11 months ago

Selwyn Times: September 27, 2016

2 12 [Edition datE] Your

2 12 [Edition datE] Your guide to Show Homes & New Sections in the Selwyn District Local man plays significant part in Rolleston’s development Every town has community minded people involved in clubs, sport, politics and business. One man known for his involvement in Rolleston is Russell Lilley. In 1965, Russell started his building apprenticeship in Rolleston which was mainly farmland. He was fifteen years old with his job to grub gorse and broom so houses could be built. Three years later, Russell bought a section in Moore Street. It cost him just $960 and to pay the rates, he planted potatoes on the land and sold them by sitting on the side of the highway. It was the spark of entrepreneurship and a lifetime of working long hours. At twenty three, Russell married and built a house opposite Rolleston School in Tennyson Street. He still lives there today. There were few shops and the land around was mostly scrubby paddocks – a wonderful playground for his children who caught tadpoles in a pond where New World now stands. Russell’s wife was the school caretaker for thirteen years and he helped her clean classrooms, while also lighting and cleaning the boiler, and mowing the lawns. “The area was slowly growing but the Ellesmere Council didn’t believe that Rolleston would work,” explains Russell who says this changed when the Council shifted to Rolleston, with the town’s infrastructure now a priority and the Council open to ideas and pro-active on improving and progressing the town. Russell and nine other people started developing Rolleston, constructing waterworks and sewers which they held responsibility for until recent years when the Council took this over. As the town grew, shops came. Russell and three other investors, built Rolleston Square west, then the east wing, with further expansion due. The Rugby League grounds behind the school had been the rugby field with an old classroom as clubhouse. Originally juniors played for the Springston/ Rolleston Club, travelling to Springston for games. In 2001, Russell and ex All Black, Tiny Hill brought the old Rolleston Rugby Club back to life, with club members preparing the playing area by first getting down on their hands and knees to pick up stones. The first rugby clubhouse was arsoned so with the help of donated materials and free labour a new clubhouse was built. The club is now the largest in Ellesmere having a senior team, divisions one and two sides and many young players. Two years ago, Russell built twelve motels near the Chaucer Street shops adding to the Rolly Inn, where bands once played every weekend to crowds in the hundreds. Russell purchased the business rundown and his daughter worked to bring it up to standard with his son now manager there and also Fire Chief at Rolleston’s Volunteer Fire Brigade. Russell started high school at twelve years old and left when fifteen. He firmly believed that he should do something with his life - for himself and for others. He has certainly contributed to Rolleston as it is today. “It is all about your dream in life. There are so many opportunities out here,” says Russell. A new home, complete on your section for only $376,900! incl GST Marbella 232m 2 Brick exterior cladding Builders of superior homes. Just one example from our range of plans. Plans are viewable in high resolution digital at Let Rob and his team work with you to produce your own unique plan. Built to last. Silver medal winner in Registered Master Builders 2016 House of the Year Awards Office & Show Home: 5 Broomleigh Drive, Faringdon, Rolleston Phone: 03 374 9172 or Rob: 021 324 876 E-mail -

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