When Castlecliff comes together to celebrate the beginning of a new era next week it will also be a nod to the suburb’s past.

A community gathering will be a prelude to the opening of The Citadel café which is a sort of anchor project for the revamp of the Rangiora St gateway to the beach.

The area is planned to become the centrepiece of the Castlecliff Rejevenation Project, a largely grassroots movement, facilitated by Progress Castlecliff alongside the Whanganui District Council.

While renovating the building on Rangiora St for the café, builder Tom Francis discovered a small glass with message written on a block of wood had been placed inside the walls.

It read: “this glass was placed here on the 16th day of November 1966… relic of Castlecliff Hotel… to drink out of”.

Next Saturday’s celebration will near enough mark 50 years since the opening of the building.

“There’s been a lot of things like that through this project,” The Citadel’s Charlotte Melser said.

“Things that just lined up all the way. New beginnings.”

She wanted a free community event to mark the work that had gone into the suburb over the past year.

“I think the point of the celebration is to basically welcome the entire community into what we’re doing because obviously nothing like this has ever happened out here before,” she said.

It will be held at The Citadel premises on the corner of Rangiora St and Karaka St and the free community celebration will include food with the support of Matai St Community Gardens, CLIFFLIFE Church, Te Kaihau o Kupe Waka AMA and live music from Uncle Dub.

“It’s just really important that everybody feels like they can at least come in and say hi,” Melser said.

“There is a lot of pockets in this community, there’s a lot of diversity, and I guess we just want to make sure we’re not excluding anyone from it, that we create the most inclusive environment possible.

“We wouldn’t have been able to achieve what we’ve achieved without everybody’s support. Everybody’s really excited and really positive which is great.”

*The Castlecliff community celebration is on November 19 from about 3pm onward at The Citadel, Rangiora St.