The general public had no idea of the negative side to the beach becoming so popular. For many years there were no police stationed at the resort during holiday periods, so any disturbance such as gangs, speedsters, fire, accidents, rescue, cars stuck, the public would go to the store for help. Most problems ended up being referred to Basil or to Gary. Both Basil and Gary had a very good rapport with the Masterton police and were in contact nearly every week of the holidays. Because the store was a First Aid Post, Gary had to rush holiday makers into the Masterton hospital on several occasions.
In the early years up until the 1980s Basil, Gary or and store Lessee would have to talk to young dangerous drivers, who if they didn't comply with a pleasant request, got told that they would not get any service or Petrol at the shop. This tactic usually worked.
Basil was made a ranger to protect wild life in the resort area.
Photo above: a number of permanent residents were nominated as County Council Wardens to advise individuals who were breaking the law. They could not take any action other than to advise that they had been witnessed. Gary's Warden Authority was upheld in court by a defendant's lawyer after a gang disruption at the resort one night. The warden status was recognised very well by the court.
For many years before the police established temporary holiday station at the resort, Gary had to handle many undesirables, illegal campers, drunks, gangs and those of a nuisance value. He got threatened with a broken bottle by a gang member whilst he was surrounded by the gang within the camping ground. Luckily he anticipated the gangs aggressiveness and had a friend (Dale Lacey) prepared to hit the emergency siren button if Gary needed it. Gary called for it when threatened by a gang member with a broken bottle and within 5 to 10 minutes Gary had support of 50 men armed with shovels, golf clubs and other objects as they did not know what the emergency was - fire, drowning or disturbance. Some of the gang members ended up in jail with a history of violent incidents, Gary spent five hours in the Masterton Court as a witness for the police. After this incident Gary approached the Masterton police as one of the gang members threatened to return and kill Gary. The police said, "You ring us if anyone comes to threaten you," and Gary said, " ...that was a joke as the last incident the police took three hours to get there and anyway if a gang was that determined it would shoot the telephone lines away." After this conversation Basil insisted that Gary purchase a 6 shot, shot gun and kept it on the premises and having already had riot control training in the army, he was confident of what to do if threatened.
Not once was Gary ever hit by the public he usually could persuade his way around confrontation, but said there was one exception where a son of a local family, part of the dark cloud of jealousy as Basil referred to, tried to fight Gary.
Dale Lacey who probably saved Gary from Serious injury from a gang. Story above.
Found this photo of Gary in army gear, on questioning him he said it was the only Lotto he even won getting into compulsory military training during the Vietnam war.
Gary said, " The broken glass spread from the Surf Club all over the beach front right to the store. The perpetrators were the first in line to get take-a-way food for breakfast and I ordered the store closed until the mess was picked up in the fear of children cutting their feet .After the announcement over our loud speakers we had support of hundreds of campers to help, the perpetrators just watched on".