Essence of St Clair reflected in flag

Jeremiah Hall was halfway through designing a symbol of St Clair’s identity which will fly high above the Dunedin suburb when he nearly flagged the idea.

Luckily, the 36-year-old Dunedin firefighter persisted, because his flag won a competition aimed at commemorating the centenary of St Clair Esplanade’s historic Hydro building.

Mr Hall said St Clair Beach was almost his second home because he spent so much time surfing and walking there.

So when his partner showed him information about the competition on Facebook, he thought it would be "a nice wee project to work on".

"I would sit on the couch and kind of open the laptop and have a little play — I honestly didn’t think anything would come of it.

"Initially, I had no ambitions to submit it. I just wanted to have a bit of fun with it, and it was awesome.

"But my partner said it was quite cool, so I submitted it and it turned out great."

He said the inspiration behind his flag was literally the beach.

"There are local features that stand out here, like White Island, the sealions, the old groyne and the shark bell.

"But I feel that the heart of St Clair is the beach and definitely the surf.

"So my concept was to show the right-hand waves breaking off St Clair Point, which are quite iconic for this city."

St Clair Esplanade Hydro building trustee Katherine Greer with Jeremiah Hall and his winning flag...
St Clair Esplanade Hydro building trustee Katherine Greer with Jeremiah Hall and his winning flag design. Photo: Peter McIntosh
He said it was a "massive surprise" to win.

"I’m not originally from Dunedin. I’m from the northern beaches of Sydney, so now it feels like I’ve done something that puts me in the Dunedin community a bit more.

"I love it here. I’m absolutely stoked to call this place home."

St Clair Esplanade Hydro building trustee Katherine Greer said Mr Hall’s flag was among more than 100 entries — many of which were done by school pupils.

She said she was impressed with the wide range and originality of the contributions.

"We were looking for something that was unique for St Clair. Nothing was ruled out.

"Some people put in several entries. There was a lot of creativity."

She said the judges’ decisions on the winner were unanimous.

"It’s all about the ocean and I think for most people living at St Clair, it’s the ocean, the surfers, walking along the beach with their dogs, watching the waves splash up on the Esplanade — it’s fabulous."

The flag was raised atop the Hydro building during a ceremony yesterday afternoon, where it will remain.

Ms Greer said the flag could be bought from Adams Flags and she hoped others in the community would also fly it.