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Avondale Historical Journal No. 5

Avondale Historical Journal No. 5

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Published by Lisa Truttman
Journal of the Avondale-Waterview Historical Society, Auckland, New Zealand
Journal of the Avondale-Waterview Historical Society, Auckland, New Zealand

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: Lisa Truttman on Jun 25, 2009
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Avondale and Waterview areas at last have their own Historical Soci-ety. The inaugural meeting on March 30, despite the fact that this wasEaster Saturday, attracted 15 people to the Avondale Community Cen-tre, where the Society was formally created and a Steering Committeecalled for to take the new Society on the road to full incorporation. Al-ready, there are a number of members making lists of future projects forthe Society.An early gift to the new Society came on March 28 when the dissolvingKeep Avondale Ward Beautiful Society voted at their last AGM to do-nate any funds left over in their accounts to the Historical Society onproof of our incorporation. A most welcome gesture!Congratulations to everyone who has worked so hard to bring about ournew Society, and many thanks to the earlier Avondale History Groupwho, through producing the
Challenge of the Whau
in 1994, did somuch to help spark interest in the local history of our community, whichhas led, ultimately, to this Society.— Lisa TruttmanThe Steering Committee approved that the next
General Meeting of the Avondale-Waterview Historical Society
 
will be held on
Saturday June 1, 2002, at 2 pm,Avondale Community Centre,99 Rosebank Road, Avondale.
Please contact Lisa Truttman, phone 828-8494 for further information.
The AvondaleHistorical Journal
Official Publication of the Avondale-Waterview Historical Society 
May June 2002 Volume
1
Issue
5
HistoricalSociety Notes& NextMeeting
1
Lions Hallanniversary
2Story of theJournal andSociety3
“Voices of thePast”
4
Inside this issue:
A new Historical Society!Next General Meeting of the Society
 
25th anniversary of the Lions Hall25th anniversary of the Lions Hall25th anniversary of the Lions Hall25th anniversary of the Lions Hall
The Avondale Historical Journal Official Publication of the
Volume 1 Issue 5
 Page 2
The Editor of this
 Journal
is quite partial andbiased when it comes to the Lions Hall, onthe corner of Blockhouse Bay Road andGreat North Road. I am a member of the Li-ons Club of Avondale, who meet twice amonth at the 92-year-old Hall, leased by theClub from Auckland City.This year, 2002, is the 25th anniversary of when a local community group, in conjunc-tion with Auckland City, local residents andbusinesses,succeeded in making sure a piece of Avondale’s historycould live on and remain as a landmark from the pastfor future generations.
(From Lions Club of Avondale 25th Anniversarybooklet, 1989, and their Club website:)
"Lions Save the Day Again -- New LeaseOf Life For Old Hall"
 The above was the headline that appeared in the West-ern Leader on 27th September 1974.
"An old Avondalelandmark is to renovated at a cost of $10,000 by the Avondale Lions Club"
the article continued ...
"theclub had been granted the lease of the 64 year old building from the Auckland City Council."
 The old Church Hall (Church of Christ) was originallyopened on June 19th 1910 on land owned by a MrWilliam Shepherd. Mr Shepherd's daughter, DulcieShepherd lived in the family home 2 doors away.In the 1950s the building ceased to be used as a Churchand fell rapidly into disrepair. The land was gazetted asa railway reserve and several firms used the buildingfor either manufacturing or storage until 1973 when theAvondale Lions Club was appointed custodian by theMinistry of Works.When the Avondale Lions started work on the buildingit desired to keep the building as much like the originalas possible. During the restoration a Baptismal font un-der the floor 8ft long, 4ft wide and 4ft deep wasdiscovered. This has been retained and used for stor-age.Considerable support came from the local communityonce restoration started including a Mr O'Rorke, aplumber who donated his services for all plumbingneeds. Many other companies supplied goodsat cost or less and the lions provided the labour underthe guidance of Joff McDonald.From the time the building permit was obtained tocommence restoration of the Hall, 3,000 hours of la-bour and $17,000 had been spent.Finally on Saturday June 11th 1977, 67 years after the"First" opening, Sir Dove-Meyer Robinson opened ournew Lions Headquarters and community facility. At thetime of the "second" opening the building was valuedat $35,000.
 
(left)
The old Hall, as it was before restorationby the Lions Club (photo courtesy Lions Clubof Avondale).
(below)
The Lions Hall as it is today (photocourtesy of Mr B Spencer, taken March 2002)
For more information on the Lions Club of Avondale, visit the Club website:www.geocities.com/avondalelions/index.html
 
I have been asked to put together a brief background storyas to how the Historical Society came about.Around 1989, I started to collect information and ephemeraon Avondale’s history, spending spare time going to theAuckland Central Library and raking through old
Western Leaders
, as well as viewing old maps and photos. I havehad the kind permission of several library staff at AvondaleCommunity Library over the years, photocopying from theirown local history archive.After the publication of 
Challenge of the Whau
(1994) Icontinued to gather what I now term “Avondaliana”; Avon-dale collectibles, information, photos, news clippings. Mypersonal archive outgrew my initial simple filing system,and now one area of interest overflows the others as it will.I believed, and still fervently believe, that Avondale shouldhave a history, a heritage, for if not, when those of us whohave lived these Avondale lives of ours are gone – onlyfragments will remain, whether of memory or of paper.In late February 2001, I was approached by Duncan Mac-donald, chairman of the Avondale Business Association, towrite a timeline history of the Association. Of course thestory of the association is strongly linked to and part of thestory of Avondale Central itself, and so started
 Heart of theWhau
. The Avondale Business Association approved a re-search grant to cover expenses such as transport, photo-copying, stationery etc, and the hunt for information began.From March 1 2001 I began compiling information for
 Heart of the Whau
. I quickly discovered that I am not theonly local history buff out there, and have had the appreci-ated help of dozens of people, businesses, and institutions.To my delight, many of the “identities” of Avondale pastand present have become good friends of mine, and keensupporters of the concept that we need one legal entity, aSociety, to represent the issues of heritage preservation andappreciation in our community.In May-June 2001, with the second draft of 
 Heart of theWhau
presented to the Avondale Business Association’sCommittee, I asked if the ABA would act as an “umbrellagroup” for funding applications to ensure the printing of thebook. Instead, the Committee suggested that a historical so-ciety be set up. I arranged for a meeting to take place inJuly, but illness forced a cancellation.On August 10 2001, as I felt that there was so much newinformation coming to light on the history of Avondale thatI didn’t want to wait for book publication entirely, I startedthe “Rimtark” website for Avondale History, followed soonafter by the “Archive Room” for general Auckland history,and another sister site, “Earth Settler“. These websites com-plement the existing History section on the Avondale Busi-ness Association site, still the home of the original timeline,but also have their own
 Down Memory Lane
section, spe-cialist articles on Avondale churches and personalties, andphotos.In September 2001, inspired by the Avondale His-tory Group’s Newsletters of 1992-1993, I wroteand published the first
 Avondale Historical Journal
 under the “Heart of the Whau Project” name. Oneof the
 Journal
’s main purposes was to maintain theinterest in a historical society until I could organiseanother meeting date.The
 Journal
was originally mailed or given di-rectly to people on a mailing list of around 50names. This list grew extremelyfast, and by the publication of Issue 4 in late February 2002, themailing list was at around 90 andrising – an extremely popularpublication with the public. Eachissue was sponsored to cover costof photocopying, postage etc. byeither local businesses or mem-bers of the public. In earlyMarch 2002, the Avondale Busi-ness Association agreed to coverfuture costs of photocopying tothe mailing list in return for theright to reproduce the
 Journal
ineach issue of Avondale’s
Spi-der’s Web
local paper, as an in-sertion. This meant the distribu-tion of the
 Journal
now stands at over 1000 copiesfor the first four issues.On Saturday, March 30, 2002, the Historical Soci-ety was born, and the
 Journal
became its officialpublication. Lisa Truttman
The Avondale Historical JournalOfficial Publication of the
Volume 1 Issue 5
 Page 3
The story of aThe story of aThe story of aThe story of a
Journal Journal Journal Journal 
, and a Society, and a Society, and a Society, and a Society
 
“I believe ... thatAvondale shouldhave a history, aheritage, for if not, when those of us who have livedthese Avondalelives of ours aregone – onlyfragments willremain.”
Any old photos?
Keep your eyes open for any old photographs of Avondale and Waterview. Please do contact me if you think you’ve found something, no matter howobscure! Precious gems, as you all know, can lie inunlikely places.

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