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Published on 19th September 2011
The Bougainville Library project is about to take another step forward when VSA volunteer Barry Binding leaves Wellington on September 20 to spend six weeks developing a project management plan for the building.
The library – or stori haus – is the inspiration of Wellington writer Lloyd Jones, whose 2007 Man Booker Prize-finalist and Commonwealth Writers' Prize-winning novel Mister Pip is set in Bougainville.
As well as developing a project management plan, Mr Binding will also organise the timber needed for the project, and will prepare the site for building.
The library is being built on the grounds of Arawa High School in Arawa, the former capital of Bougainville. It has been designed by Wellington architect Paul Kerr-Hislop and will be built by trainee carpenters from Arawa Carpentry. VSA helped set up Arawa Carpentry in 1999 as part of the reconstruction process following 10 years of civil war.
Mr Binding, a Kapiti Coast builder, returned from a two-year VSA assignment based at Arawa Carpentry in May 2010. While he was there he built a model of the library to give local people a chance to see what it will look like. He is one of several VSA volunteers who have been closely involved with the library project.
He is looking forward to returning to Bougainville to start the next stage of the process.
“It’s really exciting to finally be getting ready to build the library. It will be a great asset for the people of Bougainville, and everyone is really looking forward to seeing being able to use it.”
Once the project management plan has been developed and approved, Mr Binding will return to Bougainville as a VSA volunteer in February 2012 to spend six months supervising the building process.
Lloyd Jones, chair of the Bougainville Library Trust, says he is delighted Mr Binding is involved in the project.
“We couldn’t have got the project underway without VSA, and no-one is more qualified or suitable to the task of building the library than Barry. He spent two years living in Bougainville, and he is held in very high esteem there.”