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Why I Love the Shore: Joan Finlayson

Joan Finlayson has lived on the North Shore for over 45 years and has had significant involvement with many organisations around town. She has been with the North Harbour Club since its inception in 1995 and is a member of the Milford Rotary. She has been a member of various kindergarten and school committees, and has been involved with the North Shore Hospice for about 18 years. A resident of Mon Desir Apartments in Takapuna, she loves people-watching on Takapuna Beach and soaking up the atmosphere. She has two children and four young granddaughters, two of whom live on the Shore, and are exposed to all the different kinds of sport that the North Shore has to offer. This month, she chatted to us about why she loves the North Shore.

Why I Love the Shore: Joan Finlayson

How long have you lived on the Shore?
I was introduced to the Shore in September 1965, after I was transferred as a school dental nurse from Nelson Intermediate to Northcote Primary. That’s how I came to be on the Shore and I haven’t moved since. I met my husband [the late Ross Finlayson, founder of the North Harbour Club] and I have never met anyone more parochial than him. He never considered moving anywhere else in New Zealand, let alone overseas.

What is it that has kept you here?
Ross, I suppose, but the atmosphere and the climate too. I’m sure the North Shore is about three degrees warmer than over the Bridge. And the way of life is definitely different. When I lived on the city side, I would never have gone shopping without the gloves and the pearls and the handbag, whereas now I just nip out in whatever I’m wearing. It’s a more casual way of life. People seem to barbeque more and live outside more. They do more outdoorsy things.

What’s your favourite North Shore restaurant and why?
We’ve owned a couple of restaurants in the past – one of them became Aubergine. I would have to say that’s one of my favourites. But also Blankenberge Belgian Beer Café and the Elephant Wrestler are great. They’re grandchildren friendly, the staff are nice and young, vibrant and welcoming.

Saturday morning North Shore style?
I don’t do walking, I’m not a coffee bunny – see that chair by the window? I make a cup of coffee, I sit in my chair and I watch everyone else walk along Takapuna Beach.

What’s your favourite North Shore beach and why?
Takapuna. It wasn’t always – we used to live on Milford Beach and that was lovely. Then we bought a nice home on the edge of Lake Pupuke. A lot of people love water and I’m one of them. But now here in Takapuna, you can walk out on Hurstmere Road and there are people everywhere. You’re right in this hub of activity.

What do you think is the Shore’s best kept secret?
I don’t think there is one! Everybody’s out there doing things. People know the area really well and make the most of it.

What do you love most about the North Shore?
The variety it has to offer. For example, this week my granddaughters are doing netball coaching at the AMI Netball Centre. How fantastic is that? A world class facility being able to be used by these young children. They go to the Millennium Centre for swimming lessons and to the L’Academie de Danse in Apollo Drive. It’s just wonderful to be able to use these centres of excellence at their age!

by Channel Editorial