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A vondale

vondale - W aterview
H istorical Society Incorporated

May-June 2009
Newsletter No. 39

Prepared by Lisa Truttman, President and Editor Large 1958 aerial photo sparks idea for
Members’ welfare local heritage exhibition
A number of our members are or have been in hospital, I finally got a chance (thanks to Duncan Macdonald for
or are home recuperating, at the time of preparing this his assistance with transport) to show a large aerial
newsletter. Our best wishes go to: Whites Aviation photo of Avondale from December
1958 to members of the AWHS at our April meeting. It
Jo Marris, and Val Waygood. now belongs to the Society, who also approved plan-
ning to begin for a local heritage exhibition to be held
Any other members who have not been well over this at the Avondale Community Centre, 17 & 18 July.
summer period — best wishes to you, as well. Hope-
fully, we have a mild winter! At the moment, I see this as not just showcasing
AWHS photographs and displays of information, but
also as being open to other groups which have heritage
Matamata Conference involvement in our community: Blockhouse Bay His-
torical Society, Friends of the Whau, Friends of Oakley
I’m back from the conference. I was able to find out a Creek, and possibly even the new Pt Chevalier History
great deal about the history of the district, both from Group. More information as it comes to hand.
my own wanderings the day before the conference
started, and also from three very good speeches pre- Reunions
sented by Matamata Historical Society members on the
Saturday morning. David and Joan Stanley, in particu- No further word as to any Avondale College reunion
lar, deserve a mention and my deep thanks for their (which is, just in my opinion, unfortunate), but — there
wonderful hospitality — they had me round at their is still planning to do for an Avondale Primary celebra-
place for Thursday lunch and dinner, and I thoroughly tion next year, for the 150 anniversary of education in
enjoyed watching a National Film Archive presentation the district.
on Thursday night at a local playhouse which incorpo-
rates part of an early post office. I’ll be in contact with members of the Reunion Commit-
tee shortly to see if we can do something again together.
Matamata Historical Society also have an interesting Any of you folks reading this, give me a call as well,
technique with their displays which I’d like to incorpo- please.
rate for anything similar we may do (just as I also got
ideas from visiting The Elms in Tauranga year before
last.) Pt. Chevalier History Group
Next meeting: 10.30 am, 30 April 2009, Pt Chevalier
I also took some photos of early agricultural equipment Community Library.
that is on display at the Society’s museum at Firth
Tower — some of which was used on market gardens, The History Group have voted to start moves toward
so could have relevance as part of our story, as well. incorporation, and put in an application last month to
Some information on an early Avondale doctor, Dr. the Western Bays Community Board for seeding fund-
Carolan, came up from information I read that weekend ing (the Board voted to consider the application in
as well. Again, I thank the AWHS very much for fund- July). I’m delighted to report there is a real groundswell
ing my trip to Matamata. of support for a heritage group at Pt Chevalier. The
help and support given to the group by the staff at the
Next meeting: Pt Chevalier Community library, though, has been ex-
Saturday 6 June 2009, 2.30 pm, Lions Hall, cnr. ceptional. We are lucky to have such great teams as we
Blockhouse Bay Road and Great North Road. have at Avondale and Pt Chevalier libraries.
Oakley Creek Walkway
Memorial to
Beverley Joy Price
One of the members of the Avondale-
Waterview Historical Society spotted a
reprinted article (originally from the
Sunday Star Times) in the "Auckland
Grammar Old Girls' Newsletter"
recently, and sent a copy over to me. It
was about Beverley Joy Price, a mem-
ber of the Alpine Sports Club who was
one of those who forged through the
weeds and long grasses that grow ver-
dantly beside the winding Oakley Creek
in the 1970s and pushed for the
establishment of a public walkway

Oakley Creek boasts Auckland City's only natural waterfall, a drawcard for folk from far and near. It
isn't Niagara, we know, or even the mighty flows in the Waitakere Ranges, but we are rather fond of
it all the same.

According to the article, Beverley Price along with a couple of friends formed an all-woman alpine
team, tramping and taking on Mt. Cook, Mt. Ruapehu and Mt. Tasman in the 1940s and 1950s. She
knew Sir Edmund Hillary, meeting him in a late 1940s summer in a hut on Mt. Tasman. "He was a
rather gangling young man," according to her friends, "very good fun." On an expedition Beverley
went on to the Himalayas, however, four climbers were killed in an avalanche.

She had attended Auckland Girls Grammar, become a teacher and head of languages at Westlake
High School, and took early retirement after 30 years in the profession. At the end of her first year of
retirement, in November 1979, Beverley and her mother gave each other Christmas presents
(Beverley never married, and lived with her mother to the end of her life). The presents -- were tick-
ets for an Antarctic flight on Air New Zealand TE901, 28 November 1979.

Beverley and her mother perished in the Erebus disaster, along with 235 other passengers and 20

On 2 July 1994, Auckland City Council installed a memorial plaque for Beverley Price, alongside
one of the Oakley Creek walkway bridges. It reads:

"The Avondale Community Board dedicates this section of walkway in memory of
Beverley Joy Price whose research, foresight, and active campaigning provided the
foundation for the development of a walkway route along Oakley Creek. An accom-
plished mountaineer, tramper, teacher and member of the former Walkways Commit-
tee. Beverley died in the Air New Zealand DC10 plane crash on Mount Erebus in Ant-
arctica on 28 November 1979."

Members of the Alpine Sports Club attended the dedication.