Friday, 23rd June marked a very special occasion for the community of Staveley as the long awaited Sharplin Falls pass was finally opened to the public.
The 2010 earthquake caused the subsequent permanent closing of the track.
But for the past four years, building a new track has dominated the thinking of Mt Somers Walkway Society president Charles Ross.
He believed it was possible to build a safe track to the falls and wanted present and future generations to enjoy the Sharplin Falls just as past generations had.
It’s not been an easy four years but through sheer grit and determination Charles’ vision has been made possible, along with the full support of the walkway society and heaps of volunteers.
Around 100 people were in attendance to show their support and take the opportunity to venture across the terrain, along the newly constructed walkway.
There was a short presentation before unveiling the new track.
Alan Totty and Charles Ross provided a brief history of Sharplin Falls and its importance to be once again open.
Charles praised the work and support of so many that have made the pass possible.
He acknowledged the previous members of the Mt Somers Walkway Society who established the tracks and facilities 40 years ago and also the present committee and many volunteers that have done the serious work since last September when construction started.
The dedication and continual hard work by all is a fantastic achievement with a total of around 3500 hours of hard graft being poured in to complete the track.
Construction was divided up into different groups, consisting of the power barrier group, the raking group, the heavy lifting group, the decking and side panel group, the stapling group and the staircase and lookout timber group.
The representative from the Community Trust of Mid and South Canterbury, Tewera King of Arowhenua, blessed the track before Ashburton deputy mayor Liz McMillan, assisted Charles to cut the ribbon and now the Tahekerua Sharplin Falls track is open once again to the public.