I've just seen in the Western Leader (17 November) that Richard Quinn of Avondale passed away on 11 September this year, aged 63. The obituary the paper published was brief, but quite good. Quinn "fought to preserve an important part of West Auckland's history" as he was on "the committee that helped restore and preseve a brickmaking kiln fromm the old Crown Lynn Potteries site in New Lynn during the 1980s," (they associate Quinn with the Ambrico kiln which was on the other side of Rankin Ave from the main Crown Lynn works) "spent nine months" looking for Crown Lynn artefacts, and was also involved with restoration at Limeburners Bay. Mayor Bob Harvey of Waitakere City referred to Quinn as a "champion".
Not exactly what Bob Harvey may have been calling Quinn nine years ago, according to old Brian Rudman articles in the Herald, like this one, and this.
"A year ago the council had all 2300 items photographed and catalogued. Then, with a security guard at the door, they were packed and secreted away in containers to hidden storage.
Mr Quinn was outraged. Offered a catalogue to identify his treasures, he refused. The mayor waded in with a letter calling for "an end to this emotional blackmail and nonsense which gives you both pleasure and pain."
The slanging continues. Mr Quinn says the council is demanding receipts to prove ownership. The council's manager of public affairs, Wally Thomas, denies this, saying that other than items known to have been donated by others, Mr Quinn can "tell us what is his and take it away."
The reality is, Mr Quinn has nowhere to take them. Not that that seems to be the issue any more. The issue now is self-esteem.
"I'm unemployed. They thought they could do what they liked. I don't count."
Mr Harvey is similarly spitting the dummy. "I have been terrorised by experts and I refuse to be intimidated for one more month by Mr Quinn of New Lynn."
Says Mr Quinn: "I'm from Avondale."
(NZ Herald, 15 May 2000)
Quinn eventually received a $130,000 payout from Waitakere City Council in July 2002 at the end of the seven year dispute.
Time heals all wounds, I guess. Pity that it has taken Waitakere City so long to recognise Quinn's passing, though.