Sun shines on bridge opening

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In a brief respite from rain and biting wind sun shone warmly on the official opening of the Allan Turner Walkway today.

Matthew and Emma Turner unveil a plaque in their father's name with Mayor Allan Sanson
Matthew and Emma Turner unveil a plaque in their father’s name with Mayor Allan Sanson

Family, friends and former workmates of the late Waikato District Council staff member turned out initially in wet and chilly weather to see Allan Turner’s contribution to open spaces and walkways memorialised in a stunning suspension bridge across the Mangaharakeke stream.

But as the speeches began at 10am the sun broke through to reward the large crowd gathered on the Woodcock Rd side of the bridge, including Turner’s wife, Heather, and children, Emma and Matthew.

Emma and Matthew Turner, along with Mayor Allan Sanson unveiled a plaque bearing Allan Turner’s name and outlining what the gully was like when Ngati Haua dwelt in the area in pre-European times. The group cut a ribbon to officially open the bridge before family members and the Mayor took the first official walk across it.

Turner family members the the Mayor walk the bridge.
Turner family members the the Mayor walk the bridge.

The bridge connects Tamahere’s Woodcock Rd and Matangi’s Fuchsia Lane, and most present took the opportunity to cross it and thrill to its swaying as well as the view it provides of the Mangaharakeke gully.

Council chief executive Gavin Ion said he could well imagine Allan Turner being pleased with the bridge but then moving directly on to the next environmental project on his list.

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