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mike’s mural dream becomes a reality

mike’s mural dream becomes a reality
The new mural overlooking the Mosgiel RSA carpark.

About a year ago Mike and Diane Court were having a coffee on the deck at the Mosgiel RSA and decided a mural would look nice on the dreary, brick wall overlooking the carpark.

Mike took the idea to the local Community Board, which put the proposal to Mosgiel RSA president Noel Graham and hospitality manager Jill Magon.

The RSA didn’t have the money to fund it, but approached the Mosgiel Business Association, which has a strategy for the enhancement and beautifi cation of Mosgiel’s central areas.

The partly completed mural was presented to the public on Anzac Day and the fi nished, 18-metre-long product was offi cially unveiled on May 25.

Local artist Daniel Mead came up with the concept after being allowed access into the RSA’s memorabilia room, and he and Tessa Petley completed the work.
Sadly, Mike Court was not there to see it.

After several months of health problems, he died on May 7. The intention had been for him to cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony on what would have been his 71st birthday.

Diane says she took him to see the mural the day before he died and he was thrilled with it. She and their children, Melanie and Michael, were at the opening, and the words ‘In Memory of Mike Court’ have been added to the mural.

“He would have been the one to unveil it,” says Business Association secretary Kristy Compton.

“One person has to care a lot for anything to happen, and he was that person.”

She says bringing the mural idea to reality was a collaborative, community effort, which goes to show what can be achieved when everyone works together.

The Business Association applied for a Dunedin City Council grant to cover for $6500 of the mural’s $9000 price tag. This was declined, but the association has since been invited to re-apply.

“We really wanted to surprise the community for Anzac Day, so we decided to go the hard road, fi nd sponsors, and fund it ourselves,” says Kristy.

“We’ve had donations from members of the Business Association, Mosgiel Lions Club has put money in, and the RSA put on a quiz night which came up with $1100.

We’ve got $1400 left to raise, and the business association is covering that until we can do some more fundraising.” In applying for council funding, she had to prove community engagement.

“We had 17,000 people view our Facebook post, which was absolutely overwhelming, and one reason we decided to go for it without council funding.

“We’ve been posting updates – one video had 16,000 views. Thousands and thousands of people have been engaged with the process.” RSA members and lawn bowlers are set to unite on Auckland’s North Shore.

Members of the East Coast Bays RSA and the Browns Bay Bowling Club have agreed to support a merger.

Following the sale of their premises, RSA members considered three options – working from a branch offi ce; moving to become the Bays Club community organisation; or going with a Browns Bay Bowling Club proposal to create a new community hub.

RSA president Kerry Kay says an “overwhelming majority” of members at the meeting voted to join forces with the Bowling Club and operate out of the main clubroom facilities under a short-term tenancy agreement.

The RSA premises has been conditionally sold to the Browns Bay Medical Centre.

He is confi dent of the joint venture with the Bowling Club: “We’ll look at a short lease, then work through how it’s going to work and what the compromises are going to be on both sides. We’re going to lose a bit of identity. It always happens, but we’ve got to look to the future.”

Bowling Club chairman Tim Preston says the six-month lease will give the two organisations the chance to investigate closer ties.

“We will get clear idea of potential pathways as a combined entity, or if the model doesn’t feel as though it’s working. It’s pretty exciting. We have an opportunity to set a template for a lot of organisations to follow.”

The short-term lease is seen as the fi rst step towards a proposed community-facilities hub.

The Upper Harbour and Hibiscus and Bays local boards have funded a feasibility study into the hub, which would include badminton North Harbour, Bowls North Harbour, the Browns Bay Racquets Club, and North Harbour Volleyball.

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