If you're ever in Marlborough NZ, we urge you to go and have a look at the wonderful Rotary Lookout.
Article by James McKenzie-Wiley (Past President, Director of Youth and Publicity - Blenheim Rotary)
In 2019 the two current Presidents and Assistant Governor were considering ways that the clubs could do a joint project in honour of the 100-year celebration that was pending for Rotary Australia & New Zealand. The Rotary Lookout was brought up, with the suggestion that we could give the lookout a refurbishment. The Rotary Lookout (known in Blenheim as The Witches Hat) was built by Blenheim South Rotary in 1978 and was built structurally sound. The idea was that the two clubs could waterblast, sandblast, repaint and touch up parts of the walls that were damaged. We also put a picnic table in there.
The structure is built on the Witherhills Farm Park which is part Department of Conservation and Council Land with walking and mountain biking tracks all over it. It is also a working farm. The Rotary Lookout is used by over 100,000 people per year and is visible from almost anywhere in Blenheim. So, it made sense that the two clubs join forces to restore this great feature of Marlborough. The two clubs have enjoyed working together in conjunction with support from the Marlborough District Council. They have since said we can carry on and restore another lookout on the same park that was built by Rotary over 50 years ago. We are also looking into the possibility of building a third lookout on one of the peaks of the park.
Other aspects to this project is the idea to build a smart map that gets more people using the Witherhills Farm Park, and at the same time engages people with Rotary and who we are and what we're about. If you're ever in Marlborough, we urge you to go and have a look at the wonderful Rotary Lookout.