Singing Glengarry's praises

Last updated 12:17 10/04/2014
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JOHN HAWKINS/Fairfax NZ
Invercargill City Councillor Rebecca Amundsen.

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OPINION:  

For the next 100 days southlandtimes.co.nz will follow newly elected Invercargill City Councillor Rebecca Amundsen.

She's not an unfamiliar face to people  who live in Glengarry, or those who voted for her.

She's a mother, a landlord, a project leader and now a city councillor.

But this isn't just our project, it's yours too.

Get involved by posting comments, asking questions and answering polls each week as we follow Rebecca's first days in office.

Each week Rebecca will also write about her council musings.

 

One of the perks of being a city councillor I have discovered, is the opportunity to do some things that I probably otherwise wouldn't have got the opportunity to do.

A few weeks ago for example I was invited to be guest speaker at the NZ First annual general meeting.

It was interesting to listen to a political view that was different to my own and great to have the opportunity to talk about what I am passionate about with a group of people.

They asked me to talk about the things happening in Glengarry and my new role in the council.

I am always happy to talk about Glengarry as it is such an amazing community. And we have a wonderful group of people who drive some incredible projects in the area.

Eastside Baptist church is a real stalwart of the community.

Established on its site in 1962 it has always played an important role. Apparently the church building was originally built as a movie theatre and when you look closely inside you can still see evidence of this.

The church community is devoted to working with the Glengarry community and provides a range of valuable services such as soup n toast, a community garden and various groups to support a range of people.

The church now also has a shop where people can buy gifts and coffee as well as supporting micro industry such as clothing repairs.

Along with a variety of niche shops in the Glengarry Shopping Centre there is also a Community Art Project spearheaded by resident Caroline Holmes.

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The space is open regularly for people to pop in and participate in community art projects or for people to have a go at projects of their own.

Because it is located next to the laundry there is a constant flow of people popping in for a look, offering suggestions and ideas and contributing. It is also popular with families who bring their children to a session on Thursdays from 4pm-6pm.

It was this community group who made Garry of Glengarry the 1000 bag ram which was in the Christmas Parade last year. They have also completed some mosaics which are being installed into the community to add visual interest.

The Glengarry Community Market is another project which has become an asset for community.

It runs on the last Saturday of each month and has become a real bumping place for people and has a great, family friendly atmosphere.

In addition to these things a range of one off projects such as the car park revamp, fruit tree planting and clean up days have been undertaken by community members.

I have also enjoyed gathering stories from people who have lived in Glengarry during the years.

I have spoken to people who moved there in the late 1950s and early 1960s who still live there.

I have spoken to people who grew up in the area and recall having great fun playing with neighbourhood children on the street.

I have spoken to shop owners and people who regularly used the shopping centre. 

People have strong memories and a strong connection to the area. I would love to hear from other people who have memories of life in Glengarry, so please drop me a line.

* Councillor Rebecca Amundsen owns a shop in Glengarry and helped to start the Glengarry Community Market.

- The Southland Times

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