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Story of Victoria Hall

Story of Victoria Hall

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Published by Lisa Truttman
History of the Victoria Hall Church on Rosebank in Avondale, Auckland (now known as the Rosebank Peninsula Church) from 1897-1987.
History of the Victoria Hall Church on Rosebank in Avondale, Auckland (now known as the Rosebank Peninsula Church) from 1897-1987.

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Published by: Lisa Truttman on Nov 03, 2008
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07/10/2013

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Much of the following originally published in the 90th anniversarybooklet produced by the Avondale Union Parish, 1987, based on therecords of the Victoria Hall committee, as researched by Mr. Kurt Brehmer.
Compiled by Lisa Truttman, local historian, 2001- 2002Re-published 2011All rights reserved.
Victoria Hall  
(Rosebank Peninsula Church)212 Rosebank Road, Rosebank PeninsulaAvondale, Auckland1897 - 1987
The story of 
 
 
Ann Fletcher Jackson –“Pioneer Resident Minister” (1833-1903)
The story of Victoria Hall starts with Ann Fletcher Jackson and her husbandThomas, who lived at a small farm along present day Avondale Road called“Meliora” from the Latin
melior,
meaning“better“ — (now 103 Avondale Road) from1893 to 1899.Ann was born on 27 February 1833 in Leigh,Lancashire, the eldest child of John and MaryFletcher. At age 11 Ann was sent to a Society of Friends School (Quaker) at Ackworth, studyingthere for 3 years. She recalled later in life thatonce she had come home from the school, aministry Friend paid a visit to her home andtold her the following: “I hope dear thou wilt befaithful to the call of the Lord, for I believe Hewill call thee to special service for Him, to preach the Gospel in distant placesand be a comfort to many far and near; only be faithful.” Ann was to rememberthis as a basis for her later ministry work in New Zealand and Australia.She married Thomas Jackson, from Ulverston, Lancashire, in 1859, and 3 yearslater the couple moved to Birkenhead in Cheshire. Thomas Jackson worked asa boot seller there. In 1878, he
“took from his pocket some papers containinginformation respecting some land in the province of Auckland in the North Is-land of New Zealand.”
[
The Story of New Zealand Quakerism, 1842-1972
, byMargaret West & Ruth Falwell, 1973, p.7.]Short on funds, and with a family of seven children surviving of eleven, Tho-mas and Ann Fletcher Jackson were barely able to scrape up enough to coverthe cost of their fares to New Zealand, leaving 3 October 1878. The arrived inAuckland 12 January 1879, taking up land at Otonga, north of Whangarei,called “Home Farm”.
“They invited neighbouring settlers to share their gather-ings, though their ways were not always understood.”
[West & Falwell, p.8]In 1883, Ann applied for a position as teacher at a local school, working thereuntil April 1885 (only leaving because of the school board’s decision to makethe position a part-time one for male teachers only). In 1885, she made the de-cision to start active ministry work, and was granted a certificate to travel onreligious service the next year, starting the couple’s travels in October 1886.These included a trip to Australia and journeys around the mining towns there
Thomas and Ann Fletcher Jackson, c. 1897.
1
 
2
from 1888-1889.
For the rest of her active life Ann travelled extensively around New Zealand onFriends' business, sometimes with her husband Thomas but often alone. At thistime most roads were poor to impassable (to nonexistent!), so her journeys in-volved coastal ships, horseback, and a great deal of time. She was instrumentalin the establishment of a nationwide network of Friends, and in encouragingthe establishment of regular Meetings for Worship in a number of places.
[ Internet Website: quaker.org.nz/ whoweare/ history.htm, the site for the Soci-ety of Friends in New Zealand, December 2001]Ann Fletcher Jackson was a dedicated correspondent, and spent many oftenpainful hours communicating with fellow Friends.
 About this time (1888) Ann F. Jackson had so much correspondence that shespeaks of having 40 letters in arrear. Some of her friends suggested that sheshould write a circular letter, but she said that it would not be like ‘heart speak-ing to heart’ and circumstances and surrounding were so different, in different homes. A letter from her son Fletcher says, ‘Mother’s handwriting is not so good as formerly, it is partly due to her large correspondence but principally from in-ability to hold the pen, the forefingers of her right hand seem to have got be- yond control.’“Soon after this Ann F Jackson’s hand got worse. She took medical advice and was told she had ‘writer’s cramp or palsy’ and should wear a strap round thewrist.
[Sarah Jane Lury,
 Ann Fletcher Jackson, Pioneer Resident Minister in theSociety of Friends, New Zealand,
London, 1904, p.24]Improving technology helped Ann Jackson considerably in 1894.
 Ann F Jackson wrote in 1894: ‘To-day I have received the type-writer; I am de-lighted with it for indeed it is a most valuable and acceptable present, for which I am more grateful than words can tell, for the kindness of the dear friendsthough I know not who they are, who are thus enabling me to continue the cor-respondence which I believe to be part of the work which the Lord has called me to do.’ In the first letter written with the typewriter she says, ‘It is so nice to be able towrite or rather type a letter without pain, for even when writing with my left hand, the pain in my right hand and arm was sometimes very distress-ing.”
[ibid, p. 39]
 The establishment of a [Society of Friends] Meeting had been the hope of the Jacksons since their arrival in the Colony … After advertising, and much per-severance on Thomas’ part in seeking where Friends were living, they suc-ceeded in having most Auckland members attend two Meetings on Sunday, 1
st 
  November 1885.
[
West & Falwell,
p. 8]

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