Margaret’s patchwork cottage

Some things are worth the wait …

Photo of a car and trailer being directed up a grassy driveway.
Ricky drives the pieces of Margaret’s patchwork cottage up to the site.

Imelda Margaret Cahill passed away in March 2020. A year later, we received a call from her solicitor. Margaret had left a bequest to Project Rameka.

We knew Margaret would want us to use her donation on something really useful for the project, but there were so many things that could be useful. In the end, we decided to split it three ways. The first project was to build another sleepout that volunteers could use when they came to help. This would provide more space for people to have a bit of alone time in comfort.

Andy Cole standing on site to check the measurements for the hut
Andy measuring up the site for Margaret’s patchwork cottage.

We hired local builder Andy Cole to come up with a design that could incorporate Margaret’s love for children alongside the practicalities of a building that would have to stand up to strong winds, lots of rain, and the occasional curious kea.

Andy wasn’t that keen on spending all his days driving up to the project to build the hut on site. Instead, he came up, measured up, and then proceeded to build the structure down in his own backyard, making it in a kitset form that could be transported onto site on the back of a trailer.

And in early January 2023, it was ready! Ricky, Corina, Andy and a couple of mates dismantled the structure from Andy’s backyard (Corina had the forethought to label each piece as it was being removed, thank goodness) and drove the whole thing up to Project Rameka. Jonathan, Bronnie, Murray and Frida helped carry the floor and walls up to the site and reconstruct it.

Jonathan and Ricky holding up the sides of the cottage
Jonathan and Ricky held pieces in place while Andy figured out how to rejoin them all.

Then, over the next two days, they painted it to match the fairy-tale design Andy had envisaged. We think it’s exactly the kind of thing Margaret would have loved, and now many others will be able to enjoy as well.

Margaret's patchwork cottage all finished a painted
Bronnie in front of Margaret’s patchwork cottage (the MPC).

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