Three years ago, when I started work at the South Auckland Research Centre I did not really know what to expect. I knew that the community was different to any library setting that I had worked in previously.
From a socio-economic point of view conditions vary greatly from place to place, it is young, it is vibrant, and it is multi-cultural. I noticed the strong sense of community. I was welcomed with warmth; there is a tangible spirit of generosity here. I had moved from a small city in the provinces to ‘the big smoke’. Now, when I go back to visit family there it feels like I am stepping back in time.
In geographical terms the South Auckland Research Centre collects material from across a large area. South Auckland has a rich and deep history. Boundaries have been created, merged, changed and expanded over time.
Thinking about my initial impressions of South Auckland led me to look for a way to highlight the community by drawing attention to some of the important photographs that we hold in our Footprints collection. The exhibition Peace, prayer, and reflection in South Auckland is a selection of portraits of people and buildings that have a connection with spiritual life and worship in South Auckland.
The exhibition runs from 2 April to 1 May at the South Auckland Research Centre on Level 1 of Manukau Library, so please do drop by and have a look. If you can't make it in take some time to look at the online exhibition. Below are a few of the images in the exhibition.
Ref: Te Tokotoru Tapu Mataitai Church, c1979, South Auckland Research Centre, Auckland Libraries, Footprints 00933.
Ref: Cook Islands choral competition, 22 July 1990, photograph reproduced courtesy of Fairfax Media, South Auckland Research Centre, Auckland Libraries, Footprints 03385.
Ref: Blessing St. Mark's Anglican Church, 19 November 1914, photograph reproduced courtesy of Pukekohe Library, South Auckland Research Centre, Auckland Libraries, Footprints 02372.
Ref: Renewing the bonds, 6 August 1990, photograph reproduced courtesy of Fairfax Media, South Auckland Research Centre, Auckland Libraries, Footprints 03380.
Author: Sharon Smith, South Auckland Research Centre