Saturday, June 29, 2013

Stories in Stone - The grave of Leslie Evans at Paparoa Methodist Cemetery

I took a drive out to Tinopai today. On the way back I stopped in at Hook Rd, Paparoa and got some photos of the old headstones at the Paparoa Methodist Cemetery. This headstone in particular had my interest. The inscriptions reads:


Leslie, was in the prime of his life, when he had a tragic fall from his horse. The incident made it to the New Zealand Herald, Auckland Star, and the Northern Advocate.

Leslie was out with his brother Tom Evans, at Mareretu, trying to muster in a cow and calf. The animals had proven troublesome. Leslie had gone after the animals, when the horse he was riding stumbled, resulting in him being thrown onto the ground. (Auckland Star 9 July 1923). After the fall, Tom carried his brother to the McCarroll homestead and was attended by Dr Dukes. Unfortunately, Leslie died as a result of  the injuries sustained due to a fractured skull. In the closing paragraph the Auckland Star recorded;

 "He was a popular boy, and an expert horseman, being well known as a prize winner at local shows."

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Masonic Hall at Warkworth (1883)

Frequently I've passed this building and wondered about its history. Finally, I took my camera with me, and found some time to photograph this iconic structure which is now used for yoga classes, a market and as a public meeting place. The building has been nicely restored and painted. For years it stood looking neglected and forgotten despite its architectural merits. The building at 3 Baxter Street, Warkworth is registered as a Category 2 Historic place with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.

The old Masonic hall was designed in the Greek Revival style by Auckland based architect William Henry Skinner (1838-1915) who also supervised the construction of the building. The construction itself in 1883, was contracted out to James Clayden of Mahurangi, with the principle graining and varnishing done by Ponsonby, Auckland, based painter William Felton.

The New Zealand Herald (6 July 1883) proudly gave an indepth description of the design and construction of the newly completed building, The NZ Herald correspondent noted the new masonic building was " of the best halls north of Auckland, and would be no discredit to any city in the colony, and eminently suited in every way for the purposes of masonry for many years to come..."

The new hall was consecrated on the evening of Thursday, 17 May 1883 with a large number of Freemasons coming up from Auckland for the occasion as the NZ Herald (19 May 1883) reported:

RODNEY LODGE, No. 1711, E.C. The new Freemasons Hall at Warkworth, erected for the above Lodge, was duly consecrated on Thursday last. The s.s. Rose Casey having on board Bro. Lodder, D.D.G.M., and the principal officers of the District Grand Lodge and a large number of visiting brethren left Auckland shortly before 9 a.m., and arrived at Warkworth wharf at 2 p.m., where the visitors were received by the brethren of the Rodney Lodge and conducted to the new hall. After the usual preliminary business had been transacted, the brethren marched in procession to St. Mary's Church where short service was held, and an eloquent address delivered by Bro. the Rev. W. E. Mulgan, acting District Grand Chaplin. After returning to the hall the consecration ceremony was completed, being ably rendered by Bro. Lodder, Bro. H. G. Wade acting as Director of Ceremonies After a .short interval, Bro. W. P. Moat, D.S.G.W., took the chair, and installed Bro. Enoch Richards as W.M. of the lodge for the ensuing year. 

Sometime during June 1909, the Masonic Lodge had written to the Warkworth Town Board, advising that the hall could be purchased for use as a public hall. If the Town Board decided against purchasing the building then public use of the building would cease (Rodney & Otamatea Times 27 September 1911) . It was decided by the board to build a new town hall (Auckland Star 23 September 1909) rather than take up the purchase of the Baxter Street building. By September 1911, the new Warkworth Town Hall was complete and public use of the Masonic Hall ceased.

I don't know if the hall itself has ceased being a venue for the Rodney Freemasons, I have yet to find a record, so I will have to check with the Rodney Lodge and see if they are still using the hall or if it was vested to Auckland Council ownership. What is pleasing is that now once more the building is in use for public meetings and other activities. It's a beautiful building well deserving of preservation.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Lost Whangarei Heritage the old BNZ Building 1882 (demolished or extensively altered)

Bank of New Zealand Building circa 1920 cnr Rust Avenue & Banks Streets Whangarei

This beautiful building built in the neo-classical style (Greek Revival) was situated on the corner of Bank Street and Rust Avenue in Whangarei. It was designed by Auckland based architect Edward Mahoney (circa 1824-1895) in 1881 for the Bank of New Zealand to replace an earlier building sited on Walton Street. This image was taken by photographer George Radcliffe perhaps about 1920, going on the style of the car on the far left of the image. Tenders were advertised by Mahoney in November of 1881 for the construction of the new bank premises. The successful tenderer for the construction was a 'Mr Mathieson'

                            Tender Notice Auckland Star, Volume XII, Issue 3520, 17 November 1881, Page 3

The builder was a Mr Mathieson. The New Zealand Herald 8 June 1882 wrote the following

This building, situated in the most central part of the township, is now completed, and Mr. Matthieson is to be congratulated upon being the contractor for the finest building as yet in Whangarei. It commands a view of any part of the village, and cannot fail to attract the attention of visitors to Whangarei, as they walk up our main street. It consists of 11 rooms, all told.
The public office is a large airy room, measuring 22ft. 9in. x 20ft. Then comes the manager's room, 14ft. x 11ft.; strong room, 8ft. x 7ft.; sitting room, 20ft. x 14ft.; dining room,15ft, 6in. x 14ft.; two bedrooms, each 13ft. x 9ft.; one bedroom, 13ft. x lift.; servant's bedroom, 10ft. x 9ft.; kitchen, 17ft. 6in. x 12ft.; scullery, 7ft. x 9ft.; the hall is 7ft, 
All round the walls, and both sides of the partitions of the building, are fixed pieces of galvanized iron, to prevent rats and mice from getting access. All the rooms and passages of the main building are finished with 12ft. x l ft. sunk and moulded skirting, and those of the kitchen with 9in. moulded skirting, all neatly glass-papered. 
The front is 2 1/4 in. thick, with bolection mouldings, and raised panels outside, and flush mouldings inside, hung folding. It is fastened with an iron bar 2 1/2 in. x 1 1/2 in, drawback lock, and two strong tower bolts. The side doors are fastened with 10 in. drawback locks. Inside the sill of each door, is formed a tray, 3ft. long, and l ft. 6in. wide, to receive a mat so that the doors can open freely over it. 
The counter top in the public office is a single plank 2in. thick, and 4ft. wide. The counter front has raised panels, and bolection mouldings, is furnished with pilasters, and carved trusses, and is very neatly stained. The walls of all the rooms are scrimmed, and papered with costly paper.
In each fireplace is set a register grate, and in the kitchen fireplace a Leamington range.
The out-houses, stable, &c, are very substantially built, and are floored with concrete. The whole building is painted, and the doors and windows are painted in green and gold.
A substantial ornamental fence is erected around the building, keeping the premises private.
The best of workmanship and the best of timber are put into the building, and there should not be the slightest difficulty in getting it passed by the architects Messrs. Mahoney and Son.
New Zealand Herald, Volume XIX, Issue 6414, 8 June 1882, Page 5 

Sadly, the Bank of New Zealand at some point, decided the building was no longer what it required. I have no date or year for the demolition and/or extensive alteration of what was a beautiful, and now sadly lost heritage building. The building next to it however fortunately still survives.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

BNZ Building Warkworth (circa 1929)

I've passed the Bank of New Zealand building in Warkworth, so many times without really taking much notice of its architecture. I had a brief chance yesterday to take the camera out and get some quick shots. It's a very attractive imposing structure well suited to the status of a long since established financial institution such as the BNZ. The building has been in use since around the end of 1929, when it was constructed to replace an older building on another site.

With business increasing in the township of Warkworth, the Bank of New Zealand made the decision in 1927, to purchase a corner section, with two frontages on Neville and Warkworth Streets , a portion of Mrs T. Warin's land, for the construction of a new building, to house the increasing number of staff at the existing branch.
"The steady growth of the local, branch may be gauged from the fact that the bank was opened nearly 8 years ago with a staff of two, to-day the bank business is conducted by a staff of five. This move by the bank is a sure indication of the progress and prosperity of Warkworth and district."
 (Rodney and Otamatea Times, Waitemata and Kaipara Gazette , 7 September 1927, Page 5)

The Warkworth Town Board granted consent to the subdivision of the Warin property, part of which the BNZ had purchased for the future new building. (Rodney Times, 14 September 1927).

The iconic monument on the summit of One Tree Hill in Auckland designed by architect
 Richard Atkinson Abbot Sourced Wikicommons

Prominent Architect Richard Atkinson Abbot (1883-1954) had been commissioned by the BNZ to design the new building. Abbot had designed a number of commercial buildings for the Bank of New Zealand. Amongst his notable designs was the mission-style design for the Auckland Grammar school, Kings College in Mangere, and the iconic obelisk on the summit of One Tree Hill.

At the end of April 1929, the owner of the Rodney Garage, J. O Thornton, had signed a contract with the Bank of New Zealand to excavate and remove some 2000 cubic yards of earth from the Neville Street building site. (Rodney and Otamatea Times, Waitemata and Kaipara Gazette , 1 May 1929, Page 4)

Tender Notice Advert for the BNZ Building Warkworth, 

Auckland Star, Volume LX, Issue 122, 25 May 1929, Page 7

Tenders for the new building to be constructed in brick and concrete, closed on June 11 1929, and were sent to the BNZ Board of Review in Wellington to consider. (Rodney and Otamatea Times, Waitemata and Kaipara Gazette , 29 May 1929, Page 5)

In July 1929, the BNZ appointed J. T Kibblewhite as the Clerk of Works for the Warkworth construction project. Kibblewhite had managed several other projects for the bank including the Invercargill branch in Southland. (Rodney and Otamatea Times, Waitemata and Kaipara Gazette , 17 July 1929, Page 5).

In the same month, A. Lye from the Auckland building firm of James Lye and Sons arrived to supervise the builders on the new project. (Rodney and Otamatea Times, Waitemata and Kaipara Gazette , 24 July 1929, Page 5)

Notification of transfer of title
Auckland Star, Volume LX, Issue 183, 5 August 1929, Page 18

By August 1929, tenders were being advertised by the building company for the plastering and painting of the new BNZ
TENDERS. FOR Plastering and Painting Bank New Zealand, Warkworth. —Plans James Lye and Sons, Franklin st.
Auckland Star, Volume LX, Issue 189, 12 August 1929, Page 18 

I have no opening date for the building. By early February of 1930, the Bank of New South Wales had moved into the former Bank of New Zealand premises. I can only assume that the new Bank of New Zealand building opened its doors for business between November 1929 and January of 1930 where it has remained as the Warkworth Branch of the Bank of New Zealand for the last 93 years.