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The Taranaki Cathedral’s significance to the community and its vision for the future has led the New Plymouth Bridge Club to make a generous $2800 donation towards The Cathedral Project.
Each year the club selects a local charity or community organisation as the recipient of money raised at the President’s Charity Night, and this time The Cathedral Project was chosen.
The New Plymouth Bridge Club’s immediate past president Murray Carter said more than 120 people took part in the fun evening, with an entry fee and player ‘fines’ contributing to the sizeable total.
He said the club was thrilled to be able to assist The Cathedral Project.
“We thought the Cathedral was well worthy of support,” he said. “It is part of the identity of Taranaki through its historical and cultural significance and it is a key part of the community being open to everyone – people of all faiths and those who have none. So preservation of the Cathedral is very important.”
The Cathedral, which is New Zealand’s oldest stone church, is closed for earthquake strengthening. As well as funds being raised for the remediation work, there are plans to develop the area into a flexible community space for worship, mission, education, tourism, and visitor hospitality. The project is estimated to cost $15 million.
Murray said the vision for the project aligned with the club’s aim to be of benefit to the wider Taranaki community.
“We have more than 300 members covering an age range of 13 to 90-plus and of all physical abilities, so our club provides an environment where people of any age can interact socially and keep their minds active. Bridge can be played as competitively as you want or just for enjoyment and many friendships are made and enhanced through membership of the club.
“What is hoped to be achieved with the cathedral, by enhancing it further as a community facility, will be of great benefit to all,” he said. “Groups that provide facilities, assistance and resources add real value to the community.”
The Cathedral Project fundraising committee chair Cathy Thurston said the project team was very appreciative of the New Plymouth Bridge Club’s donation and support.
“We’re extremely grateful for this significant contribution from the club. It’s humbling to know that the Taranaki Cathedral, its role in the community and the vision for its future are seen as important by other community groups in the region,” Cathy said.
“The New Plymouth Bridge Club’s valuable support gives us a real boost as we continue our fundraising efforts towards getting our Cathedral back open and serving the community.”
New Plymouth Bridge Club immediate past president Murray Carter presents Taranaki Cathedral Church of St Mary Dean Peter Beck with a cheque for $2800.