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Historical Society Incorporated

November—December 2006
Newsletter No. 24

Prepared by Lisa Truttman, President and Editor Next meeting, 2 December 2006, 2.30 pm,
Lions Hall.
Avondale Primary School Reunion
Community Post
Many thanks to Doris Selwyn for kicking off the planning
for this by calling a meeting together and forming a plan-
ning committee. More on this as it comes to hand in com- At our Treasurer Alison Turner’s instigation, we sent off
ing months. an application to NZ Post’s Community Post sponsorship
programme. Well, what a good idea that was! Last time I
applied to this, some years ago, we only received 50 post-
Heritage Festival paid envelopes. This time, we received 1,000! This will
see us through 4 of the next 6 issues of the Avondale His-
It was knife-edge stuff, getting the Avondale Heritage torical Journal, at a saving (postage and envelopes) of just
Walks brochure completed in time for its launch at the over $480.
Avondale Library on September 21. It was delivered by
the printers on the afternoon of the day just before the On behalf of the Society I’d like to thank NZ Post and
launch but it has been well-received. Avondale Commu- their Community Post programme for their very welcome
nity Board Chairperson Lorraine Wilson and I spoke dur- and much appreciated generosity.
ing the launch. Avondale Library report that 300 copies
went within the first two days. 4000 were delivered to
Auckland City’s distribution department for all the city’s Trading Table
libraries and information centres, a copy went home with
each of the pupils of Avondale Primary, and I took some So far, the idea of having a trading table at our regular bi-
over to the Federation’s regional gathering in Epsom on 16 monthly meetings has proved successful. On the first day,
October. I even dropped a couple around to New Lynn with Dawn Moffatt in charge, $45 was made to be banked
library. in our general account. Well done to Dawn, and to every-
one who supported the idea — many thanks to all.
We weren’t able to get all the publicity we should have
had for the library’s idea of a walk in conjunction with the If you have any saleable items you’d like to donate —
brochure launch, but five intrepid souls did come along bring them along to our next meeting on 2 December.
with me from the library to St Ninians, including a walk
up the hill to St Jude’s (many thanks to Rev. Bob Horn- Guest Speaking
burg who allowed us access into the church itself — that
was wonderful.)
Many thanks to George Baird for his interesting talk on his
travels this year to Italy and the site of Monte Cassino.
The display put up by the library with our material for the
Glenburn brick yard was well-received during the festival.
Our December meeting guest speaker will be Mr. Peter
Blaiklock, telling us about his memories of West Auck-
All-in-all, I think it has been a good result. Now, we wait
for the signage/plaques part of the project to be completed.
I gave a speech on “The Danish Princess legend” to the
Copies of the brochure are available at local libraries
West Auckland 60s-up club in New Lynn on October 28,
within Auckland City area, at the Avondale Business As-
and will be speaking to the Green Bay Friendship Club
sociation office in Crayford Street West, or contact me. As
about “Christmas” on November 1.
they are basically standard DLE envelope size, they’re
fairly easy to post to family and friends.
My next talk is in February down at Papakura.
And — they’re free, thanks to funding from the Avondale
Community Board and Auckland City.
Waterview Heritage Character Study Second place was erroneously given to Pt England in a re-
port of its recent centenary celebrations. The oldest Presby-
terian church is St Andrews in Symonds St.
This is in final preparation stages, as well as compiling
photographs and maps that Jack Dragicevich has gathered Mr Titheridge writes that a report in the Southern Cross
up over the past months. We’re aiming to have this fin- newspaper of April 6, 1860, announced the opening of the
ished before the end of the year. Whau Presbyterian Church. “The Whau Church men-
tioned,” says Mr. Titheridge, “is now St. Ninians, Avon-
Auckland Museum Membership dale.”
The parish itself was created in 1855.
I’m still looking into this (raised by Kurt Brehmer, during
the year). I have a brochure to hand, but it doesn’t mention Mr. Titheridge adds: “Sorry, Pt. England, Avondale claims
anything about the benefits of institutional membership (for the silver medal. Pt. England must be content with the
the AWHS to consider joining as a Society). Individual bronze.”
membership ranges from $30 to $50, depending on whether
you want invitations to special functions or not. Family The bridges over the Whau Creek for the Great North
membership ranges from $50 to $60. Road caused no end of problem for roading authorities
right from the 1850s. It didn’t help, of course, that so
many authorities have been involved: Auckland Provincial
The Old News Council, Whau/Avondale Road Boards, Waitemata County
Council, New Lynn boards etc.. Only in the 1930s, with
I’ve always thought that just about the only reason why the construction of the concrete bridge, did things settle
folk wanted the name of the district changed from “Whau” down. But even today, discussions arise as to whether the
to anything else was because of the asylum. Apparently, bridge should be widened.
people in 1880 weren’t too thrilled about connections with I never knew, however, that folk suspected a taniwha to be
the new cemetery (now Waikumete) either … — Editor the cause of all the strife. — Editor
From NZ Herald, 17 May 1880, p. 4
(From NZ Herald 10 October 1929)
The people of the Whau district are beginning to awaken to
the fact that certain disagreeable associations are connected
with the name of their district, principally because of the
existence of the Lunatic Asylum, and because of the pro-
posed cemetery. Now, as a matter of fact, the asylum is not
in the Whau district at all, it is in the Point Chevalier High-
The necessity for the early completion of a new traffic
way District, and the proposed cemetery is in the Waikomiti
bridge over the Whau Creek was urged by Mr. A Grayson,
district, not the Whau district. They object to having their
president of the Auckland Automobile Association, at the
quiet village and settlement saddled with any unpleasant
annual meeting last evening.
features, for which adjoining districts are responsible. In-
deed, there is a project mooted to have the name of the dis-
“The Whau Bridge, as a means of approach to the city,
trict altered. The original meaning, it is said, conveys rather
still seems to cause a lot of trouble,” Mr. Grayson said. “It
unpleasant associations. A rough translation of the word
is a very dangerous place indeed. I do not know what is
Whau, is howling wilderness or desert; and although this
wrong with the Whau Creek or whether there is a taniwha
might have been appropriate enough before the white set-
in it bigger than that at Arapuni. The Auckland Transport
tlers took possession, they now think it deserves a title with
Board will not go beyond it. It is so dangerous that the
more pleasant associations.
local authorities have to place a traffic inspector there over
In 1882, the Whau became Avondale, the change gazetted the week-ends when traffic is a little above normal.”
in June of that year, and by August Dr. Aickin was laying
out his “Avondale” subdivision. — Editor The alteration in the constitution of local bodies on either
side of the creek had removed the bridge from the jurisdic-
tion of the Main Highways Board. “I think that the City
St Ninian’s Is Second Oldest Church Council should give the matter to a satisfactory conclusion
in order to give us a bridge of reasonable width,” Mr.
(From NZ Herald 22 September 1967, p. 2) Grayson added. “It seems at the present time that the New
The second oldest Presbyterian church in Auckland is St Lynn Borough Council is the only body doing anything.
Ninian’s, Avondale, and not Pt. England Church, Mr. L. E. The local bodies should realise they have a duty to the
Titheridge, of Avondale, writes in a letter to the editor of travelling public and do all they possibly can to have the
the Herald. bridge completed at an early date.”