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A vondale

vondale - W aterview
H istorical Society Incorporated

November—December 2008
Newsletter No. 36

Prepared by Lisa Truttman, President and Editor Guest Speaker: Phil Sai-Louie
St Ninians
Phil shared a number of intriguing facts about New
Following on from the decision at the last meeting for the Zealand place names with us at our October meet-
AWHS not to go ahead with a lease application for St ing.
Ninians, the Avondale Community Centre Society have
decided to apply to Auckland City Council instead, and have 99% of NZ place names from personalities are
expressed interest to have AWHS involvement in terms of named for people born overseas. Breaking up Maori
heritage photographs displayed and future events. The place names to try to sort out the meaning can often
Society agreed to send a letter of support to them. lead to misconceptions. For example, Rangitoto
(“bleeding sky”) is really Te Rangi Totongia A-
Rosebank Peninsula Church Tama Te Kapua, or “the days bleeding of Tama Te
Kapua”, a name applied initially to a beach on the
AWHS have agreed to also send a letter of support to the island. Aotearoa isn’t “land of the long white
Rosebank Peninsula Church, who are currently seeking fund- cloud”, but “land of the long twilight” (in compari-
ing to renovate and upgrade the church (former Victoria son with conditions of no twilight in the Pacific Is-
Hall) as a youth and homework centre, as well as a commu-
nity meeting place.
Some names illustrate the often harsh life of pre-
Events attended and to be attended European period Maori. Whakapirau (in Northland)
means “stinking canoe” or “to cause to decay” after
Pt Chevalier Community Library heritage day 25 the bodies left behind after a battle with Maori from
September — very successful, interesting speakers, and a Pahi. Urewera means “burnt penis”, Kumeu means
new history group may be forming from a list of those inter- “pull a breast” (as an insult), and Arero means
ested. I’ve volunteered to help out with a newsletter for the “tongue” (as in the cutting out of a victim’s tongue
new group until they are fully functional.
after battle.)
St Judes Church, 27 September — a truly enjoyable day. European place names were also discussed. Bulls,
Next year is the 125th anniversary of the opening of the originally Bull Town, founded by James Bull, a
church. Hopefully, AWHS and the parish will work closely storekeeper there. Nonoti in Canterbury was named
together to commemorate this anniversary.
after a politician expressed reluctance in naming a
Avondale Aspirations — a follow on and part of the Live- railway station there, declaring, “No, not I!”
able Communities/Avondale Future Framework process. Wellsford, originally a settlement before that name
Meeting on 7th October from 6pm, and at the time of writing along the Whakapirau Creek, got its name from a
this newsletter, I intend to attend.
meeting in which it was decided to use the first let-
Avondale College Family History Writing competition — ter of some of the settlers’ surnames in the area to
along with staff from Auckland City Library, I was one of make up the name.
the judges, on behalf of the Society. The prizegiving was Blackball was the emblem of the Black Ball Ship-
held at the library in late August. This was a successful com-
ping Line who acquired leases of land on the west
petition, and very hard to judge, with the standard of entries
at junior and senior level very high. Our Society’s part in the bank of the Grey River, and so the town (originally
process wasn’t mentioned in the book produced by Auckland known as Joliffetown and Moonlight Gully) came to
City Libraries, but I was given a copy for our records. be named after the company.

Next meeting: Our speaker at the December meeting will be
Chris Kiwi, on his memories of Queen Street in
Saturday 6 December 2008, 2.30 pm, Lions Hall,
the 1970s.
cnr. Blockhouse Bay Road and Great North Road.

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