Thursday, October 30, 2008

Avondale Letters 1

In 1909, the Avondale Hotel lost its licence when a vote for the Eden electorate to go dry was passed by a majority. (Before 1870 by the way, our electorate was called Raglan, for reasons I've yet to fathom). On 30 June 1910, at 10 o'clock in the evening, the doors were closed by the publican on the drinkers of the district. Negotiations ensued between the building's owners and the Post Office, and after nearly 32 years Avondale's post and telegraph office shifted from the railway station to the former hotel. Apparently, according to this letter writer, without much hoop-la at all. At the time (1912) a number of new post offices were being built around New Zealand, and all were opened by politicians and leaders of the community. Sir Joseph Ward was at a number of them in the Auckland district. But not, apparently, at Avondale.


(To the Editor, Auckland Star. Published 19 February 1912)

Sir, -- No fuss, no gathering of the leading lights of the neighbourhood to meet and greet a Minister of the Crown and rhapsodise on the benefits to accrue to our district from the opening of our new post office! Where and oh, where, were those choice spirits, or chosen spirits, who look after the welfare of Avondale? What a splendid opportunity lost of bringing the advancement and progress of the district before the people of the Dominion, and thereby attract population to its vacant allotments! Other districts manage things better, get hold of a Minister, or, at least, an M.P., and make capital out of such an important event: for, Mr. Editor, it is an important one, and although not announced with a flourish of trumpets, or, shall I say, a number of laboured speeches? proves that the district is advancing rapidly in importance.

Do you think, Mr. Editor, that the reason was that the memories of other days, and of the merry meetings of choice spirits held in the building, when it was known far and wide as the Avondale Hotel, had anything to do with the failure of the good people of Avondale to inaugurate the opening of the post office with a gathering of the residents? Would it, do you suppose, have had a too saddening effect on their sensitive spirits, the memories of those other spirits in the merry days of old? -- I am, etc,


No comments:

Post a Comment