Auckland Regional Gathering of Historical Societies, 

16 August 2003

Avondale Community Centre, Avondale.

Hosted by Avondale-Waterview Historical Society.

Notes by Lisa Truttman (President, 2003)

Representatives (Bruce Spencer, President, and Lisa Truttman, Historical Research Officer) of our young Historical Society (started only on 1 June 2002) attended the Regional Gathering in August 2002 hosted by Torbay Historical Society, and volunteered for the Avondale- Waterview Historical Society to host the 2003 Gathering.

It struck me later -- "What have we done??" We have no permanent base (our local Lions Club are generous in providing us with time in their Meeting Hall), we have no Museum. And yet we volunteered to host a regional gathering for the whole of the Auckland Region, from Puhoi to Franklin.

Well, we did it.

After some deliberation, we decided to hold the Gathering at the Avondale Community Centre Hall. I considered that, as we didn't have a museum to show our fellow local historians from the region, why not invite everyone to bring in part of their museums and collections of books, photos etc. As I put on the invitations: "Show everyone what makes your part of the Auckland Region so special." To my delight, 21 Historical Societies and groups (around 55 people finally attending and helping) rose to the call, including non-members of the Federation the Blockhouse Bay History Group and Friends of Waikumete. The roll call of Societies and organisations represented:

NZ Federation of Historical Societies - Robin Astridge, President

Auckland City - Angela Drake, Community Planning Mainstreets (Guest Speaker)

Auckland City Libraries - David Verran, Team Leader, Historical Research Centre

Auckland Historical Society

Avondale-Waterview Historical Society

Birkenhead Historical Society (members attended)

Blockhouse Bay History Group

Epsom-Eden and Districts Historical Society

NZ Fencible Society

Franklin Historical Society

Friends of Waikumete

NZ Historic Places Trust

Mangere Historical Society

Manurewa Historical Society

North Shore Historical Society

Onehunga Fencible and Historical Society

Otahuhu Historical Society

Papatoetoe Historical Society

NZ Pioneers and Descendants Society

Torbay Historical Society

Wainui Historical Society

West Auckland Historical Society

The day was a success. We were also ably assisted by the Lions Club of Avondale, and Kathy Allen, Manager of Avondale Community Centre. Comments received so far:

From Robin Astridge, NZ Federation President --

On 16 August a successful gathering was held in the Avondale Community Hall, hosted by the very new  Avondale Waterview Historical Society. The day commenced with the setting up of tables by a large number of Societies with their achievements, booklets and books that they have produced over the years. This was a welcome new innovation for this day and was well received by all. The formal part of the event started with a finger food meal – thanks to the Avondale Main Street group.[The Avondale Business Association, through their Mainstreet programme]. After lunch we were addressed by [Angela Drake] of the Auckland City Council regarding Main Street Promotion activities – a welcome activity to return people to main street shopping/activities in their area. After a vote of thanks from  Avondale Waterview President Lisa, Federation President Robin Astridge spoke on Federation’s hopes and dreams that were raised at the recent Special General Meeting held in Hamilton. Each Society was then invited to speak briefly on their years work – a most delightful hour or so was spent. Then a mad scramble to clear the hall as we had almost exceeded our time limit – an indication of a most successful day. Thanks to Lisa and her team for hosting the day. Next year Onehunga indicate their desire to host the gathering.

From the Otahuhu Historical Society newsletter --

On 16th August, Ray, Elaine and Wilma attended the meeting of Auckland Societies that was held at Avondale. Each Society was invited to have a table display of material and our selection of Otahuhu photographs proved to be very popular. Societies displayed books, photographs and Onehunga had a beautiful display of early linen and underwear. After a delightful lunch sponsored by the local Business Association it was down to the formal part of the day. A guest speaker from Auckland City outlined the Mainstreet programme operating in sixteen suburbs of Auckland. Otahuhu was the first Mainstreet in the City and this was undertaken in 1991. The programme is financed by a rate in the business area that is fully returned to the particular area for the formation, upgrading and maintenance. The preservation of heritage buildings is of utmost importance.

Each Society gave a short resume of who they are and the work being carried out by them. This was very informative and we learnt that our Society is keeping up with the others in the way we run the Otahuhu Historical Society.

From Mangere Historical Society --

Auckland Region, Historical Societies Gathering was held in August, hosted by Avondale-Waterview Society. Joan Benson and Carol Mutch attended. Each club set up a display -- photos, books, and other items, e.g. beautiful old linen, and gave a report on their activities during the past year. The guest speaker, Angela Drake, Community Planner Mainstreet Auckland City, spoke about Mainstreet programmes -- a scheme to return people to main street shopping/activities in their area. Special emphasis was given to the Heritage Aspect.

Lisa Truttman and her colleagues at A7vondale-Waterview were thanked for a very successful day. A delicious lunch was served by courtesy of the Avondale Business Association through their Mainstreet programme. Also, Lisa gave us a book on the history of Avondale 'The Challenge of the Whau.'

From Ernie Bacon, Onehunga Fencible & Historical Society (published in their newsletter) --

On Saturday 16th August Muriel and I attended the Historical Societies Conference at Avondale and as a first time attendee I found it a most enjoyable and enlightening day.

Somewhere between 15 and 20 Societies were represented and put on displays, either photographic, or books and paper material telling the histories of their individual societies, trips and local history. Our display consisted of two tables showing 'Old Linen', lace work and an antique doll? Well, a very old doll anyway.

After a couple of hours, in the morning, mounting the displays and fraternising with the others present and a very fine luncheon, which was supplied, we got down to the business of the day.

All societies were invited to talk and give a brief history of the work they are doing, or hope to do. Other speakers were from the Auckland City Council, Auckland City Libraries, and the Historic Places Trust.

It was a well-organised day and thanks for this must go to Lisa Truttman of the Avondale-Waterview Historical Society who is also a member of a few other societies, including our own, plus several other community organisations. Well done!

Well done indeed -- but it was the team of volunteers from the Historical Society I am a proud and passionate member of who made the day happen, plus the wonderful support of my fellow local historians. Thank you, everyone.

-- Lisa Truttman,

12 September 2003

Photos            AWHS Home Site

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