Saturday, July 31, 2010

An old joke, at Devonport

Well, probably not all that old, compared with some of the stuff you'll find on this blog. But -- it's been around for a while. 

According to this site, these plaques have been around in America since the 1980s at least. You can buy them online still. Somehow, North Shore City have decided to keep this by the Devonport foreshore, beside the footpath leasding to the wharf. For what reason, I don't know at this stage. Perhaps a reader could shed some light on this. Are there any in Australia?

Takapuna ... the war memorial as art

Outside the civic offices and library at Takapuna is a very different type of war memorial.

This one commemorates the fallen from the district in both world wars, plus the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. Designed by Archoffice, who also planned the new Birkenhead Library, "to reflect the local seaside location ... as much a functional piece of Art as well as fulfilling the role of a War Memorial."

A feature is that four branches of past war efforts are recognised. The Navy ...

The Army ...

The Air Force ...

The Merchant Marine.

Not many memorials refer to the Merchant Marine in this country, so I understand. What I think of this? It is definitely art, and definitely a war memorial. Hopefully, the vandals in the future steer clear of it.

Mt. Victoria Cemetery, Devonport

Updated 30 November 2021.

I only wandered through part of this old cemetery yesterday afternoon. The steep hill and soft conditions put me off -- but perhaps in warmer weather, I'll head up to see what is at the edge of the rest of the reserve. For now, here are some of the images.

I did find Eruera Maihi Patuone's grave.

Twenty-two year old Henry Talbot, third officer of the ship Persian Empire, died on March 30 1890 while going to the rescue, along with two of his shipmates, of passengers on a pleasure boat which capsized in the Waitemata Harbour near their ship. Sadly, he was struck on the head by part of the wheel of a paddle steamer which came up to the spot at that time. His only relatives were two aunts in England (Christchurch Star, 31 March 1890).

His grave is in a bit of disarray, but the maritime anchor on his stone is still clear.

Thomas Duder also lies here.

Signalmaster and early local politician.

Captain Gladwyn  I R Wynyard.

In our obituary notices this morning, it is our painful task to record the name of Captain G. I. R. Wynyard, son of the late Major-General Robert Henry Wynyard, C.B., of the 58th Regiment, Commander of the Forces in New Zealand; first superintendent of the province of Auckland, and for some years officer administering the Government of this colony — a gentleman whose memory can never be recalled to the old colonists of this province, but with, sentiments of the most affectionate regret… All must feel a sense of sorrow at the untimely death, of the third and last but one of Colonel Wynyard's offspring. Captain Gladwyn Wynyard died at his late residence in Devonport, on Saturday, the 11th February, 1871, from jaundice, and an affection of the liver. He was born in Dublin on the 12th January 1831. He was appointed Page of Honour to the Queen Dowager (Adelaide) on the 27th January, 1844. He arrived in Sydney with his father and family, with a detachment of the 55th Regiment. At the close of that year he was gazetted as ensign in the 58th Regiment — August 15, 1848; lieutenant, March 15, 1850 ; adjutant, July 28, 1854 ; captain, December 18, 1857. He accompanied the regiment on its removal to England, in the 'Mary Ann,' Captain Ashby, in November, 1858. Afterwards he served in this rank as aide-de-camp and private secretary to the Lieutenant- Governor of the Cape of Good Hope, from September, 1859, to February, 1860, when he retired from the army to settle in New Zealand, where he was appointed to the commission of the peace. He was an affectionate son, husband, and brother, and a kindly-disposed friend and companion.
Southern Cross, 13 February 1871

Some of the graves here are still okay, some of the headstones either clear or at least decipherable -- but many aren't.

This one is unusual. At the top of the headstone is the "broken pillar", symbol for a life cut short. But Robert Hunt, whose stone this is, died aged 83.

Three North Shore brick churches

St Aidan's Presbyterian Church, on Onewa Road, Northcote. My apologies, theses shots of that church were taken close to dusk on 20 June this year, as I decided to do a trek from Highbury down Onewa Road just to get shots of the building. I love ecclesiastical architecture anyway, but this 1931 church, using different brick colours to such wonderful effect, made me determined to take the photos.

Yesterday afternoon, though, this sight made me bail off the bus between Takapuna and Devonport.

St Paul's Presbyterian Church, on Albert Road, backing onto Mt Victoria. Dating from 1917, I think this is a stunning building.

Even a more modern addition to the site doesn't detract.

Next door is St Francis de Sales (Catholic).

Glorious pinnacles up to the heavens.

The original St Francis de Sales church here was a smaller church originally built by Bishop Pompallier in Symonds Street, according to Lois Westwood in The Hundred of Devonport (1986). The Catholics applied to the Crown for a site at Devonport, and part of the existing Mt Victoria Cemetery, promised initially to the Presbyterians, was at the time still unused (the Presbyterians then ensconced in Church Street). So, the government said to the Catholics that they could go ahead and have the site, they duly loaded the old 1866 church on hore-drawn wagons, carted it to the harbourside, and floated the building across the water on a punt, before hauling it up the steep grade to the present Albert Street site. This, as you can imagine, did not go down well with the Presbyterians. But, after arguments and appeals, the government then put forward the current solution: Catholics here, Presbyterians as the neighbours alongside. St Paul's was built in 1917, and thios latest version of St Francis de Sales in Devonport followed two years later.

The horses of Devonport replaced?

 Image courtesy Liz of Mad Bush Farm

Last year, thieves nicked off with the horses at this fountain in Devonport. I found out, became rather emotive, and posted this.

Liz was kind enough to let me publish her shots taken of the fountain pre-vandals and ratbags.

This is the fountain as it looked late last year.

Yesterday, I was passing through Devonport, and spotted this out the bus window.

Next stop reached, I scrambled out and headed up the hill to take a closer look.

I was disappointed. This isn't anything close to what the original sculpture was. They've got what looks like an ornament from out of a garden landscaping firm's back-lot, painted it black, and for good measure painted the existing and remaining parts of the fountain black as well, so it all looks new.


Seriously, compare Liz's images, with the one below from yesterday.

I know the local community board and North Shore City Council will have done their best, but -- in my opinion, the thieves have permanently left Devonport poorer. Very, very sad.