This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
May – June 2004
Avondale Railway Station Museum Proposal
Attached to this month’s newsletter is a page prepared by Society member Jim Gladwin on his proposal for an Avondale Railway Station Museum. I’d like you all to read this, please, and get back to me or to Jim with your comments at the earliest. This is an interesting idea, but I’d like to know if the members of our Historical Society would like to get in behind this, and take it further with Auckland City and other agencies. It’ll be brought up as an item for discussion at the next meeting. — Lisa Truttman
details. It is an idea I had before the Regional Gathering last year, and seemed to be met with some approval, unofficially, from the societies. I’d prepare the newsletter, and send it out to historical societies and libraries on a quarterly basis at most. The website is a simple matter of putting up on a free host online, and then updating when required. This way, not only would the formal Societies have contact with each other, but we’d bring in groups like the research team at Judges Bay, Blockhouse Bay Group, and Friends of Waikomete, to name just three. I’ll be consulting with the Federation and other Societies shortly. Research/Conservation Projects Avondale Heritage Walkway Dorothy Maddock, Alison Turner and myself have attended another meeting at Council regarding this, and I’ve written up draft text for buildings, noticeboards and plaques. Our photograph collection will also be a contribution towards this project. We’ve contributed archaeological information to the project consultant Jane Matthews and to the iwi consultant, Ngarimu Blair. In return, we were given a copy of Judge Fenton’s Judgement regarding Orakei in the 19th century, which has very interesting Maori historical background for our area. The project has turned up that Avondale’s earliest historical event may have been a battle fought on the Rosebank Peninsula at a place called Rangimatariki, on the peninsula’s tip, around 1792. Dorothy has found an old map showing this place. We will also be looking into the matter of having our important historical sites put onto the District Plan, and the process of doing that. Oakley Creek history Dorothy is still working on this. She presented a talk on her progress so far to the Society, notes from
Report to monthly meeting, April 2004
General Report 2004 AGM and Convention of Federation of Historical Societies Dorothy and I attended on March 20. The Federation Committee appointed me as Delegate for our Society. We took down $250 worth of Heart of the Whau and Challenge of the Whau combined, and sold $125 worth. Otahuhu Historical Society speech I attended their monthly meeting on March 22, and spoke on “Early Days in Avondale”. My speech was well received, and I sold a further three copies of Challenge of the Whau and two of Heart of the Whau. I have two upcoming speeches this month, on the 15th at Anne Maree Resthome in Blockhouse Bay, and on the 30th at Anne Maree Gardens in Coronet Place, Avondale. (Since the meeting, I also learned of another speech giving I will do in Waterview, May 3) Auckland Regional History Network I feel that it would be good if the Historical Societies within our region had a newsletter circulating, advising of upcoming events, advertising museums etc., along with a website featuring each Society’s contact
Next Meeting of the Society: 2.30 pm, 5 June 2004 Lions Hall, cnr Blockhouse Bay and Great North Roads, Avondale
May – June 2004
which appear here. Gittos tannery history I’ve collected up a considerable file of info on the family and their tanneries (four that are known) here in Auckland, two of which were in our area. I’ve had conversations with Ray Kealey (President of the Blockhouse Bay Historical Society) and Murray Gittos (great-grandson of company founder, Benjamin Gittos.) I expect to pull together an article/report on this within the next month. Victoria Hall history My draft has been sent to Bob Hume in Kerikeri, and shortly I’ll be in contact with Terry Whitchurch to see if we can arrange contact with members of the Rosebank Reunion of March 2002 regarding their memories of the church. This project is now the longest running one, started in mid 2001. George Maxwell cemetery The St Judes parish is undertaking work to tidy up the cemetery, but this will not entail reconstruction and repair of the graves there. The Society has agreed to support a letter to the Parish Committee, asking if they would be amenable to forming up a partnership with the AWHS, and quite possibly the Avondale Community Board and Auckland City Council, to start a project plan to restore identified graves in the cemetery, including those of historical interest. Oral History Transcription Project Following on from the success in arranging for funding to have copies of the Avondale Oral History Project’s tapes placed at Avondale Library, I proposed that the AWHS support an Avondale Oral History Transcription Project, involving my liaising with Manjula Patel, head librarian at Avondale to organise a quote for the work to be undertaken, and then the AWHS applying to Portage Trust for the project’s cost. The Society agreed. The AWHS would receive a copy of the transcriptions for our research archives. Going by what I have heard so far of the tapes, this would be an invaluable resource for us, and for Avondale in the future. Avondale Whau River Walkways Booklet Friends of the Whau proposed to the Avondale Community Board last month that a working party be set up to look at format and funding for a walkways booklet for the Whau River area. They asked that AWHS be included in that working party. More details expected after May.. — Lisa Truttman
Hunting for the History of Te Auaunga, Oakley Creek.
My interest in finding out all I can about the Oakley Creek comes from being shown the maidenhair fern covered, concrete wall, down in the bush, very near where the creek passes under the railway lines. Questions on why this wall was there led me to the Central Library, where I was shown White's aerial maps from 1940 -- the first such survey of the city. It showed me that the wall was an old pier to a railway bridge, but that answer only led to more questions. So I am working on a history of the creek hoping to find out more about: (i) the industry which has taken place along its banks, (ii) the various crossings that have been constructed. (iii) illness and death among those living along the creek, (iv) the changes made to the creek's course. The earliest industry along the creek seems to have been the Star Mill, which John Thomas had built, in 1860, on land he had bought, bounded by Great North Road, Cowley Street and the creek. Two books on the Thomas family have been written by Trevor Price and there is much information in them, but it is in small treasures such as a letter in the papers of historian A. H. Walker, from "Auntie Carrie" which need more research. Auntie Carrie, writing in 1958, tells of the days of Garret's tannery, which was in the converted flour mill, when sewage from the Mental Hospital flowed into the creek and of an outbreak of typhoid fever which claimed a life. There must be more that I can find out about this incident, as there is about quarrying along the Mt Albert side of the creek. When did that begin and end? Where was the rock used? How many quarries were there? The questions go on. This study will be limited to the lower reaches of the creek, from where I live, about a kilometre upstream of New North Road, to its mouth, alongside the north-western motorway. I hope to get some evidence of past activities from the banks of the creek itself, for example of the exact whereabouts of Thomas's Star Mill. It will take some time, but it is proving to be a really engrossing project. — Dorothy Maddock