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Mangawhai Community Centre: Chameleon or unsung hero?



27 Feb, 2023


thumbnail 4 MF-Faganhall-265From the outside it’s rather humdrum, and undistinguished, a community facility in a handy location – just a hall next to a car park. Now, in 2023, the population of the growing Mangawhai settlement takes for granted – or perhaps barely notices – the asset that is among them. We’re talking about the well-established hub that is the Community Hall in Fagan Place.

Thirty years since its opening, it’s an old identity, a bit like the foresighted residents who built it back in the day. It used to be called the Senior Citizens’ Hall, because it was built and fundraised for by seniors as a gathering place for Mangawhai’s older residents. Now, while still owned, administered and maintained by the Mangawhai Senior Citizens’ Association, it has been redesignated to reflect its many uses in this thriving beachside destination.

The cheerful space has colour, adaptability and several identities. It is multi-purpose and is booked out with a variety of activities every day and evening of the week by regular hall hirers. Want to play bowls or bridge? Learn to dance? Improve your oil painting skills? Stretch with Pilates? Socialise with silver haired oldies like yourself? Send the children to drama classes? Attend a church service? All of these things go on, and more. The hall can be privately hired for funerals, small concerts, meetings, art shows, family parties, Council consultations and clothes swaps – there are gatherings galore. There’s also a small library and community noticeboard, and the hall is wheelchair friendly.

As with many local organisations, the hall is volunteer-driven, funded by subscriptions, rental fees, donations and grants (the Opportunity Factory, Pub Charities etc). Canny financial management over many years has enabled consistent improvement and upgrades to hall equipment and fittings making it comfortable and welcoming in all seasons.

n If you want to find out more about accessing the facilities, or to join the Association, the Annual General Meeting of the Mangawhai Senior Citizens’ Association is to be held on Monday March 6 at 1.30pm in the Community Hall. It would be great to see you.

Thirty years since its opening, the Community Hall in Fagan Place is host to a multitude of clubs, events and functions. PHOTO/JULIA WADE

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