The August Issue

Fire Brigade fundraisers are ready to roll

The year 2020 may seem a wee way off but plans are already underway to stage an event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of a long-standing rural firefighting tradition which began in Omarama. Volunteer firefighters from throughout Otago and Southland have been invited to enter teams in the regions' 50th annual Rural Fire Wajax Competitions to be held here in March, 2020. Right now the Omarama crew are kicking off efforts to raise funds to stage the event which is expected to attract not only present firefighters and supporters but former members of the brigades which have taken part in competitions over the years and now live throughout the country. Volunteers are already running meat raffles at Boots and Jandals Hotel each Friday night but they would like the community to know they are also willing to put their hands to the pump for any endeavour which will help build up their kitty. Naturally, plans for the event itself still need to be firmed up. But Saturday will be competition day followed by a prize-giving dinner, and mostly likely a social hour with time for a “quiet drink” will feature on the programme, Fenz Omarama station officer Maurice Cowie said. Yes, he did say that. In 1971, Omarama introduced the Wajax pump competition to brigades south of the Waitaki. The first competition was between the Omarama, Stewart Island, Glenorchy and Hawea rural volunteer brigades which were all using similar Forest Service equipment to fight urban fires. . .
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Photo: (from left) Peter Trusler, Jaden Jenkins. Jack Zorab, Logan Adams and Maurice Cowie.
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Ahuriri River Bridge Campsite

Association wants to know what you think

The Omarama Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association will go back to the community, this week, to formally canvas community opinion about the direction it should take with regards to the issues raised about the management of the Ahuriri River Bridge Campsite. Last month, about 120 people attended a forum to hear about plans for the campsite, which is run by the Department of Conservation. The Omarama Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association organised the forum and invited each of the various agencies with a stake in the site to explain their role and what could be done to manage it going into the upcoming holiday season, and into the future. It was facilitated by Neil Gillespie, of the Central Otago District Council. There is mounting community concern about the sheer numbers using the site – 50 to 70 nightly through summer - the amount of rubbish and human waste left, and the lack of toilet facilities. There is one toilet . . .

This Friday (3rd Aug), the Residents’ Association will put out a short questionnaire to all residents and those who attended the forum to ask them whether or not they believe the community should be represented by the Association on the working group and, secondly, whether or not the campsite should be closed until such time as facilities are upgraded.
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