…. !

8.30am 24th November 2009

12.30pm 24th November 2009

4.30pm  24th November 2009

8.30am 25th November 2009

12.30pm 25th November 2009

4.30pm 25th November 2009

8.30 am 26th November 2009

The Building is finished! Now here comes the bark!

And the bark is spread…
And then…

Here come the kids! Hooray!

Our playground is there now for kids to play on over the summer.
I hope everyone enjoys it!

And also a big thanks to the CHB District Council for their work in tidying up the gardens in Nelly Jull Park and replanting it with new roses and buxus hedges.
Here are some photos before and after, and you must admit it looks fantastic even after only being planted for a short time!


And After…  (October2009)

And a little bit longer after – and a little bit of colour! (November 2009)

Just wait until next year. The roses will look great.

For those of you who are concerned about the roses in the round rose garden being planted where the band rotunda is going to be – don’t worry. The roses will flower and look great this year and some of next. And when we get the band rotunda built they will be transplanted to ring the perimeter of our beautiful rotunda.

2) Basketball area.

Our original intention was to turn an area in Nelly Jull Park which was under-utilized into a basketball area for the older children and youth in the town.
After having concerns about noise brought to our attention at Nelly Jull Park, we changed the location of this basketball area to an area in Madge Hunter Park (picnic area near the river reserve). This area is adjacent to our skateboard park so it was already an area where the target age-group used.

The basketball area was entirely made through donations of time, materials and equipment from our local community.

The hoop was made by a local firm, the area was dug out by a local contractor, the concrete was donated and laid by another local contractor and the timber for boxing and backboard was donated by a local firm.

Now our Basketball court is in place.

Again…  A Big Thanks to all the sponsors who supported this project.

Thanks Guys. You’re fantastic!

And if you’re not into shooting hoops – you can always do some boarding.

3) The Band Rotunda/Community Stage.

A Little History on Waipawa’s Band Rotunda

In the early years of Waipawa beginnings the Domain was the town’s park.

It was said to be a picturesque place with a pond with swans and a bridge, lovely trees and a small playground area.

Only our oldest residents remember playing on the swings and roundabouts in the Domain now, as the swings and round-about were moved sometime in the late 30’s.

The few elderly residents also remember the Band Rotunda at the Domain and the concerts that used to be played there on Sunday afternoons. Some of these residents recall being paid 3d as lantern holders for the musicians during these concerts. Our oldest living Waipawa resident, Roma Eddy, remembers as a small child serving cups of tea with her mother to the band members during the afternoon concerts.

Waipawa’s original band rotunda was built at the Domain to commemorate the coronation of King Edward VII in 1902 and the foundation stone was laid in conjunction with the Grand Gala Day.

When Nelly Jull Park was gifted to the town in 1935, and the playground equipment was transferred there, the Domain was left neglected, and the band rotunda fell into disrepair and finally disappeared.

Bringing a Band Rotunda into the 21st century:

Many towns and cities have a community stage which stage community events.
Over the last ten years Nelly Jull Park has been used as a place for the community to get together and have free community concerts. These traditionally have been made possible by using a truck trailer as a stage and running extension cords from two power sockets located on the back of the park’s toilets, with collection of multi-boxes to power sound and lighting equipment.

picnic 8.jpg

“Picnic in the Park” concerts have always been well attended – as it’s a way for the community to get together and have fun.

Our idea was to build on this idea of bringing the community together, by having a community stage built where lots of different events and happenings can occur.
We wanted something which had the facilities to be able to operate modern equipment, but also something that reflected our past as well.
Waipawa once had a Band rotunda in the Domain which was used regularly for Sunday concerts, and we wanted to bring back the idea of that band rotunda to be used for modern events.

The band rotunda could be used for events such as…

Picnic in the Park
Dance recitals
Open-air drama performances
Mini-weekend concerts
School choir and band performances
Kapa haka
A story-tellers stage
Classical music
Country music
Pop or Hip-hop
Carols by candle-light
and much more.

So our vision was that we build a community stage… together… as a community project.
Just imagine… after all this hard work is done and our Band Rotunda built… we’ll be able to turn up most weekends to concerts or dance recitals in our park, and maybe sing a few Christmas carols while standing around our band rotunda. It’ll be magic!

This is how the Band rotunda developed:

It used to look like this… A rose garden planted in what was once a fishpond.

This is how it looks 3rd December 2010… the rose garden dug up and the foundation holes dug.

As December moved on it looked like this…

Then the point of the roof started to develop

The slope was the tricky bit…

But in the end the framing was done and the curve in the roof looked beautiful!

It seems a pity of cover over that intricate piece of work… but then came the iron for the roof. Getting that rolled and cut to the right shape was a challenge too!

Then we have the ceiling to put in. It goes from this…

To this….

The concrete steps are made… and Barry puts up the batons on the ceiling

The ugly orange plastic is removed, the rails attached, the base has been plastered and now for the paint!

The ceiling is oiled before the lights go in