With the closure of the town’s pub, the Katamatite community has banded together to make sure residents still have a place to socialise.
Long before the closure of the Katamatite Hotel, various groups and clubs had begun the Thursday night community tea which saw numbers after the local cricket club training night grow from 20 to 80 to enjoy a meal.
Katamatite Football Club president Tim Bye said the idea for the community foundation grew from wanting to provide people an affordable night out.
‘‘A lot of people have been affected hard due to the dairy industry issues which meant they couldn’t go out and spend $150 for a night out with their family,’’ Mr Bye said.
‘‘We saw an opportunity to serve a meal at $10 a head and give people the chance to get out of the house and have a chat.
‘‘It also gives our groups in the area a chance to raise some extra money. For example, last week the Katty Primary School ran the tea and made a profit of more than $1000.
‘‘Compare that to last year when their biggest fundraiser was a pie drive that got them $500.’’
Katamatite Cricket Club president and one of the founders of the Katamatite Community Group, Catherine Pool, said that despite a negative hitting the town, a positive was coming out of it.
‘‘However, the way it has all unfolded, and the way the chips have fallen, actually seems to have inspired a resolve of community spirit in the people of Katamatite to get behind the other businesses, clubs and groups that continue to support and represent them,’’ she said.
‘‘Small communities definitely feel closure of businesses much harder than our bigger-town neighbours, and especially when it’s a business so closely entrenched in the community, to the point of actually being part of the town’s identity,’’ Ms Pool said.
‘‘It seems to me that people are particularly emotional about the closing of the 'Katty Pub', as we all affectionately know it, and to be quite honest, people are voicing a lot of anger, taking it personally, that part of their community has been taken away.
‘‘Just last Thursday (March 9) night the atmosphere was palpable within the room as the Katamatite Primary School catered for a record crowd at the community tea — another product of the foundation is affording small groups like the school significant fundraising and promotional opportunities.
‘‘And I actually can’t describe the community spirit that was bouncing around the 150-plus crowd present.
‘‘The Katamatite Recreation Reserve seems to be the obvious choice for people and groups that have been, for lack of a better word, displaced by the closure of the pub.
‘‘The rooms have already been heavily booked for groups like Lions and Landcare among others to have their meetings they had previously always held at the pub.’’
●For more information on the Katamatite Community Foundation, email [email protected]