When Raglan’s wharf went up in flames back in April owners of Raglan Kayak Stephen and Candide Reid lost more than just their business. The couple had recently moved into a fully furnished house and the wharf building that served as a base for their kayaking business was also acting as storage for their personal possessions.
They lost everything, including photographs and mementoes from their travels. “Sentimental stuff,” says Steve.
Two months on and Steve and Candide have only just heard that their insurance company will pay out a claim. Sadly this will only cover about half of their business assets. “We took out business insurance when we started up — which was about 6 years ago now,” says Candide. “We were under-insured.” Negotiating the bureaucratic minefield of the insurance world has proved tricky, with the pair admitting that the process has been draining. “We’ve had to put a lot of work towards the insurance claim,” says Steve. “It’s a world we don’t know.” Fortunately one of the couple’s kayaking clients, a lawyer, came to their aid, offering advice and dealing with paperwork. “She’s been an angel,” says Candide.
In fact the couple has been overwhelmed by the support and love that the Raglan community has shown them since the blaze. “The first few days after the fire,” says Steve, “our phone beeped constantly with texts. People brought us baking, everyone has been really amazing.”
“We were flooded with kindess,” adds Candide. “We’ve been blown away. We didn’t know people felt like that.”
The couple’s friends organised a fundraising evening at the Yot Club over the Queen’s Birthday weekend as well as a raffle, for which many shops and businesses around town donated items.
Now that the couple have heard that their insurance money will come through they’ve been able to look ahead to the future. “We’re definitely getting back on our feet next season,” says Candide. “We’ve put our budget together and on Labour weekend we’ll be opening as usual for our seventh summer.” Until then the couple and their son are off to Canada for two months to spend time with Candide’s family, a trip that was booked long before the fire.
Steve and Candide would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has shown their support in the aftermath of the wharf fire. “The whole community needs to give itself a pat on the back,” says Candide. “I’m proud of living here.”
Emma Brooks