Coastguard appeal tops $1m

NEIL RATLEY
Last updated 05:00 08/03/2014

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The Coastguard Bluff MayDay appeal has topped the $1 million mark thanks to the generosity of a former Bluff osyterman and the ongoing support of the fishing industry and Southland community.

Guy Waddell was an early pioneer of the oyster industry and built up his own oyster fishing company, Bluff Fish and Oyster Company Ltd, and when he died in the mid-1980s his wish was to establish a legacy that would continue to benefit the people of Southland for generations to come.

Yesterday, Perpetual Trust, the trustee for numerous charitable trusts including the Guy Waddell Charitable Trust, announced it had awarded a grant of up to $250,000 to Coastguard Bluff for the construction of the new rescue boat to operate in Foveaux Strait.

The grant was also made possible with the support of the Stewart Family Charitable Trust and the Perpetual Charitable Fund of Southland.

Perpetual Trust client manager Kevin O'Sullivan said the project was viewed by the trust as vital to the wellbeing of Southlanders.

"Too many lives have been lost on the strait over the years. We believe this project is a fitting tribute to Mr Waddell and that he would have been proud to support it."

Coastguard Bluff Fundraising Committee chairman Jon Turnbull said the committee and the Coastguard volunteers were totally elated when they heard the news.

"This level of support is absolutely extraordinary," he said.

Coastguard Bluff president Andy Johnson said the support from Perpetual Trust was amazing and brought the fundraising campaign total to just over $1 million, or about 80 per cent of the campaign target. "We are now close to being able to contract with a boat builder."

Support was also still coming in from the commercial sector as well as generous individuals, he said. "The Beneficial Island Mutton Bird Community, Talley's and the Bluff Oyster and Food Festival Committee were generous with their significant contributions this week."

Last week the Bluff Lotto outlet hosted a Coastguard day, recognising the large contribution Lotto had made to the campaign, he said. 

DONATIONS THIS WEEK

O B Nilsen, Paddys Bins Ltd, R J Chisolm, Rotary Club Invercargill, N J Leith and S M Matthews, R and D Fife, G and S Wardrop, A M Reedy, M10 Mega Invercargill, R W and E G Matthews, W D King Ltd, D J McCarthy, Southerly Fishing Company Ltd, I G Macauley, I R Stewart, Sutherland Family Trust, Johnson & De Rijk Packing Company Ltd, R McIntosh, E L and P A Potter, H T and M L Keil, Awarua Runanga (Beneficial island mutton birders), Bluff Oyster and Food Festival Committee. --------------------

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