By Pauline Stewart
“Cyclones Hale and Gabrielle were a big reminder to all of us in thus area just what a hard job the volunteer firefighters do during these times,” said Charles Wantenaar, Store Manager of Stihl Thinkwater in Whitianga. “This presented Stihl with an opportunity to recognise that and also the fact that these men and women in the fire brigades keep us all safe at home during a storm or emergency, but they are out in it. Stihl decided to give to the volunteer Fire Brigades in this area 15 chain saws which we believe will make life easier for them, having good equipment to remove the trees and debris from the roads to keep people and travel safe,” said Charles.
Philip and Cheryl Clark are the owners of the Whitianga Stihl shop and recently moved to new and spacious premises in Joan Gaskell Drive. Cheryl said about the gift of the chain saws, “This is an opportunity for us to give back to the people who work so hard for us. We were part of the thinking around this initiative and Stihl New Zealand was totally in favour and supported us.”
There are 15 chain saws to give, covering Coromandel town, Whangapoua, Matarangi, Whitianga, Cooks Beach, Hahei. Whitianga is the centrally located Stihl shop for the Coromandel Peninsula and on Monday, the chain saws were presented to Roly Chaney, Chief Fire Officer for Whitianga Volunteer Fire brigade on behalf of Stihl New Zealand for all the local brigades.
Stihl New Zealand are supporting 200 chainsaws country wide and they have undertaken to train staff and fire brigade representatives to use the saws. The training entails some instruction in methods and safety. Each chainsaw will come back to the store for its warrantee period of maintenance.
The Stihl/Thinkwater store was a hive of activity when The informer visited on Monday. The rapid growth in the business led Stihl and Thinkwater to move to the new venue. It’s also easier for people to come and park here. Accessibility is a priority as people generally aren’t coming to buy a screw driver; this store is about equipment for the land and sustaining a life on the land, so it’s generally more than a grocery bag. Tradesmen and tradeswomen come in very purposefully so having everything set out for customers to see and being able to park right near the store, that’s important in the service the owners are committed to provide.
Thank you Whitianga Stihl for the gift to our volunteer Fire Brigades. The chainsaws will benefit us all.
Caption: Left: Roly Chainey, Cheif Fire Officer Whitianga Fire Brigade is presented with one of the 15 chainsaws by Charles Wantenaar, Store manager Stihl Whitianga