In 1913 Arthur Myers, M.P., and former Mayor of Auckland gifted the city £9000 for the purchase of a gully in central Auckland with the intent to turn it into a park for the people of Auckland.
Ref: Auckland Weekly News, The giver in his gift, 9 October 1913, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19131009-48-5.
The official opening of what was called Myers Park by Mayor Christopher Parr was on 28 January 1915. The New Zealand Herald from 29 January 1915 reported that a large crowd turned up for the opening including hundreds of children. This must have pleased Arthur Myers as the park was focused on children with the plans for the kindergarten and playground. Myers concluded his remarks that day by saying, “I trust this park will be a source of joy to the citizens of Auckland, present and future. It is the people’s property, may they treasure it as their own, seek enjoyment and recreation within its boundaries, and make it an agency for the promotion of the public good.”
Ref: Auckland Weekly News, Giver of a park to Auckland, 4 February 1915, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19150204-38-4.
Ref: Auckland Weekly News, Official opening on January 28 of Myers Park, 4 February 1915, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19150201-39-1.
Auckland Council is holding a celebration marking the centennial of the opening of Myers Park on Sunday, February 15. To help with these celebrations Heritage and Research staff have created a Historypin collection about Myers Park containing images of the land before it was turned into a park and of Myers Parks itself down the years. The images, taken from our main image databases: Footprints, Heritage Images and Local History Online, range from the 1850s to the 1980s and they show how Myers Park has been used down the years as a place for gatherings, celebrations and play.
Ref: Myers Park Kindergarten and paddling pool, October 1916, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 236-7519.
Ref: Vera Jane Ellis, Hiroshima Day, 6 August 1961, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 958-136.
Ref: Auckland City Council, Auckland City Council dog ranger and his..., 13 May 1964, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 580-10188.
Have a look at our previous posts about our Historypin collections and tours; the subjects range from cows to bicycles, places from Samoa to Massey.
In addition to Historypin collections being viewable on your computer as a slideshow there is also a Historypin app available for phones. The app lets you browse historical images from in the place where they were taken and see how the space has changed down the years. You can even take your own photos and ‘pin’ them to a historical image, which is then overlaid and provides a great way to see how space changes through time.
So before your next walk around Auckland, download the Historypin app, enjoy a historic tour of the city, take some of your own photos and pin them to the images Auckland Libraries have already added to the app.
Author: Andrew Henry