PT1112022fish.JPG The Rush Munro’s goldfish have been a centrepiece of the garden area of the company’s 90-year-old 704 Heretaunga St West site. Photo / Paul Taylor
By Jie Pang and Gary Hamilton-Irvine
The much-loved goldfish of Hastings icecream shop Rush Munro's will have their very own wetland built for them.
Numerous people have approached Hawke's Bay Today in recent weeks asking what might happen to the fish, who've been a centrepiece of the garden area of the company's 90-year-old 704 Heretaunga St West site for years.
After seeing five generations of scooping, Sunday was the last day for the Rush Munro garden.
Rush Munro co-owner Vaughan Currie said on Tuesday the goldfish would be going to a newly-created wetland area near the Tukituki River.
The wetland would form part of a glamping site, Currie said, and the goldfish would be allowed to continue to stay with their friends - if they can remember each other.
"They are all being kept together."
Currie said the garden, which was formed when they were forced to shift due to the Hawke's Bay earthquake in 1931, was a part of a community ritual for multiple generations.
"We've had people come here as children, bringing their children through and finally bringing their grandchildren through."
Howard Tasker remembers his first time at the icecream shop.
"It was in 1938 when I was a little one, and then we came in the 70s when we had our family."
Tasker said when he brought his children here 50 years ago, they used to love playing in the gardens and tried to learn to tickle the fish.
Davis Bate grew up in Hastings but now lives in Singapore. He felt very lucky to stop by Rush Munro's again during a holiday visit to his hometown.
"It's a beautiful place. I've been coming here for 50 years."
Derryn Hart's father started bringing her here in 1965, and she felt sad about the move because of the long history.
"My two daughters have been brought here throughout their whole lives as well."
Like all good things, Rush Munro's time at the garden has to come to an end. The lease is not up for renewal, with the site's owners planning to redevelop.
Te Ara Bergstrom started visiting Rush Munro's when she moved from England to Hastings. She and her family now live in Central Hawke's Bay, but Bergstrom wanted to bring the grandchildren before the garden shut for good.
"My daughter Beth was a baby at that time," she said. "It's just such a beautiful and memorable garden. Moving is sad."
The new plan for the site is for it to become a 24/7 petrol station. Going from a peaceful garden to a concreted forecourt is a big change, and has left some locals disappointed.
"It's just a bit of a loss of history - also, a loss of the past," said Georgia Bate.
Derryn Hart said it was unnecessary to have another petrol station, and she thinks there are more than enough already.
The good news for icecream lovers is that Rush Munro will continue in Hastings, further east along Heretaunga Street in Albert Square.
Sharon Currie, co-owner of Rush Munro's, said she would like to thank the community for all their support.
"We've just really treasured all the memories that are pouring in. And not only Hawke's Bay, but also some people come from all over New Zealand. Thanks for the wonderful memories and overwhelming support, and we look forward to serving everyone icecream for generations to come." The pop-up Rush Munro's will open on November 3 with two containers, seats, and shade available for locals so they can create new happy memories of icecream in summer.