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AvondaleAvondale-Waterview Historical Society Incorporated

May-June 2013 No. 63 Prepared by Lisa Truttman, President and Editor

NZ Federation of Historical SocietiesConference Dunedin, April 5-7
I wrote the following for the Federation’s newsletter. Dunedin’s charms and deeply multi-layered heritage have me wanting to return to that city to catch up on what I missed. The trip down, for me, was well worth it (here I must thank my home Society of AvondaleWaterview, as well as the Chinese NZ Oral History Society, for their financial assistance to get me down there from here in Auckland). At least 32 delegates and observers attended the conference. Proceedings began with a delightful gettogether on Friday 5 April at Daisy Bank, the home of Ann and John Barsby at Royal Terrace, built by Richard Hudson junior between 1896-1899. Hudson was one of the famous family of Dunedin biscuit makers. Saturday morning began bright and early in the cooler (but most welcome) temperatures with a coach trip around some of the sights in the upper part of the city’s suburbs, including sights of the harbour and city below from Signal Hill Lookout, and a quick visit to Baldwin Street. A light lunch awaited us at the Burns Hall beside First Church, preceded by the opportunity to look around one of Dunedin’s oldest places of worship, the First Church of Otago Presbyterian with its stunning external architecture. The church also has a Heritage Centre attached which is packed with information on the story of both the church and the city itself. A treasure trove for historians and genealogists alike. We had an opportunity for a look at the Toitū Otago Settlers Museum, an old institution reorganised and

added to for its reopening only last December. Toitū is the name of one of the early streams which emptied into Dunedin’s harbour, near which boats from the John Wickliffe landed in 1848. A memorial plaque still exists from the centenary celebrations. The museum is world-class — and deservedly won the Significant Redevelopment award at the Museums Aotearoa Conference this year. In between speeches by Sean Brosnahan of the museum (and author of the Otago Settlers Association’s history) on “Making Do: The Essence of the Early Settler Experience”, and Prof. Tom Brooking (who addressed us on his long-term project to cover the history of rural New Zealand), the Annual General Meeting was held. The executive committee was re-elected, with the addition of Kathleen Stringer (Ashburton) and the steppingdown from committee of Robin Astridge (but he remains as our Liaison Officer). The next conference/ AGM venue for April 2014 was approved (Te Awamutu). The NZ Federation writing award project was dissolved by resolution, given that so many of our members are successfully running their own local writing award projects. Jim Black (West Auckland) made a presentation to Dot Page of wooden bowls turned from swamp kauri by Trevor Pollard, on behalf of the Association and the museum. The conference concluded with a lovely dinner at the Dunedin Club, the guests piped in at the beginning, and the haggis ably guarded on its entry into the dining room by Neil Algar, Kenneth Stringer and Neil Curgenven in Scottish costume. We were entertained by Bruce McMillan (vocalist), Vivienne McLean (pianist) and Dot Page (introductions) with “Migrant Music” — songs of immigrants and Dunedin residents from the 19th to 20th centuries.

Next meeting of the Avondale-Waterview Historical Society:

Saturday, 1 June 2013, 2.00 pm
at St Ninians, St Georges Road, Avondale

Update on Mt Roskill Municipal Building
In all, the Mt Roskill (Puketapapa) Historical Society raised over 1000 signatures, canvassing door-to-door in the immediate neighbourhood around Three Kings, and seeking help from fellow historical societies. 28 February Margaret Ting and myself attended a Governing Body meeting of Auckland Council in Manukau to support the Puketapapa Local Board’s plea to have the original 1957 part of the building retained. So far, things are looking positive.

Former Rosebank Road toilet block
Derek Battersby, Chairman of the Whau Local Board, has advised that the work to alter the small building (former toilets and small offices, previously the Avondale Plunket offices until late last century) will begin shortly. Here’s hoping a community group can be found to use the centrally-sited building, close to the Council carpark in upper Rosebank Road.

Guest speaker for June meeting
This will be John La Roche, with a talk on the old Panmure swing bridge and the ongoing campaign to preserve it. John has said his brother Alan La Roche could be along with a general history of the Panmure area.

Avondale’s Maternity Homes
You’ll find some information in this month’s Avondale Historic Journal on Avondale’s pre-WWII maternity homes. As mentioned there, I’m keen on learning anything further about these from members or anyone else with a connection to them (born there, perhaps? Parents born in them?) I’m down for giving a talk on the maternity homes in general at the Central Library on 14 August at 12 midday — so yes: I’d love to hear from you.

140th anniversary of St Ninians cemetery
As we now start to head toward winter, spare a thought for Rev. David Hamilton in July 1873, dying from drowning in the Waitakeres after suffering exposure while out on his rounds providing service to the mills and settlements. 2013 is 140 years since the first burial at the cemetery beside St Ninians. To celebrate, I’ve put in an application for an Open Day at St Ninians to be part of this year’s Auckland Heritage Festival (28 September to 13 October), so that we can hold an open day at St Stnians on Saturday 5 October from 9 am, including guided walks around the cemetery, laying small flowers of remembrance on the graves, plus displays and refreshments in the church itself, before our usual October meeting from 2.30 pm. Ideas for displays inside St Ninians itself are welcome. Hopefully I’ll have a brochure ready in time for folks who come to see the cemetery.

Historic heritage surveys: places of interest to the community
Included with this newsletter is a survey form in which Auckland Council are seeking YOUR feedback on what places of interest and value there are within the Albert-Eden Local Board area. AWHS crosses over the boundary between the Whau Local Board and Albert-Eden — and the Council would like to know your opinion as to what sites of interest still exist in the Waterview area (and others with the Albert-Eden LB boundaries). If you can, please send back your ideas to: Carolyn O’Neil Environmental Strategy & Policy Auckland Council 1 The Strand Level 3 (Annexe) TAKAPUNA Auckland 0622

More heritage murals in Avondale
Still in the works, but Auckland Council and the Whau Local Board have a project to decorate control boxes in the area with images reflecting out district’s heritage. I’ve attended one meeting at the WLB offices in New Lynn, at the invitation of Board Member Kathryn Davie.