Several rustic green beach chairs decorate the northern end of Oneroa Beach over the warm summer months and remain until the start of autumn. They’re left there for anyone to sit on, to bake in the sun, relax with a book or embark on a quick meditation. For one Waiheke family, these chairs have come to mean more than a day at the beach, they’ve become a symbol of community and kindness.
“So quietly and unassumedly, in the light of day or night, by magic it seems, they arrive at the start of summer,” says Oneroa resident Maria Trubuhovich.
“Locals wait in anticipation and enjoy the chairs beyond belief throughout the summer. Then they disappear as quietly as they arrived – until the next summer.”
Maria and her husband Mark eagerly await the arrival of the green chairs, which are voluntarily supplied by one creative and very private local. Over recent years they have taken their granddaughter Mylee, who was born with a genetic condition, to the beach to sit on the chairs near the water. Beach access is always a challenge for the family, and as nine-year-old Mylee grows up it’s becoming harder for Mark and Maria to carry her.
“While dragging one of the green chairs down the beach for our granddaughter to feel the sensation of the water under her feet, our ‘unassuming local’ noticed and asked if we’d like wheels placed on the chair,” says Maria.
Like a flash, the chair was modified and a set of wheels installed so the couple could push Mylee across the sand and down to the ocean where she could sit and enjoy the water swirling around her feet and legs. Maria says Mylee’s enjoyment is immense and that they’re incredibly grateful to the innovative man who adjusted the chair for their granddaughter.
“The maker of the line-up of these green canvas beach chairs, which have quickly become an iconic sight on what is already a magical place to be, wishes no recognition, in fact, requests absolute anonymity, but we quietly believe he deserves applause, huge thumbs up and much more.” • Sophie Boladeras
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