The Rotary Hall in Aotaki Street is to be sold.
New Ōtaki Rotary Club President Adrian Gregory announced the decision at the annual leadership change-over dinner in the hall on June 25. It was a decision long in the making.
“Rotary has debated the future of the hall for many years, and until now the hall has always been seen as a valuable asset for the club,” Adrian told Ōtaki Today. “However, with ongoing costs to not only maintain the hall but also upgrade it, we felt fundraising and other income should be used for the purposes Rotary supports.
“Money should be helping in the community, rather than diverted to maintaining a hall.”
Adrian said the funds generated by the sale will be held in trust, with the annual income that it will generate used expressly for the club’s purposes – services to the local community and the people who live, study and work here.
As president through to next July, he’s is keen to see a refreshed approach by the club and its members, existing and new, to projects that will respond to community needs.
“I look forward to working proactively with other local organisations and bodies over the next 12 months.”
Rotary has held its weekly meetings in the hall since it was bought from the Methodist Church in 1974. When it’s sold, the club will hold its meetings at another community venue.
The hall before 1974 was known as the Wesley Youth Hall, with the church also sold and still standing next to it. The sale was the result of an agreement with the local Anglican Church to pool its resources with the Methodists.
The hall was built in 1952. It was the venue for many meetings and community events – including for an ill-fated youth club in the early 1970s. The Rotary Club has also rented the premises for community groups and functions, and run meetings such as for candidates in local and central government elections.
Meanwhile, the June 25 meeting recognised Grant Robertson, outgoing president for 2019-20, for his many years of service not only to Rotary, but to Ōtaki generally. He was made a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow.
Grant was born and raised in Ōtaki and has been active in many community groups and projects over the years.