Not many organisations rake up 88 years of service to a community and are so steeped in the history of on area as is the Massey Birdwood Settlers Association.
Three of its members, Allen Davies, Warren Flaunty and John Riddell have been elected to public office and all three have served at least a term on the Waitakere City Council, and more than three terms on the Massey Community Board, Allen Davies and John Riddell have served terms as Chairman as of the Community Board, the fore runner of the Local Board. Warren Flaunty is a current elected member of the Henderson Massey Local Board.
Brian Lay has just retired as President of the Association after ten years as President and some twenty-five years serving as hall custodian, secretary or treasurer or both, the combined role of secretary/treasurer currently held by John Riddell since 2002.
The Association formed in 1925 with names like Luckens (Luckens Road), Spargo (Spargo reserve and Spargo Road) on the Associations incorporation certificate, the Association has much history been that it feels is important to share with the community in changing times.
The Association first met in the Massey Birdwood Primary School sole building in 1925 and continues its Association with Massey Primary by renting out the hall for the school to run its Friday night fundraising housie nights in today.
In 1954 the Association successfully won the right to build and manage a hall on Department of Conservation land (Massey Birdwood Domain) and by 1956 a hall had been built on the corner of Don Buck and Red Hills Road, one of the first tenants being the Massey Indoor Bowling Club which to this day continues to meet regularly on Wednesday evenings in the hall.
With changing times, the Association is preparing for another 88 years of service and elected as its President Dr Ersad Ali at its AGM held on October 31st, with Samantha Farquhar taking on the role of vice President. Continuing as Secretary/Treasurer is John Riddell while Allen Davies, Warren Flaunty, Brian and June Lay, Julie Ali, Bruce and Fran Hartnell make up the executive.
The executive are hopeful of building its membership back to the levels it saw in the 1970’s and 1980’s (600 plus) when resident and ratepayers groups were important in the community and were the connect between local Councils and the community. With Local Boards (unlike the former Community Boards) being part of the Council, Councils including the Local Boards need to be reminded more than ever as to who pays the bills and what services are needed in an area.