Community action remembered
Since the Dundas St bridge closure, many valley residents will have done a few more trips up Lovelock Avenue recently.
The road curves – with a few hairpins – up through native bush, before levelling off over speed bumps near the stylish propagation building and offering glimpses of daffodils, dog walkers, rugby games and maybe some lawn bowlers.
These views would have been different if a 2008 proposal to realign Lovelock Ave to have it run parallel to the cemetery had eventuated.
The bowls green was scheduled to be a carpark.
This stirred the Opoho community into action, and a meeting of 120 people at the bowls club gained considerable media focus in the Otago Daily Times and on Channel 39.
There was concern at the increased road steepness, potential winter ice issues, loss of a section of the bush drive and the demise of the picturesque Opoho Bowls Club.
The community saw the social value of the small club and the benefits for other groups and families to hire the clubrooms for meetings and social occasions. Many community members successfully voiced these concerns, complemented by a 140-strong petition in support of the Opoho Bowls Club, to the relevant council committee.
Today the Opoho Bowls Club still has bowlers through summer, the Taieri Hockey Club uses the clubrooms in winter, and the community hires the facility regularly.
The club is holding an open day on Saturday 12 October at 1.30pm. Come along and have a go at bowling, no experience needed, and see the great little facility the community rallied to save.—Maurice Kane