Friday, February 16, 2018

Thames (NZ): Jack McLean Community Recreation Centre OPENED!

Work started on the new community recreation centre back in September 2016, but behind the scenes fundraising and development for such a building, is said to have started 20 years previously.
From the demolition of buildings to the start of construction everything appeared smooth enough, but behind the scenes the weather and other construction issues occurred. Finally all issues were resolved, and at a cost of six million dollars, the building today was officially opened.

A timeline of the construction is available that shows what a major project this was. Prefabs moved, site prepared - to building opened! Many man hours and dollars were needed to make this happen.


 Today, Friday 16 February 2018, marked the opening of the Jack McLean Community Recreation Centre. A dawn blessing  by Ngati Maru kaumatua Wati Ngamane, followed by a full opening ceremony at 10am within the new gymnasium complex. It was shoes off as everyone entered the new hall.


 Everyone appeared impressed with the size of the new complex, that has various sporting courts marked out and ready for action!


Very quickly the downstairs and upstairs seating was filled, with students, guests and members from the community. Plus most importantly members of the late Jack McLean's family.

 
 The view from upstairs is spectacular - dignitaries and the Thames High School kapa haka group were assembled in the centre of the hall. A karakia by Wati Ngamane was followed by a performance by the kapa haka members.

 

 By this stage, the hall's seating areas were full, and the speeches and opening programme was completed. The hall is ready to meet the needs of the community and it was noted that bookings had already been made by various groups!



Not a bad effort! The Jack McLean Community Recreation Centre is open for business.

   
ABOVE: Jack (John Kenneth) McLean 1923-2005 (left) and the new Jack McLean Community Recreation Centre.

Background Reading:
TCDC Official news on the planned opening, including biographical information on Jack McLean.
Jack McLean - All Black - background All Back no 473 Wikipaedia info
TCDC Official News update on the opening. News that Jack McLean's All Black cap that the family had donated to the school previously, will now be on display in the foyer of the new community recreation centre. (photo below)


Jack McLean's All Blacks Cap.

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