Monday, 7 October 2013

Meola Creek

Meola Creek is called Waititiko by local Maori, meaning 'water of the periwinkles'. It was subsequently named Meola Creek by settler Allan Taylor, possibly after Meola Glacier (or Athasi-Balati Glacier) near where he was born in Seringapatam, India, in 1832.

Ref: 580-A5338, aerial view ooking north east over Western Springs towards Point Chevalier showing Western Springs Road (left to centre foreground) with Meola Rd (left to right distance) Meola Creek (left of centre distance) and Motions Creek (centre distance), 1965, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Allan Taylor (1832-1890) arrived in New Zealand aged 16 and soon after began buying land that would become the Alberton estate. In the 1890s he became known as Allan Kerr Taylor.

Ref: 856-9319, two people taking out a dinghy possibly at Meola Creek, c. 1890s, Sir George Grey Special Collections
There are several mentions of this waterway in resources held in the Central Auckland Research Centre including this from The Mt Albert Historical Society Inc. Newsletter (March 2007, page 6):

“Meola Stream had its origins in a spring 150 yards in front of Alberton House, Mt Albert, where the boys in the family went to wash. Later the family created a little swimming pool/bathing area around it.”

Ref: Waterways display in the Central City Library
And Phyllis Mealing’s memory of the waterway in the oral history 'Memories of Mt Albert' compiled by Alison Fitzpatrick and Patsy Burton in 1999:

“Meola Stream came across under New North Road from the Baptist Church grounds, through rough stones and blackberry to Wairere Ave, and after running along the side of the road, it veered across country to the rock cutting in Asquith Ave. It has since been diverted and covered over. The part by Wairere Ave was very pretty, with willow trees hanging over it. We used to go down and paddle in the water and pick watercress. On one occasion when I was walking past the blackberries swinging my arm, I lost a shilling, at that time a lot of money to me. I often wondered if anyone found it when the road was formed and the kerbing put in place.”

Ref: Waterways display in the Central City Library
Also, the Heritage Images database holds several images of the waterway including a photograph of men boating on what is thought to be Meola Creek in 1890-1899. There is also currently a display of images on the theme of waterways in the Atrium outside the Central Auckland Research Centre on Level 2, Central City Library. The display includes images and information on Meola Creek, Oakley Creek, Wairoa River, Te Waihorotiu Stream, Orakei Basin and Big Muddy Creek. The display will be up until 27 October.

Lastly, a Papers Past search revealed many stories and photographs concerning the causeway built across the estuary into which both Meola and Motions Creek entered – which took about 15 years to build.

Ref: Waterways display in the Central City Library
The steep clay slope fronting Garnet Road, where the causeway started, had been the Grey Lynn Borough Council rubbish tip and old tins and clinker from the destructor, bottles and crockery were used as fill, described poetically in The Auckland Star on 26 May 1936:

“The road made of rubbish. – This does not sound very substantial, but in reality a solid foundation is being made by the rubbish from the City for this road, which will eventually connect Westmere and Point Chevalier. After crossing Motion and Meola Creeks, the road will connect with Meola Road, seen in the centre background.”

Ref: excerpt from The Auckland Star, 26 May 1936
Author: Leanne, Central Auckland Research Centre

1 comment:

  1. Excellent - thank you for compiling this. STEPS http://www.meolacreek.org.nz/ is working on enhancing and protecting Meola for future generations.

    ReplyDelete

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