Volunteer. Adie Cole is hanging up her boots after an instrumental role in establishing Circular Head’s largest multifunctional facility.
Secretary of the Circular Head Recreation and Community Centre (CHCRC) Committee, Adie has been involved in the process since the idea was only a seed in passionate locals’ minds.
When in the late ‘90s the old Smithton Football Club clubrooms and grandstand were condemned, and the Scotchtown rooms were also in need of an upgrade, Adie and others in the community banded together to help build the new multi-use complex.
At the time there was no similar project in Tasmania or the country that had attempted to house six user groups, as well as servicing the needs of the community as a whole.
It was a challenge and “very much a learning experience” Adie says, but the end result is the building we see today.
Being the secretary – and life member – of the Smithton Football Club for 11 years beforehand gave her the confidence she needed to commit to a project of its size.
“It did give me a lot of grounding to go on to the CRC, because I understood what football club and sporting clubs needed,” Adie said.
“We had to formulate it to fit everyone in and work around them.”
The task involved many hours of discussion and the formulation of a constitution for an incorporated complex, setting rules and regulations, deciding on the design of the building and how it could be financially managed.
Raising funds and seeking government grants and support were all major components in the process.
“The most memorable [fundraising effort] is the walk we did from Burnie,” Adie said.
“We called it something like ‘Burnie with Barrel for the Building’.”
Walking from Smithton to Burnie with an overnight stop at Rocky Cape Tavern, where the Bawdy Banquet put on a show, the group raised close to $20,000 for the facility.
“It was the greatest thing I’ve ever done . . . At the end you felt you’d done something special.
“We also combined with the local Lions club and we put on a giant auction one weekend, monster raffle between us.”
Further federal, state and community funding helped make the $2 million project a reality with the first minuted meeting in August 2004.
“I liked the feel of it,” Adie said of those first meetings. “That something very special was going to be put in place up there.”
CHCRC chairman Gerald Kay, who drove the initial project, said he considers Adie his “right-hand man”.
“Adie’s secretarial skills combined with her love for the Circular Head community have been invaluable over the years,” he said.
As well as providing management and support for the user groups, coordinating usage through bookings and setting hire fees in the early days, Adie has also taken a particular interest in the Hall of Fame – an area in which she will continue her input.
While the 68-year-old mother-of-four and grandmother-of-seven said she felt now was her time to step down from the Board of Management position, she remains the secretary of the Central Outdoor Area Management Committee, helping coordinate decisions between indoor and outdoor committees; and the St Peter Chanel Parish Pastoral Council.