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Historical Society Incorporated

May—June 2010
Newsletter No. 45

Prepared by Lisa Truttman, President and Editor

St Ninian’s 150th
Thursday the 8th of April 2010 was a beautiful day, and a
pleasant morning for around 40 members of the Society
and the community to gather at the Avondale Memorial
Reserve in front of St Ninian’s to wish our oldest building
a happy birthday. Photographs taken on the day in the
centre of this newsletter. Here’s an abridged version of
my speech that morning.
Welcome ladies, gentlemen, friends, to this the 150th
birthday of Avondale’s St Ninian’s Church, the old Whau
Presbyterian Chapel. A special welcome from the Avon-
dale-Waterview Historical Society to Wayne Coe, Presi-
dent of the Avondale Senior Citizens, and the leaders of
our neighbouring historical societies here – West Auck- although in truth he sold the land for a pittance to the Pre-
land (Trevor Pollard) and Blockhouse Bay (Keith Rus- sbyterians because the line of the Great North Road cut
den). Members of the Avondale Union Parish are here off this part of his Allotment 13 from the rest across the
today, including Rev Margaret Martin and Rev Vai road in the mid 1850s creating an odd triangular piece of
Ngahe, welcome. A welcome as well to members of the land – and the Provincial Council only finally settled with
Avondale Community Board, and to Sunita Kashyup of him in 1858.
Auckland City Council.
We have the Presbyterian parishioners to thank for the
My thanks to the members of my home historical society funding of the building, the provision of kauri timber from
for backing this idea solidly right from the beginning. To the Waitakeres, building it from November 1859 in howl-
the Avondale Community Board for their generous grant ing storms, and the opening of it on 8 April 1860.
toward the printing of the first 200 of the commemorative
booklet – which are free, while stocks last (if there is a This is our first church, and this is also our first school,
demand after that, we’ll see about printing some more.) right from April 1860. Few buildings have survived the
test of time where we can still say – this is where the chil-
Special thanks to Wayne Coe, who took up the challenge dren of the district, a huge district which included West
of being a face of the caring community for St Ninians in Auckland, parts of Mt Albert, and up to Pt Chevalier, --
the recent Aucklander article, a community leader who this is where the children came to learn. Even the cher-
cares passionately about the future of our 150 year old, ished old buildings at the Avondale Primary School are
and who worked hard to help with preparations for today. now no more but this one – this building still stands.
Felice Coiffure hairdressers across the road helped us
with providing hot water for the morning tea. Long may it continue.

Thanks also to the Avondale Business Association who In this building, people learned, people worshipped, peo-
have, since 2001, been staunch supporters of Avondale’s ple celebrated, people were married, and people were
heritage. Thanks to Sunita Kashyup – Sunita, believe me, farewelled, either due to their return back to the Old
the community of Avondale welcomes you and appreci- Country, or to an eternal rest here. Through the years, the
ates the hard work you and your team at Community De- Whau Presbyterian Chapel, Avondale Presbyterian
velopment do for us.
see over page
Thanks to all of you who have helped out with refresh-
ments – and simply being here, to show your support for Next meeting:
the oldest member of our community.
Saturday 12 June 2010, 2.30 pm
We have Avondale’s earliest settler from 1843, John Lions Hall, cnr. Blockhouse Bay Road
Shedden Adam, to thank for the chapel being where it is,
and Great North Road.
(left) Copies of the 150th
anniversary booklet
available free on the day.

Church, St Ninian’s Church, and later commu-
nity centre, has endured. It was shut up and
closed for a few years after it ceased to be a
church in 1984, but it reopened to Avondale.
Now, it is shut up again – and as those before us
in the 1980s kept the memory of how important
the building is to our community’s story, its past,
present and future alive – those of us who care
today should do the same, until we can see the
building reopened to Avondale and the commu-
nity once more.
Let’s hope this is not the last of the birthdays for
our St Ninian’s church.

(middle) One of two temporary
signs arranged by Sunita Kashyup,
Auckland City Council. This one
is on the church fence.

(right) Some of those who attended
the morning’s event, and enjoyed
the refreshments and a chance to
A lovely and HUGE card, prepared
by the Avondale Community
Library Akozone homework

Trading Table
I had a marvellous response to my appeal for
plant pots from the last issue of the newslet-
Avondale College Reunion
ter — my sincere thanks to: Labour Weekend 2010
Val Bastion
Dawn Moffatt Carole Jamieson (nee Bergamini)
David Verran Phone: 09-449-1994 or 021-132-9273
(North Shore Historical Society president) or 2010 School Reunion,
c/- Avondale College
There is now a burgeoning collection of 47 Victor Street
plants, with our Trading Table Co-ordinator Avondale, Auckland 1026
already selling the initial results.
Register now
— Editor