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Showing posts from September, 2017

Presbyterianism on the peninsula

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On the last Sunday in September the Awhitu Central Church will celebrate its 140th anniversary. Travellers who pass through Awhitu Central on their way to the Manukau Heads lighthouse will be familiar with this iconic building. The Awhitu Central Church was opened as the Awhitu Presbyterian Church on 23 September 1877 (in accordance with the wishes of the donor of the land, George Garland, it also accommodated both Anglican and Methodist congregations). It is today the last active church of four Presbyterian churches which were opened on the Manukau Peninsula during the 19th century, although two other equally picturesque buildings survive.
When the Awhitu church opened there were already two Presbyterian churches in the nearby Pollok settlement. One had been opened by members of the Scotch Presbyterian Church on 22 May 1870, the other by members of the Church of Scotland on 14 June 1870. The former building burnt down in 1882. The latter can still be seen on the southern approaches …

Gatherings on the Manukau exhibition

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The Manukau Harbour is the second largest in Aotearoa. Loved and enjoyed by many, Te Manukanuka o Houturoa has always been a source for food gathering and has long provided the means for navigating the expansive coastline.

Photographs from the Auckland Libraries heritage collections form the basis of this exhibition which is on now at Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery in Titirangi, Auckland.

This exhibition will travel around the edges of the Manukau Harbour as if spread by Te Hau a Uru, the wind that blows from the west, from Titirangi to Waiuku.

7-28 September: Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery, Titirangi.
30 September-14 October: Nathan Homestead, Manurewa.
17 October-4 November: Waiuku Library, Waiuku.

The images serve to illustrate the rich bounty of the harbour in former times and present recorded journeys made across the breadth and length of this waterway.


The Going West archive - Out of the box

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In looking back over 22 years at the creation of the Going West Books & Writers Festival archive, it would be great to be able to say that it was a well-planned exercise, deliberately designed to create a record of the best, and sometimes eccentric, voices of our writers and thinkers. This is unfortunately not the case. The very existence of the archive was more, in the first year, a matter of serendipity and happenstance.

The very notion of a New Zealand writers festival out west, referencing Maurice Gee's novel Going West, was the brainchild of book seller and history lover, Murray Gray – with some substantial support from Mayor Bob Harvey. For 10 years it included a steam train adventure replicating the voyage captured by Maurice in his book and starring luminaries of the literary world. Just once we enticed Maurice up to the west and he read from Going West on the Henderson Rail Platform. What a moment that was!

The archive also includes audio, so you can listen to a shor…