2 minute read

All sorts of fun at the Community Centre

Paul Mason

The Featherston Community Centre is seeing something of a resurgence as more groups are finding out about the range of spaces and facilities available.

More commuters are wanting to work from home to avoid the Wellington commute. You know what I’m talking about – standing for an hour on the Wairarapa train or trying not to listen in to that person chatting loudly into their mobile, oblivious to the frustrated glares from the passengers sharing the space, or the groups of friends around the tables raucously comparing notes about their weekends out. Some just put the earbuds in and the hoodie up and ... snore loudly next to you. Home is not always the answer as there are a lot of distractions – family, phone, unfinished jobs and so on. When the pressure’s on and home is not quite providing the oasis you need, an economical alternative might be to rent an office at the Community Centre on a casual basis and enjoy the peace and comparative privacy of your own local office, with full kitchen, printing facilities and free wi-fi. We have funding now to apply sound attenuating linings to our office walls to increase privacy, and work on this should be starting very soon.

The Centre is also home to a range of leisure activity groups. When they were challenged to provide some anecdotes for this article, members came up with some interesting and diverse responses.

The Seniors card sharps recounted how quite a few years ago, the Featherston Senior Citizens Club was a hive of activity. The club had between 20 and 30 keen and active members who came to play cards, bowls, housie, pool and any other pursuits they could dream up.

Then as time went by, with membership waning and the old ones passing on, they found it increasingly difficult to maintain the hall. The Senior Citizens Club eventually bowed to the inevitable and sold their beloved ‘Senior Cits’ Centre’, as it had become known. The hub in which so many folks had enjoyed so many hours of pleasant company went under the hammer and the money from the sale was distributed to kindred organisations operating around the Featherston area.

A Seniors Card Club spokesperson said, “It’s thanks to the Featherston Community Centre that the last members of the Featherston Senior Citizens Club are able to get together and enjoy a quiet game of cards on a Monday afternoon.”

One of the many groups that call the Centre home is the Mahjong Club. One of their group stalwarts, Pat Hamilton, decided to pen a short ditty for this article:

Mahjong is such a lovely game / There are so many hands that you can do / Go fishing for a fluffy duck / otherwise known as one bamboo / To go mahjong on a unique wonder / The fourteenth tile will get you through / You have three suits plus winds and dragons / With runs and pungs and the odd chow too / So come along and have a go and see what you can do

Our guests come to the Centre for a range of reasons, but there is a theme, as revealed in these short comments elicited from the Social Bridge Group about their activities and of the Centre in general:

• A wonderful place in winter with a great fire to keep us warm as we play bridge

• A great place to practice bridge in a supportive environment with lots of laughs

• A good venue for playing indoor games

• A super way to learn and grow, playing bridge in a friendly happy place, which is also stress-free because players are having fun

• I love it, it’s enjoyable, good ambiance, and a good environment to learn in

If you’d like to learn more about the Centre or find contact information for these and the many other Centre-centric groups, check out our website at featherstoncommunity.org.nz.