Communal BBQ installed at bay

Trying out a new barbecue recently installed by the Upper Clutha Lions Club at Wanaka's Bremner Bay this week are (front from left) club president Bronwyn Bain, the project's instigators Ann Saunders, Yvonne McLeod and Judith McLeary, and Edgewater executive chef Neil Ward, with other club members at rear. Photo by Lucy Ibbotson.
Trying out a new barbecue recently installed by the Upper Clutha Lions Club at Wanaka's Bremner Bay this week are (front from left) club president Bronwyn Bain, the project's instigators Ann Saunders, Yvonne McLeod and Judith McLeary, and Edgewater executive chef Neil Ward, with other club members at rear. Photo by Lucy Ibbotson.

A Bremner Bay communal barbecue facility - repeatedly put on the back burner for the past six years - sizzled into action in Wanaka this week as the women responsible for its instalment gave it a test run.

The barbecue is an Upper Clutha Lions Club project funded mostly by the Queenstown Lakes District Council, in lieu of the group's former perfumed garden at Pembroke Park.

The $10,000 garden was built and paid for by Wanaka's Lions ladies in 2001, but was removed on the council's instruction in 2004 after "many repairs from vandalism", club member and barbecue project co-ordinator Ann Saunders said.

The group was asked to come up with an alternative project of similar value for the council to fund, and in 2006, a lakeside barbecue was proposed.

The next six years brought "lots of red tape" and endless obstacles to building the barbecue, before it was finally installed about six weeks ago. A picnic table will be added soon and the women have also fundraised for a barbecue shelter, which will be built by men from the Wanaka District Lions.

Mrs Saunders said Bremner Bay was the ideal spot for the barbecue to get maximum use.

"In the summer there's lots of young families down there because it's shallow and it's safe for children to play."

lucy.ibbotson@odt.co.nz