An Everest of Maintenance Jobs

by Dave Pooch and Tim Leyland

Everyone knows that it was Ed Hillary and Sherpa Tenzin who first climbed Everest back in 1953. But many others helped them get there. High altitude Sherpas, lowland porters and cooks to name but a few. There is a reasonable analogy here with the Wangapeka. While the high point for most people is attending a course or doing a retreat, the ongoing efforts of many make it possible. Caretakers, volunteers and maintenance folk maintain the infrastructure and systems that are needed to support the basic need of “shelter”. Mind you, this analogy only goes so far as retreatants readily become volunteers and vice versa.

The land caretaker is restricted to what maintenance jobs can be done during retreats. Some jobs are noisy or need more than one person. And huts can be occupied too. This year, a small group of volunteers are organising several maintenance periods to do a needed Everest of work on our retreat huts, community buildings and utilities.
The scheduled dates are June 13-15,June 25-30 and then later in the year…. October 18-21 and October 22-25.

If you would like to offer service by giving some time at the Centre or have a particular maintenance skill or have some possibly suitable materials, please contact either Tim or Graham

Accommodation and food is free and there will hopefully be a volunteer cook as well. The team will be working on a whole range of jobs including: installing new smoke alarms, installing a through-the-wall fitting on the clothes drier, new weatherproof flashing on huts etc.

More and more Health and safety requirements are creeping up on us like gains in altitude. Jobs that Michael Elliott would have done and some previous caretakers may have done must now be done and signed off by certified tradesmen. Wangapeka has very few members who are certified tradies. And some tradies can be very expensive, especially if they charge high rates as well as charge for mileage.

If you know of a tradie: plumber, electrician, drain layer, builder who may be sympathetic to the aims of Wangapeka, please do let Tim or Graham know.