Bequest gives Turner Centre big boost

By Abi Thomas

A couple who were long-term supporters of the arts in Northland have made a generous bequest to the Turner Centre in Kerikeri.

John Dalton, who died in April aged 88, and his wife Ann, who has also now passed away, have gifted $200,000 to the performance venue.

The funds will be held by the Northland Community Foundation on behalf of the Turner Centre, and annual payments will be used to support and maintain the auditorium in accordance with the Daltons' wishes.

Turner Centre finance director Leah Watson said the donation was wonderful.

"The Daltons were so supportive of so many organisations in Kerikeri. Their generosity will make such a difference to us and the work we do," Mrs Watson said.

The donation also marks the start of the Turner Centre's relationship with the Northland Community Foundation.

As well as managing Project Promise and raising funds for Northland's cancer treatment centre, Northland Community Foundation also manages donations made to Northland District Health Board; makes funding recommendations for the Northland region to the Tindall Foundation; and manages funds, donations and bequests, such as the Daltons' one to the Turner Centre.

Doug Turner, a friend of John Dalton and the man after whom the Turner Centre is named, wrote an obituary for Mr Dalton in the Northern Advocate earlier this year.

He wrote of a man whose interest and experience in theatre in his native England meant he soon took on many key roles in the Bay of Islands arts scene.

Mr Dalton served as the honorary manager of the Kerikeri Memorial Hall, formerly the town's main performance venue, for 35 years.

- Northern Advocate

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