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ewsletter for the Point Chevalier History Group o. 8 October 2009
Next issue due out January 2010 Contact Lisa Truttman (editor) : 19 Methuen Road, Avondale, Auckland 0600,phone (09) 828-8494 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
(Top left) Eddie Croad with what appears to be a long-finned pilot whale washed up on Point Chevalier Beach. According to Margo Croad, this photo was taken before Eddie went into the army, so dates from before 1943. (Right) Advertisement from Auckland City and Suburban Trades Directory (year unknown). Courtesy Jean Jones. (Bottom) The Point Chevalier Division of the St John Ambulance Brigade is shown marching up Point Chevalier Road opposite the top of Raymond Road on its way to the Anzac Service around 1952. Des Gate (who provided the photo) also writes: “I am not certain, but I think (the service) was held in the Ambassador Theatre.”
Point Chevalier – Earliest Memories
by Graham Perkins
Recent meetings for the Point Chevalier History Group brought to light a renewed awareness of past times there. A concerted effort to dig up my very EARLIEST recollections became a rather mixed-up kind of slide show … Click … We are at the Hall Corner waiting for a bus to take us to the tram at Surrey Crescent. Will it be Percy Lupton’s, or will it be Williamson’s? One of the buses had canvas blinds at some of the windows … Click … First day at school – Mrs. Reynolds, infant mistress, sorts us into “A babies” or B babies”. After some months a battle with pneumonia kept me at home for six weeks. Back at school my “babies” friends had moved on … Click … A visit to grandparents in Harbour View Road, and taking a short-cut from Raymond Road, through what was then an empty corner section, being met by an angry terrier objecting to this intrusion. Then later going along to buy fresh cream from a farm-house which stood about the centre of the area fronted by Harbour View Road on one side, Point Chevalier Road on another, and a largely unformed Edith Street. Even then (around 1925?), houses were beginning to obscure the little farm, and I would be interested to read any other memories of it … Click … Final scene. Going to the pictures, The old hall was a lively place as we expectantly took our places on the wooden forms, while up at the rear the operator tinkered with the equipment, and the grown-ups hushed us children. Then
the hall was darkened, all went quiet, the light came on over the pianist’s music, and Miss Feilding the barber’s daughter came out and played appropriate “storm-at-sea” music, for the film “Sea Beast”, a few scenes of which are still clear in memory. It was of course, an early Hollywood attempt to film Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick. Produced for Warner Bros. in 1926, we would probably have been seeing it in 1927, a time frame which seems about right. The featured stars were John Barrymore and Dolores Costello. Subsequent film memories are associated with the “Ambassador”, and I’m sure readers can come up with some interesting stories on that score.
by Lisa J Truttman
One summer’s morning, 20 January 1915, five boys set off in a boat from Preston’s Beach to do a spot of fishing. They filled up six sugar bags with shells, then headed for home. Three quarters of a mile from the safety of shore, the boat swamped, resulting in the death of one of the boys, Thomas Raymond Preston (15). Raymond and his brothers Gordon (9) and James (7) were with their cousin Jack Preston (11), and Treston Laybourn (13). The boat swamped around 11.30 am, two and a half hours into the trip, the sugar bags too heavy for the boat which was already in a leaky condition. Raymond drowned trying to save his brother Gordon, who survived, helped by his cousin Jack. Raymond’s body was recovered later in the afternoon. “A number of children who were on the beach saw the accident, and hailed a passing dinghy, in which a boy named Edgar Preston rowed out to the assistance of the lads. The father of Jack Preston, who was bathing near by, swam out to
render aid, but the dinghy rowed by young Preston reached the lads first.” Raymond was buried at Waikaraka Cemetery the following day. In 1904, Raymond Street and Preston’s Beach were part of the larger Dignan Estate. In 1905, Richard Dignan has title over land between Pt Chevalier Road and the western side of the peninsula, from the site of the Dixieland Cabaret down to Raymond Street. In 1911, the part around Raymond Street was purchased by William Preston, a grocer from Dominion
Road. The Pt Chevalier property was the family’s holiday home. Both the southern end Harbour View Road and Raymond Street (said to have been named for William’s unfortunate son) were dedicated by the Preston family during the 1920 subdivision of their property. There were already houses built from 14 to 24 Harbour View Road at that stage; a builder named James Preston was active on Raymond Street during the 1920s (not sure if he was a relation or not), and state houses began to appear on the street from c.1939.
Pt Chevalier History Group Minutes of meeting Thursday 24th September 2009
Meeting started at 10.30am Present: 24. Apologies: Roger Jones Presidents report: Congratulations to the Community Library on excellent display for Heritage Week- endorsed by members. Congratulations to Lisa for the latest Pt Chevalier Times -endorsed by members. Progress of Transition Town’s community day (date not yet confirmed). Members given a copy of some questions about Pt Chevalier that are to form the basis of the next meeting. President called for more questions from the floor. The following were suggested What is the history of the subdivision of the original farm that stretched between Parr Road & the Meola Creek? Exactly how old is the building that was the fire station? When was Harbour View Road extended to link with Raymond Street? When/why have some road names been changed (Wainui Rd was Winchester St & Raymond Street was?)? How does the name Walmer (Street) come to be amidst a flock of birds (Moa Rd etc)? What is the history of the transit camp at Western Springs? Suggestions made for finding some answers were Woman’s Weekly –historical queries section Trade Me – archivist Residents of Selwyn Village Book by John Davenport on NZ street names Suggested at least one future meeting be held at Selwyn Village – volunteer to liaise with Village called for. Lisa volunteered. Next meeting arranged for November 19th at the Community Library. Formal meeting concluded at 11.30, followed by walk around Pt Chevalier commercial heart (itinerary provided by Margaret & led by Lisa)
ext meeting: 10.30 am, Thursday 19th ovember at Pt Chevalier Community Library.
ew Zealand’s Centennial Exhibition, 1940
Jean Jones spoke to the History Group in August this year, showing us some of her souvenirs from the 1940 Centennial Exhibition in Wellington. Jean has been good enough to share some of her collection of snaps from the occasion with us, two of which appear above beside a souvenir pennant.
I have just read your Point Chevalier Times 7 with the story by Des Gate. I would like to point out that there were two parades down Queen St in 1953, one about the coronation in June, also the occasion of Ed Hillary climbing Mt Everest. The other was the Royal Tour arrival in December 1953. I remember these occasions well as I was a flag seller in Queen St on both times. Also in your no. 5 Times, no.19 Parr Rd in the Sutherland Estate was the family home of my wife Margaret Nichols neé Fussell from 1940 to 1962. Regards, John Nichols. Also … Robin Astridge (who happens to be immediate Past-President of the NZ Federation of Historical Societies, and a fellow executive committee member of said Federation along with your Editor), has via email identified the car in Des Gate’s photo as being a Ford Zodiac Mark II convertible — which wasn’t available until after 1956, so — how did the Duke of Edinbugh get one in 1953? (Robin says he spent 32 years working in Ford dealerships, so he should know his Mark I’s from his Mark II’s!) Answers from readers gratefully appreciated.
My apologies: I added an “s” to Des Gate’s name last issue in error. Sorry, Des.
Point Chevalier Memories 1930-1950
This result of a lot of effort by contributors and staff at Pt Chevalier Community Library will be launched on Thursday the 26th November 2009. The programme is from 3.30-4.30. Refreshments will be provided afterwards. The book will be on sale which can be purchased after the launch. If you’d like to attend, please RSVP to Central Library reception: 307-7795, at the very latest by 17th ovember.
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