Raglan Surf Life Saving Club’s official opening of its new lookout tower took place on Sunday morning. The completion of the lookout, which has been a long time coming, attracted about 40 club members and invited guests to Ngarunui beach.
Kaumatua Sean Ellison blessed the tower inside and out while past club chairman Ann Gair, who for three decades all but ran the organisation herself, cut the official ribbon. Club president Anne Snowden told the Chronicle the new tower with its extra floor and deck space, minimal kitchen facilities and large viewing windows on three sides would be a big boost for volunteer lifeguards come Labour Weekend when the new season began.
The previous 20-year-old tower was barely standing by the time it was finally pulled down some months ago, she said, recalling an even earlier era when lifeguards watched over the safety of swimmers from a tent on the beach.
The $180,000 tower, with its concrete block basement for first-aid supplies and emergency treatment, was built locally by Fitzgerald & Gillard and financed by four years of local funds plus grants from WEL Energy Trust, Surf Life Saving Northern Region, Raglan Lions Club and Trust Waikato.