By Pauline Stewart
The top end residents of Centennial Drive, Whitianga were concerned that there were no AED units available in the vicinity, the township being the closest. Centennial Drive is a long steep hill, with picturesque views, but it is a real challenge. The numbers using Centennial Drive have grown and are of all ages; many joggers, walkers, cyclists who go to the top of Centennial extending their fitness - the top being their turning point destination before they head back down the hill. The group of residents decided to fund an AED for the public’s use - this important ‘just in case’ resource was to be for the greater community.
Rob Davis of the Freemasons Lodge, Whitianga, heard about the project and touched base with Kim Lawry, who became the spokesperson for the residents. “I thought it might be something the
Freemasons could help with,” said Rob, “Kim had approached me and I could see that funding was going to be the main issue with the cost well over $2,500.”
The proposal to assist was put to the Freemasons Lodge, Whitianga, and with enthusiastic approval, agreed to subsidise the AED to 50% of the costs. This was made from the Freemasons Lodge Charitable Fund and a generous one to one subsidy came from the Grand Freemasons Lodge of NZ Charitable Fund.
The Centennial Drive residents have installed the AED, built a box to house it, as well as advertising its location. The Informer went to the site to photograph the AED and residents, Kim and Ron, who live nearby and who have seen theproject through to its completion. The AED location was clearly identifiable and once you open it, the ‘box’ actually talks to you, so anyone can follow the simple instructions. Well done, Kim, Ron and the residents and our gratitude to the Freemasons for bringing the project to a successful fruition, a very commendable community project that can directly save a person’s life.
Caption: Ron Aylan-Parker and Kim Lawry, residents' spokesperson,
stand by the AED at the top of Centennial Drive.