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Basil’s community vision realised

Basil Bodle’s son Brian, grandson Paul and great-great-granddaughter Thea Bodle at the opening of the Basil Bodle Reserve. PHOTO/EMMA BROWN

EMMA BROWN
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Three generations of Bodles came out on Monday to participate in celebrations as the Riversdale playground renovations were unveiled and the area named after their father, grandfather and great-great-grandfather.

Three-year-old Thea Bodle [great-great-granddaughter of Basil Bodle, the founder of the Riversdale resort] cut the ribbon with her grandad Paul Bodle and Mayor Lynn Patterson to officially open the Basil Bodle Reserve.

Renovations at the park started about three years ago after the ratepayers’ association assessed it as “run down and overlooked”.

The project has included two new shade huts, a new seesaw, extended basketball court, revamped BMX track, and in partnership with private sponsors a new skateboard ramp.

Masterton District Council planted shade trees and tidied up the perimeter.

Skateboarding enthusiast Sloan McPhee found private sponsors, fundraised and organised the construction of a skateboard ramp to go along with the renovations.

Ratepayers’ association president, Bill Roberts, said it was a community initiative.

“It started with a survey of grandparents, parents and children where we asked for suggestions.

“Then, in partnership with the council, locals and sponsors we set about revitalising the playground.

“As the mayor said at the opening, Riversdale is a place where the community gets things done, and we have had lots of support.”

The son of Basil Bodle, Brian Bodle, talked about his father and his idea for the beach.

A common message was the community aspect that Basil found vital and most important to foster in the area.

Riversdale Ratepayers’ Association spokeswoman Jan McLaren said the celebration pre-empted the completion of the project, as work was ongoing.

“There is a sense of pride knowing that we have done this for the community.”

She has enjoyed seeing how many people have been using the park and all the new additions.

“It is certainly well used now.”

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