A Waitarere Beach man who played a big part in the community and in helping write a book about the seaside town's history received a special mention at the book's launch at the weekend.
The late Peter Wright, JP, died on May 1 this year, aged 80, only weeks before Waitarere - Our Past and Our People was released, and the book was dedicated to his memory.
Wright, along with his wife Viv, not only played a part in helping with the book, he lived in it as he had been a familiar face in community through his work as a Justice of the Peace since 1989.
He was heavily involved in the community, setting up beach wardens in the 1980s. He founded and was a life member of the Golden Coast Waitarere Land Yacht Club, and belonged to the fishing club, and the bowling club.
The couple had lived at Waitarere since the early 1980s and were both life members of the Waitarere Progressive and Ratepayers Association (WPRA).
Viv Wright, also a JP, was given the honour of cutting the cake at the book launch.
The official launch was a chance to acknowledged all the authors of Waitarere – Our Past and Our People - Glen Sinclair, Sue Wilks, Robin Sinclair, and the Wrights.
Waitarere Beach Progressive and Ratepayers Association President Sharon Freebairn the book was the product of hours of work behind the scenes by a group who all had a love of a west coast beach community.
"It is not just the story of the past but a snapshot of the present," she said.
Freebairn said the book was a way of honouring the people of the area and the contributions they have made, clubs formed and services and businesses that have existed since the area was first settled.
"A unique collection of photographic memories and personal recounting of events and the evolution of a much loved area in the Horowhenua," she said.
Freebairn said the book had been five years in the making and the authors had spent countless hours researching information and gathering photos.
There was a large turnout to the launch that included Mayor Bernie Wanden, Wally Gould, who at 94 was the oldest Life Member of the Waitarere Beach Progressive and Ratepayers Assn, and Cynthia Sinclair, the longest current residing resident at 91.
The Sinclair family moved to Waitarere from Wellington in 1962.
The book was funded with grants from the Eastern & Central Community Trust Grassroots Fund and Horowhenua District Council Development Grant, and private donations from residents and the support of the Waitarere Beach Development Association Inc.
All profits will go towards a community initiative in the future. Copies available from Gifts at Waitarere (Thursday-Sunday), Waitarere Four Square or order online at www.waitarerecoast.co.nz – prices $35 soft cover copy, $55 hard cover copy.