You are on page 1of 4

SeptemberOctober 2013

Volume 13 Issue 73

The Avondale Historical Journal


Official Publication of the Avondale-Waterview Historical Society Incorporated

If Im right, the above photograph is more than just one immortalising a community meeting, one of many gatherings which took place in the old Public Hall on St Georges Road here in Avondale. It came from the late Mrs Elaine Bollard, when I first made contact with her in 2001. Badly over-exposed in places, I still found it intriguing. Recently, in taking another look, I thought that I could now recognise not only John Bollard,
To next page

Copies of Avondale Historical Journal and AWHS Newsletter produced for us by Words Incorporated, 557 Blockhouse Bay Road, Blockhouse Bay. The Society and AHJ editorial staff thank

Next meeting of the Avondale-Waterview Historical Society: At St Ninians, St Georges Road (opp. Hollywood Cinema) SATURDAY, 5 October 2013, 2.00 pm

Avondale Business Association


for their continued support and sponsorship of this publication.

The Avondale Historical Journal

Volume 13 Issue 73 Page 2


gathering could take place in any part of the country. Mr Bollard might well feel proud that after 50 years unbroken service in the interests of education, he could see such a gathering, who came to give testimony to the respect in which he was held, and the respect in which his services were held. He felt that the people of Avondale did honour to themselves in honouring the father of the community, for Mr Bollard had well earned that title, not only by his lengthy residence in the district, but by his fatherly interest in everything that pertained to the welfare of it. Mr Fowlds then handed over the illuminated address, which testified that the householders of the Avondale school district tendered to Mr Bollard their heartiest congratulations on his having attained the 50th year of service as a member of the School Committee, which in itself constituted a unique record. It further stated that the residents hoped the recipient would long be spared to continue in the work which had been a labour of love. Concluding, Mr Fowlds said: "1 can assure you it gives me great pleasure to hand to you this beautiful illuminated address, and I join most fervently in the wish that you may long be spared, with unabated vigour to continue." Three cheers were then heartily given for Mr Bollard, and Mr Fowlds further handed to him a challenge shield, bearing his inset photograph, to be handed to the school for an attendance challenge shield. In doing so Mr Fowlds said that for some time the school classes had been competing for an attendance banner. Mr Bollard heard this, and noticing the banner was getting old, instructed the headmaster to procure a shield at his expense. The Committee, however, thought they would procure the shield, and take the opportunity to have Mr Bollard's photo set in as a memento. Mr Bollard, on rising to reply, was greeted with cheers, Mr Fowlds leading, and then those present lustily sang, "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow." Mr Bollard said they had overwhelmed him by their kindness, and he thanked them from the bottom of his heart. Referring to school matters, he paid a tribute to Dr Aickin, who was associated with him in resuscitating the school started in 1860 with ten pupils. Since then the school had grown enormously, until to-day there were nearly 500 scholars, and 2000 residents in the school district. Mr Massey said that when he met Mr Bollard in the political arena their friendship became welded, and he believed that would last until the end of the chapter. There was no place where a man's characteristics came out so much as in the Parliamentary Buildings, and Mr Bollard had come out as a good fellow. Mr Fowlds had spoken for the other side of the House, and he could speak for his. He did not think there was another thing under the sun about which Mr Fowlds said he agreed. (Laughter.) Continuing, Mr Massey said there had been a good deal of discussion lately as to whether Imperial honours were rightly conferred. He would put this to them: If a man served his country for 50 years, if he took part in education and local government, was returned time after time (by overwhelming majorities, if he had a clean record, and

but also William Massey, one of NZs early Prime Ministers. Checking Papers Past for a meeting that happened at Avondale, involving both Bollard and Massey, there was only one which came up the night John Bollard was honoured for his 50 year service on the Avondale School committee. This means that this photo is rather important to our areas history. The following is a report on the night from the Auckland Star, 17 July 1911. Mr John Bollard, M.P., who has for 50 years associated himself with educational matters in connection with Avondale, was on Saturday night entertained at a social evening by the residents of the Avondale school district, when the occasion was taken to present him with an illuminated address setting out his services in the interest of education. Mr J McLeod, deputy-chairman of the School Committee, presided, and with him on the platform, in addition to the guest of the evening, were the Hon. Geo. Fowlds (Minister for Education), Mr W F Massey, MP (Leader of the Opposition), Mr F W Lang, MP for Manukau, and Mr G J Garland (chairman of the Education Board). The hall was crowded with residents, and the evening throughout was very enthusiastic. In his opening address the chairman said the gathering was unique in the Dominion, as Mr Bollard had an unbroken record of 50 years' service in education matters in the town. His services commenced before the Education Act came into force, and since had continued. Mr Bollard now, and had for many years, occupied the position of chairman of the School Committee, and the promoters of the gathering were gratified to do honour to him. It was also gratifying to see the Hon. G Fowlds present in his official capacity, and Mr J Bollard's political associates, Mr Massey and Mr Lang, and also Mr Garland, chairman of the Education Board. It was well known what Mr Bollard had done for the education of the district, and although the Committee had approached the Education Board from time to time they had never asked for anything unreasonable, as shown by the fact that the Board gave them everything they asked for. The Hon. Geo. Fowlds, in making the presentation of the address to Mr Bollard, said that he felt it a high honour to be asked, as Minister for Education, to come and present, on behalf of the residents of Avondale the memento to his old friend. Mr Bollard and he did not, as was shown, play in the same political backyard, but for nearly 25 years they had known each other, and he believed he was right in saying they had mutually respected each other. There was only one opinion throughout Auckland, he might even say New Zealand, with reference to their friend Mr Bollard. Everywhere he was respected. (Applause.) He had stood a test of over 50 years' residence in that part of the country, and he (the speaker) thought he was correct in stating that Mr Bollard had not a single enemy. (Long and loud applause.) They had met on a most unique occasion, and he thought it would be many years before such another

The Avondale Historical Journal

Volume 13 Issue 73 Page 3

was above suspicion, he was worthy of honour. The speaker knew of none more above suspicion than the guest of the evening, and he asked how would Sir John Bollard do? (Applause.) "And let mc add," he concluded, "Lady Bollard, because I have noticed on nearly every occasion on which a public man does anything worthy, that man has a good wife to support and cheer him." There were two matters he would like to refer to, in connection with which Mr Bollard had taken a prominent part. One was the making provision, whereby those taking up agriculture for a living should be able to acquire the freehold of their property. He was glad to be able to say that to a certain extent provision had been made for this. The second matter was one in which Mr Bollard had endeavoured time after time to have provision made whereby young fellows taking up the profession of agriculture should have an opportunity of getting a sound education, scientific and practical, in agriculture. Unfortunately he thought they had not done enough, and, speaking seriously, it was agriculture upon which the country depended, and must depend, and it was necessary therefore, that their farmers should be as well endowed educationally as the farmers of other countries. He was not saying that they were not at present, but they had to look to the future, and he hoped that long before Mr Bollard went out of public life some provision would be made in that direction by Parliament ... During the evening a musical programme was contributed, and the gathering broke up with the singing of the National Anthem.

Harry Alexander (Alec) Darrow (courtesy Dr. Don Bassett)

Harry Alexander Darrow (1875-1947): an early headmaster of Avondale Primary School


Im very grateful to Dr Don Bassett, family historian, for providing information on one of Avondale Primarys early headmasters. Harry Alexander Darrow (he preferred to be called Alec) was born in 1875, the third surviving child of James and Clara Darrow, at Tararu, Thames. James Darrow came from Northern Ireland and worked as a miner in Australia, Otago and Thames, then as a bush contractor on the Coromandel Peninsula. Alec Darrow was clever from his early years he was awarded a juvenile scholarship in 1887, and received at least some secondary schooling at Auckland Grammar, and went on to Auckland University College. Dr. Bassett has traced Alec Darrows teaching posts, starting as a pupil teacher at Devonport in 1891, much of the following coming from his research (with some extra from Papers Past). Darrow became a member of staff by 1894, then sole-charge teacher at Pungaere in the Bay of Islands from 1895. From June 1897 he was Assistant Master at

Coromandel School and the following year studied Chemistry at the Coromandel School of Mines. He was at Ponsonby School in 1900 as a relieving teacher then second assistant master, but resigned from there in 1902. He applied for the position of assistant master at Thames High School that year, but in April 1903 was appointed to Avondale. In 1906, he was selected as first assistant master at Parnell School. He transferred back to Avondale in June 1910 as headmaster. Around the same time he was appointed secretary of the Auckland branch of the NZ Educational Institute (President 1913-14). Alec Darrow was prominent in the life of Avondale right from the start of his time as headmaster of our school. In 1912 he was involved with the setting up of the Avondale Bowling Club. He seconded the motion for special recognition to be given to Sandford and Miller after the plane crash in 1913. Reports on local fundraising for soldiers causes during World War I usually saw his name included , and when the Spanish Flu struck the community he was one of the tireless volunteers at the temporary hospital on the racecourse in 1918, contracting flu himself towards the end of the crisis but, thankfully, recovering. He presided over meetings of the Avondale Beautifying Society in 1920, and in 1921 backed moves for the establishment of the John Bollard Memorial Scholarship for the school. In 1927, he was involved at public meetings concerning the amalgamation of Avondale with Auckland City. Alec Darrow was farewelled from Avondale School when he retired in June 1931 after 21 years as headmaster at Avondale, and 40 years in the teaching profession.

The Avondale Historical Journal

Volume 13 Issue 73 Page 4

At St Judes Hall on 9 May, he was farewelled by a gathering of between 50 to 60 teachers who had worked with him over the years. Miss E M Newton read letters from former teachers of Avondale School, referring eulogistically to Hr Darrow's many sterling qualities. She added her personal tribute of admiration of Mr. Darrow as a man of unswerving rectitude of character, a headmaster whose ability was vouched for by his pre-eminent place on the grading list and as a proved friend of very many years' standing. The school formally farewelled him in June. On the eve of his retirement, Mr H A Darrow, headmaster of the Avondale school, was farewelled by the children and teachers last week. Mr Darrow has always inculcated the highest ideals of conduct, which he has exemplified in his treatment of pupils, teachers and everyone connected with the school," said Mr F E Blakey, first assistant master. Two chairs and a travelling rug were presented to Mr Darrow by Roma Ihaka, Tui Connell and Trevor Green, on behalf of the children. In thanking the children for their gifts, Mr Darrow said that no one could realise what it meant for him to sever the ties formed in 21 years at the school. He regretted that his travels could not have been made before he retired so that he might have told the children about the lands he was about to visit. On behalf of the school, Mr. Blennerhasset thanked Mrs Darrow for the big part she had taken in the school's outside activities. Cheers were given for Mr and Mrs Darrow and the children sang the school song, "Act Well Your Part." (Auckland Star 2 June 1931) Harry Alexander Alec Darrow died 8 May 1947, and was buried at Purewa Cemetery. He owned two properties in Avondale I know of so far: 1798 Great North Road (1920-1946, where Nurse Edwards had her home 19361940) and nearly 7 acres at the south-east corner of Riversdale and Rosebank Roads (1919-1944, part sold to State Housing earlier).

The Trams
Letters received. I was interested to read Don Gwilliam's interesting article about the Avondale Trams [last issue]. The 6 am tram rattling over the railway bridge was my alarm clock and I lived at Waterview! From Waterview we would normally catch the bus to Pt Chev Hall Corner in order to catch the tram to town, alternatively you could catch the bus to Avondale but it was more sections thus more expensive. Every penny counted in the late 40s. The trams had double sliding doors from the platforms and the seats immediately inside were longitudinal. My mate Bryan Trenwith and I once caught the tram to the city and adjacent to us on the seats were two pretty girls. When we reached the Civic picture theater the doors were flung open and the girls dresses went up over their necks as we knew they would do. We sat there straight faced until we got off the tram and burst out in hysterical laughter. We would be more gentlemanly now I think. Tony Goodwin Have just sat and read your latest Journal and really enjoyed it. Boy did it bring back memories Going to town on the day the war (45) finished was a magical day for us, we all got dressed up and went in, the crowds were everywhere, all the town packed. I remember the trams had a very hard time going down Queen Street. There was a lady who used to live in the bottom, off Taylor Street who used to go to town with flowers for someone and she gave the conductors a bit of a rev up, so that when they saw her coming they would start to move off, and she had to run and grab the rail and clamber aboard, it made them all laugh, because she would growl most of the way. What a great life we had, never worried if we missed a tram and had to walk, just part of the fun. Maureen Exler

The Avondale Historical Journal


Published by: the Avondale-Waterview Historical Society Inc. Editor: Lisa J. Truttman Society contact: 19 Methuen Road, Avondale, Auckland 0600 Phone: (09) 828-8494, 027 4040 804 email: historian@avondale.org.nz Society information: Website: http://sites.google.com/site/avondalehistory/ Subscriptions: $10 individual $15 couple/family $30 corporate