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Society bid farewell

 
​Several dozen former members of the Whangarei Native Forest and Bird Protection Society celebrated almost 80 years of the Society’s achievements at its final gathering at Council chambers.
Updated: 23/09/2014 1:23 p.m.
Image of the farewell to Whangarei Native Forest and Bird Protection Society.

​Pictured at the final gathering of the
Whangarei Native Forest and Bird
Protection Society are long-time
members from left,
Gerry Brackenberry, final president David
Crocket, Mayor and immediate past
president Sheryl Mai, and Mick Collier.

Immediate Past President of the Society, Mayor Sheryl Mai said the event provided a wonderful opportunity to reflect on and acknowledge the Society’s enormous contribution over the years, even though the occasion represented the end of an era and was tinged with sadness.

“The society leaves behind, as a legacy to this community, the fruit of hours of volunteer work and fundraising it undertook for projects such that have greatly enhanced the quality of life for all who live in and visit our District – including, and perhaps most especially, the wildlife.

“The biggest recipient of funds raised by the society was Kiwi North with a $400,000 investment in the Kiwi and Tuatara House, but there have been countless projects over the years.  These include the Fernery at Botanica, boardwalks at A. H. Reed Kauri Memorial Park, and work on Matakohe/Limestone Island. It has also supported the QEII trust and the Forest Restoration Trust.

“On a smaller scale, the native bush garden that grows in the centre of Forum North was donated by the society.

Mayor Mai said the $300,000 or so remaining in the Society’s coffers had been deposited in the Whangarei Native Forest and Bird Protection Society Trust.  This Trust is administered by the Guardian Trust and its board is made up of members of the former society.

“In large part, we have founder member Marge Maddren to thank that these funds remain available for projects that will further the goals of the original society.

“A leader in so many ways, Marge insisted that only the interest on investment was spent, with the capital remaining.”

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