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Avondale-Waterview Historical Society Newsletter 26

Avondale-Waterview Historical Society Newsletter 26

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

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: Lisa Truttman on Dec 24, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 Avondale  Avondale  Avondale  Avondale- --Waterview Waterview Waterview Waterview Historical Society Incorporated  Historical Society Incorporated  Historical Society Incorporated  Historical Society Incorporated  
 Newsletter  Newsletter  
No. 26March—April 2007
Prepared by Lisa Truttman, President and Editor 
Federation Conference 2007:Pleasant Point, South IslandPrimary School ReunionWaterview Study
It’s published!Many thanks to the Avondale Community Board for as-sisting with printing costs for the first 50 copies. Distribu-tion of these to contributors, libraries, schools, Councildepartments, Transit NZ, etc. is proceeding at the moment.The phone has been rung off the hook with enquiries tobuy copies of Jack Dragicevich’s book since we put out apress release late in March.
Copies are avail-able at cost price,$28, plus postageof $6 for one, $8for two. Or, youcan pop intoWords Incorpo-rated in Block-house Bay shopsand obtain a copyfrom Brom there,to save postage.
The Society willnot be making anyprofit from theproduction of thisbook.I had a great time journeying via Christchurch headingdown to Pleasant Point for this year’s conference. Theweather was (mainly) extremely good — and getting achance to see some of the heritage sites in Christchurch,Pleasant Point, Timaru, Waimate, Fairlie and districts,and Wellington was fantastic.Lifting some information on the conference businessfrom the Federation’s newsletter
Keeping In Touch
:“Saturday immediately after registration President RobinAstridge opened the 36th conference, welcoming the at-tendees to Pleasant Point. Brian Blanchard responded thatis was pleasure for their Society to host the weekend.“Wynne HaySmith of Helensville made a presentation onbehalf of our host 2008 Conference, Helensville Histori-cal Society. Wynne gave a “run down” on what we couldlook forward to over the weekend of 4 -6 April 2008.“All settled down very quickly for the formal side of theweekend, the AGM. At the election of officers all werere-elected with two exceptions. The first was that longserving treasurer, Noeline Shaw, decided that after 16years of devoted attention to Federation’s financial affairsthat she would not seek re-election. The meeting noted byacclamation her long term as Treasurer.“The earlier resignation of Garry O’Neill from the Ex-ecutive saw Lisa Truttman (Avondale/Waterview) electedto fill that position.“The remit regarding travel costs from Waikato waswithdrawn as the Executive had appointed a sub-committee to study this and report back next AGM. Thesecond remit regarding the marking of historic places byNZHPT was passed with an amendment that they, withour assistance, investigate the possible management of Heritage Trails nationally. In business arising from 2006there was a report from the Executive regarding the loanscheme for publications. This has yet to be finalised butthe “bare bones” are:-1. That loans to the total amount of $6000 to be ac-
Welcome to an extended version of our normal Newsletter this month. With the amount of news coming in just now, I  felt it was necessary to stretch out a little, just for this is-
The Avondale Primary School Reunion is on. The Soci-ety’s organising committee for this have been hard at work and done an excellent job with arrangements to date.Dates: 23 and 24 November 2007Contact: Doris 828-0376 or Lisa 828-8494 for details andto go on the registration mailing list.
 Noters from his speech, reproduced here by kind permis-sion.
Birkenhead was a part of the very large Mahurangi block of land that was bought by the government in 1841 fromNgati Whatua, and Ngati Paoa etc. This is still a con-tested purchase. It is claimed that some of the sellerswere not the owners. The block was an artificial divisionof land, conforming to no logical tribal areas but drawntogether by surveyors working for the British govern-ment. Payment for the block was 400 blankets, 60 cloaks,200 pounds cash, 60 gowns, 2 horses, 2 head of cattle,200 pairs of trousers, 30 coats, 100 caps 4 casks of to-bacco, 6 bags of flour, 2 bags of rice, and 1 bag sugar.
This area was covered in Kauri trees and other nativebush in the hollows and on the hills reaching up from thesteep cliffs on the edge of the Waitemata Harbour fromLittle Shoal Bay around to upper reaches of the Hellyer’sCreek.
The main routes north were in these times from Devon-port which was still an island with the main landing jettybeing opposite the Masonic Tavern, Stokes Point-Northcote, or to Riverhead and walking over land to Hel-ensville. Crossing the harbour was by cutter or rowboat
Peter Blaiklock’s Bus Tours
Phone Peter or Jean to book: (09) 817-6268Manukau Heads TripSunday 20th MayMeet at Iona Hall, Donovan St, Blockhouse Bay,12 noon$21 eachThis is virtually, contact Peter or Jean as soon as possible.Car parking available at the hall. These really are an enjoy-able day out, seeing the sites and chatting to friends.
Other items ….
It’s our 5th birthday this coming June. Any ideas as tohow we could make our June 2nd meeting just a little bitmore special would be appreciated.Our guest speaker for June will be Ray Webster, talkingto us about Kawau Island, its history and its present.Some of you will have noticed that high fencing has beeninstalled around St Ninians Church building and ceme-tery at St Georges Road here in Avondale. This wasplaced by Council in response to concerns about possiblecontaminiation from lead used to paint the old building.As this building is Avondale’s oldest (erected 1859-1860), the Society have been making enquiries at Auck-land City Council as to what is to happen. We’ll keep youinformed when we know more.Plans are underway for a Birkenhead Bus Trip later thisyear, around October period. Costs to be advised in thenext newsletter. All those interested, please let meknow— Lisa, 828-8494.tioned – with any one loan a maximum of $2000.2. The loan be for publication costs only.3. Maximum term is of 18 months.4. There be an interest charge of 5% per annum.5. There be a written loan form drawn up between bothparties“When the loan scheme is finalized full details will bemade available.“The AGM closed with a vote of thanks to VP KennethStringer for acting as secretary.“After lunch we explored the workshop, inspected thesteam engine and observed the volunteer workers at KeansCrossing – the hub of the Pleasant Point Museum & Rail-way working area. Brian Blanchard then showed us someold time movies in their cinema complex – we enjoyedreliving Hop-a-Long Cassidy, Abbott & Costello alongwith Selwyn Togood’s TV1 farwell presentation and thefinal trip of the Fairlie Flyer in 1968.“Afternoon tea saw us leave Keanes Crossing – some tovisit Richard Pearse’s Memorial and Hanging Rock Bridgewhilst others relaxed.“A pleasant dinner was held at the Pleasant Point Hotelafter which we heard of a Rotarian project of building asmall hospital in rural Latvia. Brian Kitchen (a PleasantPoint member) has spent a total of nine months in Latviaas a volunteer on this project.“Sunday morning saw us all gathered at the Pleasant PointRailway Station Museum where we spent a delightful hourviewing the exhibits (and spending at the shop!). Alf, whohad given up his morning for us, loaded us aboard theModel T Railcar replica and we traveled to Keanes Cross-ing and back with a couple of photo stops on the way.“This ride concluded the official weekend and after fare-wells left on our respective journeys home.”
April Guest Speaker:Ray Johanson,Presidnt, Birkenhead Historical Society
for many years, in all weathers depending on the tidewhere you were landed.
In 1844 following surveys, lots were put up for sale, inBirkenhead, Northcote and Birkdale. N.Z Co had op-tions on large blocks of land, these were not taken upand mostly was given by the government to the CatholicChurch. This was then sold to fund some of theirschools; Thomas Hellyers took over the area on theedge of the creek towards where Glenfield is today. Asa sawyer, and also had a brew house.Ships crews in long boats for fresh water supplies usedBirkdale lagoon.
1850s: Henry Hawkins was the first major farmer in thearea. Starting a plant nursery.1853: Lt Col Robert Wynyard commander of the 58
 regiment who later became N.Z’s 5th governor generalwas granted a 207 acres block of land for a payment of 207 pound seven shillings and ten pence; he later soldthis land to Mr Cochrane.
1854: Inland Birkdale lots put up for sale. Very poorsoil… MAINLY CLAY. Bush to be cleared and landfenced. Not an easy task.
1856: Major Collings de Jersey Grut was granted land atDuck Creek [CHELSEA]. He came out under theWhittaker Scheme, and found that whilst they were voy-aging out to N.Z. the rules had been changed, he hadexpected to have the 423 pounds he had paid in faresconverted to land on his arrival. This eventually wasgranted and he took up the land in Chelsea. Theybrought 5 servants, 2 cows, and 3 horses, and an enor-mous amount of luggage in mahogany boxes, a piano,the family silver, and the most modern farm equipmentthey could buy. The family lost their 2-year-old girl bysuffocation with smoke while burning off green tea treewhen clearing the land. He later sold to Edward Mat-thews. And moved north to Orewa, he and his wife areburied in Silverdale Cemetery.
1857: William Brassey farms in the lower Birkenheadarea. The Tizard Family also. Alexander Wilson laterleased this and William Thompson [Thompson & Hills-OAK BRAND] also farmed. They started to make jamin large amounts at their house in Hinemoa St when theferry service was disrupted with boat problems. Thecannery business was later set up over in Freemans Bayin Partnership with Mr Hill an accountant. Charles Fitz-patrick farmed near Kauri point [Fitzpatrick Bay].
1863: The name BIRKENHEAD first appears in noticesfor land sales held by Samuel Cochrane, because thearea reminded him of his hometown, being across theriver as Birkenhead is from Liverpool, prior to thisBirkenhead was known as the North Shore of theWaitemata River, present day Chelsea was known byits Maori name of Wawaroa.
1868: North Shore Road Board formed, very Northcoteorientated.
1875: Census, 160 people living in Northcote and Birk-enhead.
1880: First Zion Hill Methodist Church opened.
1882: The first Birkenhead Wharf was built, about 100yards to the East of the present wharf at this time therewas a very busy commercial centre on the roadside justabove the wharf site. The slope of the road from thewharf was very steep causing many problems for thehorses. Substantial additions added to wharf in 1888 byA.H.B. Present wharf was built much later.
1882: Phones came to the north Shore but not to Birk-enhead we had to wait sometime to get ours.
1883: Chelsea Sugar works construction commenced,bricks were made on site, and there were 3 large damsfor the water supply the catchment area is now theChatswood housing estate.
1884: The paddle steamer Birkenhead was built forferry Co.Sugar works opened, this was a life -changing event forBirkenhead with a major industrial centre starting op-eration in a rural community. They had their own 3wharves. Raw sugar, coal, and passenger, and lighterslipway. There was a big settlement on the hill abovethe refinery with a small Church. They assisted manyworkers with housing loans on cottages in Birkenheadat very reasonable rates of interest. Over the years hun-dreds of residents worked there, many were landownerswho tended their blocks before and after work at therefinery, Ash from the works was spread on the localroads.1886: Birkenhead and Northcote Fruitgrowers Assnformed. Some of the crops grown were, apples (untilhit by the codling moth) pears, peaches, plums, grapes,water and rock melons, Cape gooseberries, lemons,flowers, other vegetables, and large numbers of straw-berries were also grown in Birkdale and Northcote.Some growers set up a few small canning factories.Some land owners also kept cows and poultry and pigs,and horses were used before tractors arrived.
Birkenhead Road Board formed.

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