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Historical Society Incorporated

January—February 2010
Newsletter No. 43

Prepared by Lisa Truttman, President and Editor Road, from 1902 until 1943 when he retired to Tau-
ranga. He is acclaimed as the father of the commercial
Fire at Great North Road, kiwifruit cultivar named "Hayward", developed at his
3 December 2009 Avondale nursery. He also worked with citrus fruit
varieties, was one of the first nurserymen to propogate
This was at 2055-2065 (approx.) Great North Road, site and distribute feijoas in this country, and donated
of the old Transport Bus Services depot from 1933— varieties of roses to the Parnell Rose Gardens set up in
1954, and Broadbent’s Hardware after that. the 1930s. There are no known placenames in
Avondale honouring him or his work.
On behalf of the Society I did a quick summary of the
site’s history, which goes back to the Northern Daniel Connell Place
Omnibus Company and Patterson & Co horse buses in Daniel Ronaldson Connell purchased the farm in 1921,
the 1880s, and submitted the information with research and developed it as a market garden. He died 1948. The
sources to the Northern Region office of NZ Historic property remained in Connell family ownership until
Places Trust, as a possible archaeological site. 2008.

Space permitting, I’ll put a full history of the site at a Robert Chisholm Place
later date in the Journal. Robert Chisholm was one of Avondale's early land-
owners. The sale of his Rosebank Estate after his death
Jomac Place? in 1875 is the earliest known documented instance of
the placename being associated with the peninsula. He
This was a frustrating episode. The old Connell prop- owned almost all of the north-eastern side of the penin-
erty, site of the last market gardens on Rosebank sula, including Heron Park, from the 1860s until his
Peninsula, was sold by the family to a development death. He was one of the trustees of the Whau Highway
company, Jomac Construction Ltd, trading as Connell Board in 1868. The former Connell property is part of
Place Limited. Part of the commercial subdivision of his sheep farm.
the site includes a new road. The company couldn’t
name it after the Connells, as a Connell name exists But, it was decided by a majority vote on the night that
already in Blockhouse Bay. So, they decided to go for the Board endorsed Jomac Place. Why is this frustrat-
ing? Give it ten years from now at least, and no one
Jomac Place.
will know what Jomac is. There’s certainly no relation-
I found out only days before the Avondale Community ship with our area’s heritage or the district itself.
Board meeting in October, but still offered four other
options to the Chairman, Duncan Macdonald. These Avondale South Domain to
were: Gittos Domain
Motu Manawa Place
This reflects the property's boundary to the north-east On the plus side, the latest campaign to have the
with the Motu Manawa Reserve. Motu Manawa is also Avondale South Domain in Blockhouse Bay renamed
the Maori name for Pollen Island. There are few Maori looks like it has worked, with approvals from the Com-
street names on the Rosebank Peninsula, and what munity Board and relevant Council committee in Octo-
there are do not reflect the area's history or geography;
the name Motu Manawa would also provide a link to
early European settlers on the peninsula who used the
Motu Manawa Reserve as an access to the Waitemata Next meeting:
Harbour and as a source of lime from the shellbanks. Saturday 6 February 2010, 2.30 pm
Hayward Wright Place Lions Hall, cnr. Blockhouse Bay Road
Hayward Wright lived in Avondale, off Avondale and Great North Road.
ber and November. Back in 2004, I suggested to the New Windsor Reserve
Blockhouse Bay History Group (they incorporated in
2005) that Gittos Domain could be an option — one
renaming proposal
that our Society could consider supporting as Francis
Gittos made considerable contributions to our early A request by Don Currey has been received by Auck-
community in the 19th century, until he went to live at land City to consider renaming the New Windsor Re-
the Bay from 1890. As it turned out, only our support serve after Mr. Currey’s father Arthur A. Currey, well-
letter was received by the Community Board at the known 20th century horticulturalist. The Society voted
time, (one each was intended from us and Blockhouse to support this proposal, with the additional proposal
Bay) but it did spark off the process which led to of an interpretive sign for the site’s history. See more
public submissions recently, and the decision now. on Arthur Currey inn the Journal.

A photo of Francis Gittos and his wife (from copies
donated by our Society to Blockhouse Bay Society) St Judes Church, and their tree
are displayed at Armanasco House.
The application for resource consent to remove the
Francis Gittos, by the way, started up a wool-scouring
Port Jackson fig from in front of the church has been
operation at the domain in Blockhouse Bay in 1890.
withdrawn. Earlier this year, the Society supported the
He may have converted the operation to a small
church’s application to have the tree removed.
tannery, near the end of Lewis Street, later on.

St Ninians 150th Donation of Avondale Borough Council
The Society endorsed a proposed application to the
Avondale Community Board for a sign to be installed Neville Exler, one of our members who has been a
outside St Ninians to commemorate the 150th anniver- wonderful help to the Society, donated a copy of the
sary of its completion. I’ll get a suggested design and Borough’s by-laws to us in September. The booklet is
wording to Board Member Catherine Farmer before special on two counts: as an original record of the old
the end of the year. Borough (operating from 1922-1927) and as a publica-
tion produced by Arthur Morrish at his Avondale
printing works. Anything published by him is now
The booklet in turn was donated to Neville Exler by
Arthur Beaumont.

Stories of a river

Gilbert Brakey, our guest speaker for December and
convenor of the environmental group Friends of the
Whau, mentioned during discussion that FOTW may
be thinking of putting together a publication to cele-
brate their 10th anniversary.
A new mural added to the Avondale Mainstreet area in
October features the 1890s version of the Avondale In line with that, if anyone from our readers has any
Train station — the early simple Vogel-type design. old stories of the Whau River to share, let me know.
The Society have gathered some bits and pieces over
I’ve let two of the Community Board members know the years already, but I’m always keen to hear about
that, as at the time of this newsletter being compiled, how people interacted with the river — in play, the
the mural still isn’t completed — lettering on the mural pollution from the industries, anything about the
says just “& TELEGRAPH” instead of “POST & wooden bridge that came bore the Depression-era con-
TELEGRAPH”. Not a bad effort, though. crete one, etc.
West Auckland Historical Society hosting
the 2010 NZ Federation of Historical Societies Annual Conference,
19 - 21 March 2010
All members of Avondale-Waterview Historical Society welcome to attend.

Friday 19th March (Icebreaker)
5 pm Welcome and registrations at Mill Cottage, Sel Peacock Drive, Henderson. This will
include a get together, tour of the features of the cottage and annex, and the water
wheel. Nibbles, wine, coffee and tea to hand.

Saturday 20th March
9.30 am Corbans Estate, Henderson - see map (with registration papers). More registrations
with a morning cup of tea, cake etc.
10.00 am board the bus for Huia. Commentary by Bruce Harvey and Trevor Pollard from
Corbans Estate to Huia - then head Ranger John Walsh to Whatipu.
Register early as bus holds 65 - first come first served a seat - come dressed for four
seasons. We are compiling an itinerary booklet for you with all points of interest along the
11 am: Federation A.G.M at the Huia Hall
12 noon: A look at the adjacent Huia Museum, and lunch.
1 pm sharp: Back aboard the bus for Whatipu. A Whatipu walk and afternoon tea.
Toilet stop back at Huia, then arrive back at Corbans Estate.
7pm: Titirangi RSA for Conference Buffet Dinner

Sunday 21st March
BBQ breakfast outside St. Michaels Church, Corban Estate.

10.30 am: Inside church to be entertained by a Corban descendant singing. Walk around the
Estate conducted by Trevor Pollard.
12.30 pm: Boxed lunch, and farewells.

Optional activities:
Conference Dinner and entertainment $40.00 pp
Saturday lunch $7.50 pp
Huia Museum admission $2.00
Saturday afternoon tea No Charge
Sunday morning BBQ $10.00 pp
Sunday lunch $8.00 pp

Please make cheque payable to West Auckland Historical Society Inc., and post to West Auckland His-
torical Society, P O Box 21416, Henderson, Waitakere City 0650.

Cancellations must be notified to Fay Pollard, West Auckland Historical Society. No refunds will be
given for cancellations received after 10 March 2010, including “no shows” at the conference, unless
there are exceptional circumstances (at the discretion of the organising committee). Substitute attendees
will be accepted at any time.
From Auckland Star, 3 March 1932. The first Self-Help store, in ‘temporary
premises”, was probably just up from its intended site at the Unity buildings
corner, completed later that year by William J. Tait.

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