Let it flow.
Water again gushed freely from the picturesque Craig Fountain in the Oamaru Public Gardens at its official reopening last week.
The 105-year-old fountain, the subject of much local debate in recent years and costing $165,000 of ratepayers’ money to completely renovate, was reopened in front of about 150 people, many in period costume, last Friday.
Mayor Gary Kircher said the fountain had been inactive for a long time, and it had been a massive effort by many gifted people to get it going again.
The fountain was gifted to Oamaru in 1912 by Irish-born timber merchant James Craig.
The base of the Heritage New Zealand-listed fountain was built by local stone mason John Crombie, and the marble sculpture was imported.
In 1990, the council carried out extensive work on the fountain after parts wore out and to correct vandalism damage. It later stopped working permanently in the mid-1990s, and the council sought options regarding its future.
In March 2016, the fountain was dismantled to allow restoration work to begin and the parts placed in storage.
Mr Kircher said a bequest of $125,000 to the gardens paved the way for the fountain’s renovation, but more work by the Rotary Club of Oamaru was needed to raise funds for internal LED lighting to be installed at a cost of $30,000.
Let it flow.