Avondale Central, 1916
(From the “Harry March’s Memories”
collection, courtesy of Ray Kealey, Blockhouse Bay History Group)
While strolling through sweet Avondale and taking mental note,
A sudden frenzy seized me, and this is what I wrote: --
Right on the road a fountain stands out by itself by itself alone,
And twenty horses drank around its hardened face of stone.
On either side a smithy’s shop gave out a merry clang,
While butcher Binsted’s fly-proof door close by was heard to bang.
One Atkinson on the corner stood, in the soft goods line is he,
With Teddy Wood who’s just as good in close propinquity.
And where the old pub was, alas, a civil servant stands,
With a reminiscent smile on his face and a lot of stamps in his hands.
Ah, me! When I think of the days gone by I feel that I shall burst –
What’s the use of eating corn beef now when you cannot quench your thirst?
If a la mode the ladies wish to either walk or wed,
Miss March will try to quickly ply the needle and the thread;
And Mrs A.H. Grattan, of the “Little Lolly Shop,”
Sells lemonade and raspberry and cooling ginger pop,
Liquorice and jujubes and chocolates so nice –
When passing, pop into the shop, is very good advice.
A chemist’s shop is there, you bet, with a double-barrelled man,
Who’ll draw your teeth, or save your life on any other plan.
While Mr. Pendlebury’s got a place that’s quite unique,
All built in brick, and up to Dick, no better could you seek.
A carriage painter twirls his brush in an effort to make things gay,
And a Goodman keeps a shop hard by with hot pies all the day.
A good old shave or a fifty up can be had at McArthur’s show,
While Downing bold, a blacksmith old, will shoe your horse at a blow.
And Mr. Bluck, with any luck will get you a place in – well,
Oh, any place at all with luck Mr. Bluck is sure to sell.
Boots you can get which won’t get wet by the station upon the hill,
While Hooker’s the man with horse and van the carter’s place to fill.
Two grocers bold on the corner old where Robertson used to stand,
If they think you’re a brick will give you tick, while their chief clerk plays in the band.
The local NEWS will record your views in the advertising line,
So who would not in Avondale live and bask in the sweet sunshine?
I took a thirsty look at the place where stood the dear old pub,
And glanced at the horses gathered round the concrete water tub.
Ah, well, says I, if there ain’t no grog there’s nothing else they lack,
And I stared at Waitakere’s crimson crest and soberly hastened back.
-- FLAXBLOSSOMThe News, Saturday October 28, 1916.
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