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Some people show a passion for where they live way beyond just talking about it - they take action to make their patch of paradise as good as it can be. One such person is John Crews.
John is a Castor Bay resident and a member of The Kennedy Park WWII Trust and Castor Bay Ratepayers and Residents Association. He is passionate about the local area, especially the WWII army barracks at Kennedy Park, so Channel Magazine had a chat to him about the local projects he is working on and what he loves so much about living on the Shore.
Courtney Bennett: What do you love most about living in Castor Bay?
John Crews: I love the people of Castor Bay, and most of all I have the best neighbours I have ever had. The new website www.neighbourly.co.nz is bringing neighbours and neighbourhoods closer together, it’s great.
CB: Have you always lived locally?
JC: Before Castor Bay, I lived in Forrest Hill for 20 years and before that, Wimbledon, London for 20 years.
CB: Where are the best walks around your area?
JC: If you take a walk through Kennedy Park, you might return home a wiser person, as Kennedy Park has nine storyboards containing information about the WWII army barracks there. These were devised by the Kennedy Park WWII Trust. If you continue south through Kennedy Park, you arrive at Rahopara Pa Coast walk, which then leads you nicely down to Castor Bay Beach.
CB: Anything to complain about in Castor Bay?
JC: I do think Castor Bay gets left out when the Auckland Council is planning events for areas. There could easily be more events held in Kennedy Park. Castor Bay needs its own community centre.
CB: Where’s the best place for brunch and dinner in your area?
JC: To my knowledge, there is nowhere to eat or drink in Castor Bay - for that you have to either go to East Coast Road, Mairangi Bay, or Milford.
CB: Do you have a favourite local event that you look forward to?
JC: The opening of the WWII tunnels, the second Sunday in every month of the year. This is well worth a visit anytime from 11am to 2pm. Take a torch, and an optional gold coin donation. The tours are with WWII Trust military historians, who tell you all about Castor Bay, and Auckland during WWII.
CB: Where would you recommend visitors go to when they visit the Shore?
JC: It depends on what the visitor wants to see and when. There are many bush and coast walks in Castor Bay and neighbouring Shore suburbs. I would recommend the Kennedy Park WWII tunnels walk / tours.
CB: Get Channel delivered to your letterbox each month?
JC: Usually, not always though. Channel Magazine is a good read.
CB: Give readers a brief overview of the work you do with the Castor Bay Residents Association.
JC: The Castor Bay Ratepayers and Residents Association is a committee. No one member makes any decisions, we all contribute to making Castor Bay a better place to live and work. The role of any committee member on any community organisation anywhere, is to make positive suggestions for either events, community facilities, public safety issues, etc. We have a very good relationship with the Devonport and Takapuna Local Board. The CBR&R Association was 75 years old last year, and we are still going strong!
Channel Magazine: Issuu 51 February 2015