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AvondaleAvondale-Waterview Historical Society Incorporated

Newsletter
July-August 2011 No. 52 Prepared by Lisa Truttman, President and Editor

Guest Speakers
August: Gail Fotheringham, Auckland Council, on Blockhouse Bay digital history project October: Sandra Coney December: Marc Bonny on his Titirangi Fringe of Heaven book

St Ninians Church
Anzac Day: St Ninians open after memorial service
Unfortunately, this was cancelled due both to bad weather, and the cancellation of the RSA’s parade.

Auckland Regional Gathering of Historical Societies
Sunday, 28 August from 9am, we will be hosting representatives from historical societies and other heritage groups at St Ninians for the Auckland Regional Gathering. Invitations have been sent out. Speakers will be: the authors of Legacy of Occupation (they spoke to our Society a year or so ago), and a group of Auckland Council presenters on local history initiatives. If any members of AWHS would like to pop along, you would be most welcome. No entry fee, but $8 per head would be appreciated if you would like some of the catered soup lunch, provided by West Auckland Historical Society’s catering team. At 2pm that day, there is a Wurlitzer Trust concert across the road, at the Hollywood. Tickets $25 per person. SUNDAY AUGUST 28 at 2pm Rob Richards & Alex Zsolt (USA) “A wonderful thrill to welcome back Rob Richards, this well known organist from Disney’s El Capitan Theatre, in Hollywood, where the famous El Capitan Wurlitzer organ is featured before every movie screening, several times daily and to audiences in the hundreds. Joining Rob on this trip will be Alex Zsolt, regarded as America’s new “Gospel Pianist”; Alex has recently teamed up with Rob Richards to present a series of piano & organ concerts. Their show here in Auckland has the catch-phrase of “HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD - Music from the movies; Disney... and more!”

Mayoral visit to St Ninians
Mayor Len Brown visited St Ninians on Tuesday 28 June for a “Town Hall” get-together with the Avondale Community. I congratulated him on being the first Mayor of any city to speak at St Ninians, as far as is known, since it opened in April 1860. He seemed quite taken with having the record. The meeting went from 6.30 to 8.30, half an hour overtime, but I did briefly suggest that our local library and Citizens Advice Bureau be combined into a new extended building at some point on the city’s future planning. I emphasised that AWHS had worked in partnership with Avondale Library since our beginning in 2002, and that extending the library’s space would mean being able to provide an enhanced information centre for our district, not only in terms of historical content, but also meeting present needs and concerns. He replied that it might take 4 to 5 years or so, and Whau Local Board chairman Derek Battersby (also there) said that upgrading Avondale Library would be at the top of their list, out of the three libraries in the local area (ours, Blockhouse Bay, and New Lynn). Ours is, at 38 years old this year (it opened 18 September 1973 ), the veteran of the group.

Next meeting: Saturday 6 August 2011, 2.30 pm St Ninians Church St Georges Road, opposite Hollywood Cinema ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

Auckland Libraries and the J T Diamond competition: the saga continues
The following is my own opinion only. The views expressed here are mine, and not necessarily those of the Society. — Editor. Auckland Libraries decided in April this year to cancel the JT Diamond writing competition this year, “Capturing the West”, in order to “take time to explore how this event might be developed to accommodate our new regional perspective, which includes the Western suburbs formerly part of Auckland Central (Avondale, New Windsor and Blockhouse Bay) and the areas formerly part of Waitakere and North Shore Cities and Rodney County,” according to a letter sent to me dated 6 April from Sue Cooper, Heritage, Research & Service Development Manager at the libraries. This was in response to my suggestion by email that the organisers of the competition, West Auckland Historical Society and Henderson Library staff, while they have included Avondale area in the competition before now, have sent info packs to schools such as Rosebank and Avondale Primary and have included Avondale authors among the competition participants, that they might like to formally approach AWHS to ask if we might be one of their smaller sponsors. They were looking for assistance with small prizes at their prize giving. This with the view that now, the Whau Local Board area includes both sides of the Whau Creek these days. When I was advised by one of the organisers at Henderson library that, no, AWHS had no part to play in this beyond just being a passive promoter of the competition and providing research information for participants, I reminded them of the new political boundaries, and that AWHS had been in existence longer than the competition itself, yet had not been invited to be actively involved, despite Avondale (and Blockhouse Bay as well) being in J T Diamond’s “area of interest”. All I suggested was, perhaps in future plans for the competition, this might be addressed (bearing in mind that everything is still in transition). The result was the cancellation. West Auckland Historical Society are now running a “Our West” writing competition themselves this year instead. Whether Auckland Council Libraries is under the impression I was trying to push for our Society to have more of a say in the planning of the competition or not,

it’s hard to say. That certainly isn’t the case — I’m hard-pressed enough now to meet commitments involving our Society , and helping Pt Chevalier’s society, on top of my involvement with the NZ Federation of Historical Societies’ executive, maintaining my online heritage blog, and responding to phone calls and emails almost daily about heritage queries and questions. But I felt that if it was seen that AWHS had some active part to play — and a sponsorship proposal, to be agreed to at one of our regular meetings seemed a solution for both Avondale and the competition organisers — then our local schools might have a bit more incentive to take part in what was, overall, a worthy exercise. Now, it seems, instead of a West Auckland project, incorporating and remembering those areas that form the gateway to the west, Avondale and Blockhouse Bay, there will be a much larger project encompassing virtually half the new Super City. All I can say is — if Auckland Council Libraries would like a hand, they know where to ask. Lisa J Truttman

Trading Table
Our Trading Table Co-ordinator, Dawn Moffatt, has aked me to put out a call for Bring & Buy items, jams, produce etc. for the trading table put out at each Society meeting. Next time you come along, all contributions would be greatly appreciated.

WANTED: Avondale Rugby memorabilia
Avondale Library wish to put on a display during the period of the Rugby World Cup this year about Avondale’s history with rugby. Any photos, memorabilia, and other items associated with the sport, and especially regarding Avondale teams, would be greatly appreciated for a loan to help make up their display. Contact Manjula Patel at the library, or the Society.

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