Without Prejudice

Riversdale Beach Early History as Basil Bodle, the founder of the resort, filmed, wrote, spoke and recorded it. See full index at the bottom of this page.

Note: this web site is still under construction, there will be changes and additions as I go through the many boxes of archives. New material on going including viewers material, viewers who used to own property at Riversdale Beach sending in their own photos to be downloaded : send to Jess Smith mail@bodle.co.nz

Note Disclaimer: I have been through cartons of Basil's archives including photos, newspaper articles, Basil's notes, letters, tape recordings and have had some interviews with local beach people, so cannot be held responsible for errors or any material hitherto, Jess Smith.

"On two of my visits to the resort while  traveling through the North Island, I found a bit of paradise with a friendly solid community who tend to be caring and look after each other. However, after chatting with many locals there is a tone of division when talking about the real history of the resort. There is a common opinion that the history of the resort has been adulterated by certain individuals to turn the spot light onto themselves, in the hope that some of "the real achievements by Basil & Gary might fade away into oblivion", as one local put it."

I trust that my input as an independent unbiased researcher, before I return to Canada, will put the history of this resort in its proper perspective.



Sixty two hectares of bare sand dunes were purchased from Keith Anderson for five thousand pounds on the 12th day of October 1953. A farmer made the comment at the time that Keith had found a fool,

“Who would pay all this money for barren sand dunes when it would only carry two sheep?” 

That 'fool' was Basil Bodle, the founder, visionary, and creator of Riversdale Beach Resort.

This web site presented "Without Prejudice" is mainly from original photographs, old typewrtings, tape recordings, and confirmed stories written (with the very distinctive hand writing and type writing of Basil Bodle), of the accounts, experiences, and history of the beach from Basil's viewpoint. Basil was the founder and developer of the resort along with his wife Phyllis and his four children Pauline, Brian, Barbara and Gary.

The research and archives that are included on this site  may be  embarrassing  to some individuals, organisations and a family member, but it is history as Basil himself felt, spoke, recorded, and wrote about it, thus it is presented "Without Prejudice".  He could not air all his thoughts and feelings, his disappointments and anxiety during the development at Riversdale Beach as he wanted to keep the peace and present Riversdale Beach as happy place to live and visit. 

Basil, through experience, had legitimate concerns that the history of Riversdale Beach could be hijacked and distorted by self glorification seekers. His concerns were also prompted by previous history, an editorial  the famous book “Who's Who" in England where his brother claimed to be the founder of the largest Tyre & Rubber company in New Zealand, being Reliance Tyre & Rubber Co. Ltd. This was a very hurtful lie, as Basil was the true founder of the company and started his brothers in the business.

Recent history confirms Basil’s past concerns were justified. This was evidenced by a publication called "On The Edge: Wairarapa Coastal". This publication gave the history of settlements around the coast, and some  may mistakenly use this as the legitimate history of Riversdale Beach Resort. In that  editorial, it becomes obvious there are errors and serious omissions about Riversdale Beach's history when compared against Basil's recorded evidence of the history.  After viewing the material in this web site it becomes obvious why some people may accuse an individual of self glorification by emphasising  the beach organisations that he was involved with, but  ignoring  the main factors which contributed to the resort's success. Basil left the archives with his youngest son Gary as his most trusted confidant and it was not until the aforesaid publication was printed that Gary felt it was time to publish Basil's archives to give a more balanced history.

Basil remarked in the archives, that even though the resort was an outstanding success, it was not worth the heartache, the divisions created within the family, which Basil commented was like "undermining cloud of jealousy with his and Gary's achievements". He made a warning to Gary "the "Credit Thieves" will stand in my shadow long after I have gone and some of those will be your relatives using my name and achievements for their own glory & recognition".

In addition, there were the underhand dealings of the Masterton County Council . There is a more comprehensive explanation in the  page entitled 'Disappointments and Opposition.'  Camping ground demise

Within this website you will find documentation describing the creation of the resort in an index of pages and links listed below.

Those who read and view these archives on this website,  may have things to add such as experiences, photos, and information, please contact Jess at mail@bodle.co.nz

To understand the Resort's success, one needs to understand Basil's determination and previous successes, thus the first pages are dedicated to Basil and his Reliance Tyre and Rubber Company's success.

Index :

      sub pages: Tractor Race

                               Beauty Contest

    Frog Leaping Contest

       sub pages: Club House

                               Older photos


      Sub Pages: Gary Bodle Real Estate Agency

  Aerial houses

 Houses marketed


         Sub Page  :  Camping ground demise

         Sub Page  : Aerial later

          Sub pages: Early photos

Basil's parties

At Golf Club

Love to hear feedback about this site