A Waikawa Identity: Gary Drake

This is the first social commentary in a series of Gary Drake’s memories.

It may be the South African flag that adorns Gary Drake’s residence at Waikawa Beach that captures ones attention; hung at a time of New Zealand rugby test matches, you get the feeling that this individual is happy to go against the trend and normal support of the NZ rugby supporters in the area.

Gary’s community voice was heard in local newspapers in the 1990’s up to the present day. The battles were well recorded, mainly as an individual land owner affected by the loss of his land at the confluence of the meandering Waikawa Stream and the coastal beach area.

Gary Drake of Waikawa Beach.
Gary Drake of Waikawa Beach.

The connection he has with Waikawa stretches back well over 70 years. He has many ties with the Drake family farms and still resides (along with his companion dog) in one of the original farm houses on Waikawa Beach Road.

His most proud possession is his Sir Francis Drake Memorial Medal which was given to the Drake family at the 400th Anniversary of Exploration celebration back in 1979.

Gary has made available to the Waikawa Beach Ratepayers Association all photos, land survey maps and memorabilia that he has gathered on the family over a life time. It is a wonderful historical snapshot of life at Waikawa Beach through an individual who, in his own manner, continues to leave a footprint in the sands of Waikawa.

Next, the farming years.

Contributed by Kevin Burns, September 2018

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