Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The NZ Series # 11 - Surf Life Saving and the Maranui

Arguably one of the best cafe's in Wellington was the Maranui Surf and Life Saving Club in Lyall Bay - until it was gutted by fire last August.
No better place to watch the planes come and go on nearby Wellington Airport, the surfers riding in on the waves right in front of you, or the children and loving couples on the beach, while sitting in your bay window overlooking the beach behind a well made long black.
Originally, it was just what it says, a Surf and Life Savers Club, offering voluntary surf life saving services to the community. Since 1911 the Maranui Surf Life Saving Club has been actively training surf life savers and providing surf life saving patrols at Maranui and other Wellington City beaches.
The word Maranui was used by Maori when they found sea and sand in abundance. Its Maori meaning is “long sands”. At the turn of the 20th century the whole of the sandy isthmus between Evans Bay and Lyall Bay was known as Maranui.
The objective of the Maranui Cafe is to get the community involved in the club as community members who will provide a source of active members for life saving services, administrators, coaches, team managers, sponsors and supporters for the club.
For me, the Maranui brought up sweet memories of the squatters cafe's in Amsterdam during the 70's and 80's - the people, the decor and art work, the atmosphere, the would-be artists and drop-outs wearing berets... I sincerely hope the building and the cafe will be restored to it's old glory.

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