Raglan sea change after lockdown redundancy

A lockdown redundancy has meant a sea change for Raglan Club’s new manager Trudi Peet, and she’s looking forward to new goals and challenges.

Living in Tauranga and working in hospitality at the time of the Covid lockdown, like many, Trudi found herself without a job.

It only took her a weekend of soul searching to finally decide to move to Raglan and explore new opportunities.

“I love Raglan, and I really wanted to live in and be a part of a small community.”

She quickly found a place to live with an old friend and the next step was finding a job.

“I placed an advert on the Raglan Notice Board and I was overwhelmed with the interest.”

Several job interviews later, Trudi decided to take on the role at the Raglan Club.

“The committee is wonderful to work with and very supportive of new ideas. I’m very excited about the changes we will be making over the next few months,” she says.

Always up for a challenge, Trudi knows there’s good bones in the club and sees her job as adding some magic and panache to the great work that has already been done.

“We’ve got so much going on here, like the fishing club, the travel club, indoor bowls, darts, snooker, even Zumba classes, and our summer Twilight Bowls is starting soon. There’s so much going on at the club that most people probably don’t know about.”

Some of that panache can be found on the front deck, where Trudi has begun to give it a plantation like fell with plants she transported from Tauranga on the back of a trailer.

She’s calling it the Bow Street Deck and has introduced live music including Jazz and Blues every Saturday, with plans to increase the number of days they have live entertainment soon and a platter menu is in the pipeline as well.

Tackling the garden bar is on the top of her list and plans are underway for a makeover; bringing the unique large round BBQs back to life, adding a pétanque court and brightening up the children’s playground.

“We want families to enjoy an afternoon in the garden bar, while the kids are happily entertaining themselves in a safe environment.”

She’s also looking forward to exciting changes in the kitchen with a brand new menu in development, she’s already introduced a new wine list with a selection of some of her favourites.

Trudi is no stranger to hospitality; it’s kind of in her blood. Her first job was waiting tables at her parent’s restaurant in Blenheim when she was 12.

After Blenheim, the family moved to Rotorua and ran the Okataina Lodge. Trudi eventually headed to Auckland as a young woman to train in hotel management at the Hyatt.

After lots of travelling, Trudi set up Destination Fiji in 1999, organising weddings and conferences in the tropical paradise while raising her family.

In 2004, she finally realised a dream she had had since she was 18 of developing and owning a resort, and the family moved to Fiji permanently.

Sadly, the dream wasn’t to last; after the coup of 2006 and the onset of the global financial crisis, the family left everything behind and moved back to New Zealand in 2008.

Forever the optimist, Trudi hasn’t let a military coup, the GFC or a global pandemic dampen her spirits.

That optimism is already being felt at the club, where Trudi greets customers with a warm, welcoming smile.

“I’m looking forward to bringing back the vibrancy to the club and getting it buzzing again alongside the help and support of the committee, who generously give up their time to ensure the club remains an important hub with the Raglan community.”

Janine Jackson