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Newsletter for the Point Chevalier Historical Society
No. 28, January 2013


16 December 2012: Auckland Zoo Turns 90

Cards from the 1920s — Editor’s collection

Meetings at Horticultural Centre—2013 NOTE—DAY MEETINGS THIS YEAR ON 3RD THURSDAY 21 February 10.30 am— Lisa Truttman on Partington’s Windmill 21 March 7.30 pm—Des Gate on Trams 18 April 10.30 am — Colin Prince on Auckland Fire Brigade Historical Society 20 June 10.30 am — Eric Kearney on The Civic Theatre

Yes, the zoo’s birthday is 16 December 1922, not (as their plaque says, which used to be displayed at Old Mill Road entrance) the 17th. This error crept in via Council publicity in 1924, nearly a year and a half after it opened. Hopefully, the right date will be sorted in time for the 100th in 2022.

Pt Chevalier Historical Society Minutes of meeting Thursday 22nd November 2012 Auckland Horticultural Council Rooms
Meeting started at 10.30 am. Present: 36 people Apologies: Pam Burrell, Max Catlin, Des Gates, Neil Hogan, Graham Perkins, Dick Pope, Jean Russell. President’s report: The President has attended meetings with the Albert-Eden Board concerning the Auckland Council Unitary Plan. Any member may contact her if they wish to have an input. Upper Waitemata Harbour cruise going ahead on 4th Dec. There are still places available for members & their friends. Waterview School is to be completely rebuilt. They have a heritage group working to preserve its history and would be delighted to hear from anyone with information/items of interest. Treasurer’s report: Bank accounts 00 acc $1167.88 01acc $2923.35 General business As from next year we will asking for gold coin donations at each meeting to help cover costs. Contributions are voluntary but will be much appreciated. Guest speaker Helen Laurenson - “Going up, going down”- history of NZ Department stores Next meeting 21st February 2013 Lisa Truttman on Partington’s Mill

Mr Sands’ Point Chevalier Strawberries
At the November meeting, Cyril Bell passed the following letter to me, in response to a photo (below) which appeared in the last issue. Re the strawberry grower in your photo PCHS Nov., the man pictured is Mr Sands who lived at 435 Pt Chev Road. The entire area from his residence, Pt Chev Road to Johnstone St & Bungalow Ave, he cultivated strawberries and sold them in a little shed on Pt Chevalier beach. He also had one of the first candy floss machines in Auckland, and sold the floss on a stick for a penny. The house on the right of the photo is No 12 Johnstone St,

where I was born. The house is still there and greatly modernised. The house in the centre was facing Pt Chev Road, and was owned by the Miller family. In later years Mr Sands & Sons started an orange fruit drink shop on the corner of Customs & Queen Streets, opposite the Great Northern Hotel. Cyril Bell
Image, Auckland Star, 12 October 1935

Looks like this was Arthur W Sands, residing c.1929 between Oliver Street and Johnstone Street on Pt Chevalier Road, the only one on that block apart from the Oddfellows Hall. The Sands also lived closer to Great North Road. The following are clippings from the Auckland Star on his time in the district. 11 June 1927 An accident occurred this morning at Point Chevalier to a five-year-old boy Jack Sands. His parents, Mr and Mrs A Sands, reside at 185 Pt Chevalier Road. The little fellow was riding on a motor lorry, and was thrown off as the vehicle rounded a corner. The child sustained some severe cuts on his head. He also out one knee badly and had various other abrasions. Dr Buck found it necessary to put in six stitches in the wounds on the head. The child was thrown on to the metal but did not lose consciousness. 10 June 1929 Striking evidence that strawberries would ripen in June was supplied this morning by Mr. A. Sands, of Point Chevalier, who called at the Star Office with a very attractive exhibit. He explained that they were of the Madame Melba variety, and said that during the past few weeks he had picked a considerable quantity of ripe fruit. Mr. Sands attributes ripe strawberries at this time to the very mild weather which has been experienced. He started with two and a-half dozen plants, and now has 8000. 23 November 1929 On the principle that seeing is believing, and that a demonstration is even more convincing, Mr A Sands, a Point Chevalier strawberry grower, brought a box of strawberries to the Star office to-day to display a new special berry, the result of a cross between the wellknown Madame Melba and Captain Cook varieties blended with the flowering strawberry. The result has been a very luscious and comparatively small berry with a distinctive flavour. One distinctive feature is a very fine grain. Those who sampled the berries felt quite convinced that the new cross had a lot to recommend it. 1 February 1930 By fixing paddles to the wheels of an ordinary bicycle, instead of tyres, and mounting the machine on hollow iron floats, Mr A Sands, of Point Chevalier, has made a queer craft which in trials has shown quite good seaworthy qualities. Several trials have been made off the Point Chevalier beach, and at the first favourable opportunity Mr Sands intends to ride across to the North Shore and back. The appearance of the "aquatic bike" at the Point Chevalier beach has caused much interest. Experiments proved that it would keep at least thirteen

people afloat, while at a diving platform for bathers it has been put to excellent use. Mr Sands said this morning that the labour needed for propulsion was not more than the riding of a bicycle along a road, and that on the water quite a fast speed could be obtained. He added that the trials made showed that the machine would not capsize, and could be ridden in rough water. A rudder was fixed, and controlled from the handlebars by means of cord and pulleys. 19 September 1930 Two hundred angoras and chinchillas were among the most comfortable looking passengers on board the Ulimaroa when the vessel left for Sydney to-day. These rabbits were the third shipment sent from Auckland. In their cases on the poop they nibbled grass or slumbered quietly alongside a partly-eaten breakfast. Though they do not love the water these rabbits are good sailors. In one of the cages three or four in a snug corner were seen with their mother. Other litters are expected during the voyage. Mr A Sands, of Point Chevalier, is in charge of the shipment. He says the fur industry is developing in New South Wales and on one farm there are 10,000 rabbits. On arrival at Sydney the shipment goes into quarantine for a fortnight. 11 January 1933 Over 30 children of the Leslie Presbyterian Orphanage, Remuera, spent a pleasant afternoon yesterday at a "free pick" in the strawberry garden of Mr A Sands, Point Chevalier. The children are at present spending a holiday at the seaside, not far from Mr Sands' place, and he invited them over and gave them the run of the garden. Before they left he also gave each child a bag of sweets. The children thoroughly enjoyed themselves, and Mr Sands was warmly thanked. Mr Sands' section, which is on the main road to the Point, shows what can be done with the clay soil that was once thought useless. It was tea-tree and gorse last March, and to-day every inch of it is cultivated. Most of it is in strawberries, a strain of Mr Sands' own

raising, a cross between Madame Melba and the Captain Cook variety. He experimented for six years, and the result is a blight-proof plant that does not need spraying. Plant-raising is one of Mr Sands' special hobbies, and two interesting exotics on his section are rice and peanuts. Most people think of rice as growing only in swampy ground. He says that is a mistake. The sort that grows on dry country is a Chinese variety, and Mr Sands got the seed from Fiji, where rice is grown in scores of places by the large Indian population. The peanut, which grows on the same principle as the potato, was grown from the ordinary article that one buys in the shops. In this knack of raising out of the way plants Mr Sands is following in the footsteps of his father who was the first man to grow bananas in Fiji, and the first man to export them to Australia.

Next issue due out March 2013
Contact Lisa Truttman (editor) : 19 Methuen Road, Avondale, Auckland 0600, phone (09) 828-8494 or email ptchevalierhistory@gmail.com

Olive Mavis Perkins 14 August 1924—7 January 2013
Sincere condolences go to PCHS member Neville Perkins, on the passing of his beloved wife Olive this month. Neville and Olive met while Neville was working at the Pt Chevalier ambulance station, so their story definitely has a connection with the district. They were married for well over 60 years. Olive’s family the Doves had connections with shops and stores at New Lynn, Avondale and Mt Albert from much of last century. Our thoughts are with you, Neville, and with your friends and family at this time.

Membership of the Point Chevalier Historical Society
Membership is open to all with an interest in our area’s history, and costs only $10 per person. This entitles you to vote at our meetings, and to receive mailed copies of the Point Chevalier Times. Send cheques to: Pt Chevalier Historical Society, C/- 119C Hutchinson Avenue New Lynn, Auckland 0600 Your membership fees mean that we can keep publishing the Point Chevalier Times. Your support would be appreciated.

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