Pegasus Post: June 25, 2019


6 Tuesday June 25 2019

Latest Christchurch news at


Fitness, companionship aim of Early Birds group

PEOPLE OF all ages are

frequenting Taiora QE II for

fun, friendship and fitness as

part of the pool’s Early Birds


About 50 people visit Taiora

QE II regularly on Mondays,

Wednesdays or Fridays

between 5.30am and 9am to

enjoy a swim, the gym and a

social session.

They make up just a quarter

of the members of the QE II

Early Birds Club.

Members range in age from

those still working to several

in their late 80s and one member

nearing 100.

Club secretary Shirley

Forbes, 82, said the Early

Birds Club was a “wonderful

way to keep fit and socialise

with our friends.”

“We need to stay healthy,

active and independent,” she


“The east has been badly

affected by the earthquakes

and it is very important to

get people out to exercise and

make new friends.

“With the different communities

now changed, so many

people are isolated and very


“We do our exercise first

then relax with breakfast, a

cuppa and entertainment.

“Besides learning a new

Maori word a day, we are going

to start with other cultures

too. We have several Dutch

members who also bring in

their delicacies to try. We are a

multicultural group.”

Mrs Forbes said the new

hydrotherapy pool had also

been “a blessing to many with

disabilities and our older

swimmers enjoy aqua-jogging,

which is a great way to exercise

and chat at the same time.”

Mrs Forbes said the original

QEII site “offered us fitness,

wellness management and


After the earthquake-damaged

pool was closed and then

demolished, club members

stayed in touch with monthly

lunches and morning teas.

“Sadly, more than 20 members

have passed away but

their photos are displayed to

keep their memories alive,”

Mrs Forbes says.

“We returned to the QE

II site in June last year when

the complex reopened with

the original 30 members but

now have nearly 200 on our

books,” Mrs Forbes said.

“The new Tairoa QEII has

become that place of fitness,

wellness and friendship again.

“The Early Birds group has

rebuilt those priceless things

we lost.”

RSA’s new games room wins architecture award

ALL SMILES: New Brighton RSA secretary Garry House take a shot inside the games room

which has won a major architecture award.

FIT AND FRIENDLY: QE II’s Early Birds Club is keeping people healthy

and bringing together friends. Rear – Vicki, Christine, Sally. Middle –

Jos, Julie. Front Bronwyn, Denise, Alice. ​

• By Matt Slaughter

THE GAMES room attached

to the New Brighton RSA and

bowling club has been recognised

with a major architecture award.

The design has won Michael

O’Sullivan a public architecture

award at the New Zealand

Institute of Architects’ Canterbury

Architecture Awards.

New Brighton RSA

secretary Garry House said

there was no better place for

a game of billiards or darts.

The games room was

designed by Mr O’Sullivan,

who works at Auckland and

Lyttelton-based firm Bull

O’Sullivan Architecture. It

was finished in August last


Mr House helped manage

the project. He said having it

recognised was a special feeling

given the RSA’s original home on

New Brighton Rd was damaged

beyond repair in the earthquakes.

“After the earthquake, we lost

our building entirely . . . we did

a deal with the New Brighton

Bowls Club that we’d pay off their

debt for the right to occupy their

building in a joint arrangement,”


Mr House said. “With that our

members were missing out on

their sports facilities, so the RSA

with the leftover insurance money

decided to build a new games

facility. On sight now, we’ve got

outdoor bowls, we’ve got indoor

bowls for the winter, we’ve got

snooker, pool and darts, so the

guys have now got all of their

facilities back they had

before our building got

completely written off.”

Mr O’Sullivan said

the design of the games

room was simple with

big windows at the front,

which let in a lot of light,

making it perfect for

Michael billiards.


“In billiards, you need

to have an incredible amount of

patience, right, and you need to be

calm and you need to be focused

and, accordingly, the space had

to reflect those qualities . . . form

follows function.”

Mr O’Sullivan said receiving

an award for the space was an


Anyone is able to use the games

room as long as they are with an

RSA or bowls club member.

Schools not for everyone!

Is school not working for your teen?







DATE: 26 th June 2019

TIME: 7:00pm


50 Hazeldean Road,


50 Hazeldean Road, Addington, Christchurch | 0800 834 834

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