There are people in this life who make you feel flat-out lazy.
I was in a room full of them on Friday.
It was the official opening of the Thorburn Room at the Mistletoe Bay eco village in the Marlborough Sounds.
The special guests, besides Mrs Thorburn, were patrons Sir Stephen and Margaret, Lady Tindall, and a host of vice-patrons, trust board members, sponsors and helpers. The list of their abilities and the work they had done towards the project was huge.
Yet they are the sort of people who expect little recognition for what they do. And that seems to be the success of the Mistletoe Bay project.
As several people explained for me on Friday, schools went out to the old camp area in Onahau Bay for years, staying under canvas in the paddocks while the adults took over an old farmhouse. It was all great fun but the comfort levels were mighty low.
Somewhere along the way, Renwick School principal Simon Heath had the idea to create a small village with sleeping chalets and a large kitchen-cum-common room. They started about 2003 and the chalets and kitchen block were opened in 2006.
Work on the second stage started last year, including the separate meeting room and new kitchen block with small science lab, drying room, workshop and office area.
All of the buildings have solar heating units and the village has its own special sewage treatment plant.
The camp is the first (or last) stop on the Queen Charlotte track, so it can be used by the public, and the chalet side of the camp is used constantly by school groups from Marlborough and further afield. Each chalet sleeps eight in two rooms, with their own living space and en suite bathroom.
It is well set out for its purpose but the best part is looking out the window to the sea and the hills beyond. The kids probably don't appreciate the landscape, but it gives them a taste of the Sounds.
The opening was a great afternoon out of the office on Friday, and a chance to look over the second stage of the development. It is well done and everyone involved deserves congratulations for what they have achieved.
And it's unlikely Simon Heath will let his trust stand still now.
- The Marlborough Express