After 42 years serving the Maketu Community, the Webby family has closed the garage doors…. literally!
An untold, and probably unfathomable, number of WOFs were carried out at the Maketu Motors garage along with oil changes, tyre replacements, and routine repairs. And under the skilled hands of Gordon Webby and his team, a wide range of serious mechanical work was performed.
But for everything there is a season, and the local garage is disappearing in today’s world of complex, computerised, and specialised vehicles. Maketu Motors not only fixed our cars but it cemented our community. It was a social centre from the morning “smoko” to an excuse for hanging out with the blokes. And perhaps most important, it was a place to keep Gordy busy between fire brigade callouts.
The Webby whanau expresses their gratitude for the support they have received from the Maketu community not only over four decades of operation, but especially over the past two years since Gordy’s passing.
When the roller door came down for the last time on 17 January you could almost hear that familiar voice, “good as gold!”
After 27 years at the helm of one of the Bay of Plenty's busiest fire brigades, Maketu Fire Chief, Shane Beech, is retiring. Shane will step down from his role leading the volunteer brigade on July 1, allowing six months for the New Zealand Fire Service to find and train his replacement.
Shane explained: "I took a bit from John Key’s retirement. He left at a good time for him at the peak of his career. I'm at my own peak. I've achieved my goals, the brigade is fit and healthy, the building is great, and the vehicles are in great shape."
Shane has been part of the brigade for 27 years and either deputy chief or chief of it for 24 of those years. Last year he was honoured with a Queen's Service Medal for his services to the Fire Service, and was awarded a national Certificate of Appreciation for his commitment and services to search and rescue."
Shane intends to remain in the brigade and plans to "still be jumping in the big red truck helping people where I can.”