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Avondale Avondale Avondale Avondale- -- -Waterview Waterview Waterview Waterview

Historical Society Incorporated Historical Society Incorporated Historical Society Incorporated Historical Society Incorporated

No. 70 July—August 2014
Prepared by Lisa Truttman, President and Editor

Next meeting of the
Avondale-Waterview Historical Society:

Saturday, 9 August 2014, 2.00
(please note this is the SECOND
Saturday — a one-off change)

At St Ninians, St Georges Road, Avondale

This will be the Society’s AGM
AWHS membership boom
Guest Speakers
Contact Alison Turner, 825-0300, if you have any
suggestions for our Guest Speakers schedule for the
new year. Next speaker in June: Edward Bennett, on
Victorian houses and gardens.
After discussion amongst our committee members pre-
sent at the June meeting, it was decided to use part of
our research fun in the 01 account to purchase a digital
projector. This should make presentations by our guest
speakers even more enjoyable for those coming along
to our meetings.
Update on Saunders Reserve heritage
sign project
I learned at the last meeting (June) of the Whau Local
Board, from a report on their agenda, that the Whau
River Trust and Auckland Council staff are engaged in
a project upgrading the Kurt Brehmer Walkway at
Saunders Reserve. They’ve done their own research for
text on an interpretive sign — so where this leaves the
project I was asked to undertake and completed for the
Board, outlining some of the site’s history and the con-
tributions of the Robertson family, I have no idea at the
time of writing. I have spoken with Gilbert Brakey of
the Whau River Trust and sent an email asking for info
to the local board chairman and the council staff mem-
ber I had been dealing with, but … I’m still waiting for
something definite as to what is going to happen. After
eight years campaigning with both the Avondale Com-
munity Board and the Whau Local Board, it would be a
shame to see the opportunity we had offered to us in
February-March pass through like this.
Whau Local Board’s Local Plan: the
heritage component
The Whau Local Board 3-year Local Plan comes up for
submissions this month. The draft plan states that the
Board cherishes local heritage — but the only items I
was able to find on reading the document related to
heritage was to do with “design heritage” (Crown Lynn
etc. ceramics), that they support heritage building re-
search (funded) and putting up signs on streets describ-
ing the meaning behind street names (not funded, and
an interesting exercise anyway considering so many of
the streets in the broader Whau area have had their
names changed over the years from meaningful to

The AWHS expressed their support at the February
meeting for a full heritage study to be undertaken in the
area. Submissions are open on the Whau Local Board
plan from 7 July to 6 August. I encourage you, if you
reside in the Whau area, to read the draft plan and make
a submission.
Avondale Community Action
information requests
It has been wonderful that this local group do contact
us when they need any heritage info on the district. I do
try to help as best as I can — but thank you, Avondale
Community Action. It is great that our history is not
forgotten and is still considered relevant.
As well as the discussion held at the April meeting of
the Society regarding the proposal to raise individual
subs from $10 to $15, and couples/family from $15 to
$20 — an item which will be voted on formally at the

It was agreed at our June meeting that, as an adjacent
historical society, we send a letter of support to the
New Lynn Preservation Society for their campaign to
try to save the 1920s house at 43 Astley Ave in New
Lynn. Since then, another group has arisen in New
Lynn, this time supporting the heritage and preserva-
tion of the remainder of the old Totara Ave shopping
block, with particular attention to the 1920s Oag’s
Building, at the moment destined to become just a
façade in front of new development.

I’ve had meetings with both organisers, and intend to
attend community meetings regarding the Whau Local
Board Plan in New Lynn and Avondale, the former to
support both the New Lynn Preservation Society and
the Save Oag’s Building group. Both groups are echo-
ing the call to the Whau Local Board that we have
made since February this year, that a heritage survey
of the area be made.

The Whau Local Board area now has four incorporated
societies involved in heritage within its borders, plus
the Save the Oag’s group. Hopefully, we will be able
to convince the Board that our surviving heritage, and
recording accurately what does remain of both build-
ings and sites before all the new development takes
effect, is very important and matters to our commu-
New Lynn Heritage on the Rise
Annual General Meeting on 9 August — it was de-
cided to review our current mailing list of non-
members receiving the Avondale Historical Journal.

Around 70 copies as at April were being mailed to non
members who either had never joined, or once-joined
but “dropped off the radar” so to speak. I isolated this
list from the main list, and sent a note thanking them
for their interest and advising that due to the upcoming
rise in postage, we could no longer sustain the service.
I sent through details should they decide to join, and
also invited those who could to choose to receive the
Journal and newsletter in future by email.

As a result, we’ve had an increase in membership of
around 25 members, both new and returning, a very
heartening and encouraging result. Welcome to you
all! Our membership stands somewhere between 140-

The mailing list has been trimmed down, our member-
ship is up, costs will be reduced from this issue of the
Journal and newsletter, and the rise in subscriptions (if
passed by the Society in August) will help ensure that
we can continue to function without resorting to regu-
lar appeals to external funding bodies for assistance.
We of course remain extremely grateful to the
Avondale Business Association, who have supported
us right from the start in 2002, for their continued gen-
erous donation each year. And to other wonderful do-
nors from our community who wish to remain anony-
mous — but you and your support are all so very much
(Above) Photo of 43 Astley Avenue, New Lynn, by Bill
and Barbara Ellis, June 2014.