Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Meeting to form new historical society for Mt Roskill

Two bits of good news has come through on the emails from Michael Wood, convener of the Puketapapa (Mt Roskill) local history forum (and also member of the Puketapapa Local Board). For starters, the Parks, Recreation, and Heritage Forum of Council approved scheduling the old Roskill Fire Station yesterday. This Mt Albert Road building, opened in 1927, bears a distinctive Dutch gable designed for the main architect for the building, Arthur Palmer, by his partner at the time (who had an adjoining office in the now-vanished Victoria Arcade on Queen Street) Gerald Edgar Jones.

The second is that a meeting is being arranged, to be held at the Mt Roskill War Memorial Hall, 15 May Road, Mt Roskill, on Sunday 31 July at 2pm, towards the setting up of a historical society in the district. This is wonderful -- Roskill is ringed by historical societies from Blockhouse Bay, my own in Avondale, Mt Albert, Epsom-Eden, Onehunga and even Mangere across the Manukau Harbour, but hasn't until now had the community impetus to see a society form up in a district which really has quite a bit of untapped heritage.

If any readers are able and would like to head along and lend a hand and a voice to support this great local initiative, you'd be most welcome.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Memorial to a long-gone school

Bruce Comfort took these images in the Waitaki area of Otago, the Airedale District (and very kindly gave me permission to reproduce them here from his Panaramio account).

What struck me was the fact that this rock, with its plaque, is all that's left on the site of a school, started in 1915 just eight years after the Airedale block ballot for sections -- but it lasted here only until 1938.

The memorial stands next to the Airedale-Rosebery Hall, on Airedale Road, near Weston. On May 26, 2007, more than 90 people gathered there, among them some ex-pupils of the short-lived little school, to celebrate the centenary of the ballot, and to mark the unveiling of the memorial plaque. There is an article online about the event, available now only as a Google cache. According to the article (by Ruth Grundy,
The Airedale block was divided into 10 “ordinary” farms, one dairy farm and a coal reserve and these sections were put up for ballot for lease in perpetuity (999 years) under the Land for Settlements Consolidation Act, 1990. Interest in the land was high and 418 people applied for the 12 sections.
There have probably been many such early schools in the country which were started amidst optimism and pride by local settlers, only to fall eventually back into history, due to changing times, financial constraints, or simply because the settlements weren't as well-populated as first-hoped. It is special, though, to know this memorial is out there. Thanks, Bruce.
They will mark 100 hundred years since the ballot for ownership of sections of the Airedale Block took place, and remember the 23 years, from 1915 to 1938, when a small school stood beside the hall and served neighbouring families.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Carrick Paul: co-designer of Hobson's tomb

The following is from notes I pulled together today on Carrick Paul, 19th century surveyor and architect here in Auckland, and later a railway surveyor in New South Wales. I will be forwarding this to the School of Architecture, University of Auckland (I keep going there for info from them, which they very kindly help me with, it's time I gave something back to them). If any readers has further info on Carrick Paul, I'd love to hear from you.

In Auckland

Paul & Gould, surveyors, from August 1883 - 1885 (various ads, Auckland Star)

1885-1887 – Partnership with Robert MacKay Fripp, as architects & surveyors

Three cottages on Epsom Road (tender, Auckland Star, 14 September 1885, p. 1)
Church at Flat Bush (tender, Auckland Star, 22 September 1885, p. 1)
Pair of semi-detached brick villas, Symonds Street (tender, Auckland Star, 10 October 1885, p. 7)
Alterations and additions, house in Mt Eden Road (tender, Auckland Star, 29 October 1885, p. 3)
Alterations, etc., House, Grafton Road (tender, Auckland Star, 18 November 1885, p. 3)
Brick Cottage, Otahuhu (tender, Auckland Star, 18 November 1885, p. 3)
Pair of shops in patent stone, Franklin Road, Ponsonby (tender, Auckland Star, 14 December 1885, p. 3; 21 December 1885, p. 2)
Timber residence, Avondale (tender, Auckland Star, 6 January 1886, p. 3)
Pair semi-detached houses, Waterloo Quadrant (Auckland Star, 1 February 1886, p. 2)
Residence on No. 10 Auckland City Council leasehold allotment in Symonds Street (Auckland Star, 5 March 1886, p. 4)
Alterations to house in Mangere (tender, Auckland Star, 6 May 1886, p. 3)
Formation of cellar in brick to Ferry Hotel, Northcote (tender, Auckland Star, 21 June 1886, p. 3)
Additions to Ferry Hotel, Northcote (tender, Auckland Star, 29 June 1886, p. 3)

Northcote can now boast of an hotel worthy of the name. The enterprising proprietor has lately spent a considerable sum of money in adding very largely to the accommodation, whilst arrangements have been made to furnish every convenience which any reasonable man or woman can desire. The grounds are laid out with & large lawn-tennis ground at the back; there is a good beach where children can play close to the hotel; a stable which will shortly accommodate 15 horses, so that saddle horses and traps may be hired; strawberry gardens close by; whilst in the hotel itself is every convenience in the shape of bath rooms, well furnished bedrooms, balconies (one of which is 86ft long by 8ft wide), numerous private sitting-rooms, billiard-room, bar dining-rooms, etc. As Northcote justly deserves the patronage of ladies and children, those having charge of school treats and the like, it has been designedly arranged that the bar, billiard-room, bar parlour, and commercial-room, together with the proper entrance to these from the road, are cut off by being at one end of the building, while the dining-room and the staircase and passages leading to all the private rooms are quite at the other and front portion of the building. The benefit of such an arrangement is obvious, and the general attention which the architects, Messrs Paul and Fripp, have paid to convenience, necessaries, and the real requirements of hotels show that they have studied the interest of the proprietor and the comfort of visitors. There is every facility for all classes to be at home. The working-man can comfortably smoke his pipe, and the lady play the piano without either being aware of the existence of the other. Not only the hotel, but the district of Northcote, as one having easy access, beautiful scenery, and the purest of atmospheres, deserve to, and will, most certainly now become a very favourite resort for pleasure and holiday seekers aid summer visitors.
(Auckland Star, 31 December 1886, p. 8)

Additions to Pier Hotel, Albert Street (tender, Auckland Star, 7 August 1886, p. 1)
Alterations to Ellerslie Hotel (tender, Auckland Star, 13 August 1886, p. 1)
Building in Market Square for Hesketh & Aitken, Auckland (Auckland Star, 3 September 1886, p. 4)
Brick block of shops and dwellings, New North Road (Auckland Star, 15 December 1886, p. 2)
Eden Vine Hotel (Auckland Star, 18 December 1886, p. 1)
Alterations and additions, Wharf Hotel (tender, Auckland Star, 21 February 1887, p. 1)

The Wharf Hotel has lately changed hands, and is now under the management of Mr J. Lynch, well and favourably known as the builder of several of our best buildings. The house has been lately enlarged, and has had a splendid dining-room and many bed-rooms added to the old building. Messrs Paul and Fripp were the architects for the new portion of the building.
(Auckland Star, 27 July 1887, p. 4)

Governor Hobson’s tomb, Symonds Street cemetery, 1887

Our readers will be pleased to learn that the old dilapidated tomb which lately marked the spot where the mortal remains of the first Governor of New Zealand rest has been replaced by a structure more worthy of that distinguished officer. .The old tomb was merely a slab of Hobart stone resting on a low brick wall. On removing these and excavating to obtain a solid foundation the upper surface of a vault was discovered, at a depth of about five feet, measuring externally 5x9 feet This vault was arched over with two courses. of brickwork. A few bricks were removed from the eastern wall below the arch in order to examine the state of the interior, when by the aid of a light fixed to the end of a rod it was seen that the interior of the. vault was dry, and the coffin in a perfect state of preservation. This aperture was then closed, the arch was strengthened by additional brickwork, and a solid foundation thus obtained. The Hobart slab now forms the visible base of the present structure, which is surmounted by a slab of black Irish marble on which rests a slab of Italian marble bearing the following inscription :— " Sacred to the memory of William Hobson, Captain in the Royal Navy, first Governor of New Zealand, who died at Auckland 10th September, 1842, aged 49 years." Messrs Paul and Fripp prepared the plans, etc.; the Auckland Steam Marble Works the marble slabs ; Mr J. H. Mullins, of Parnell, is responsible for the masonry, and Mr Peter Birley, of Seafield View Road, for the iron railings.

(Auckland Star, 11 April 1887, p. 4)

Messrs Ehrenfried’s Store, Queen Street Wharf (tender, Auckland Star, 18 April 1887, p. 8)
Alterations, store, Queen Street (tender, Auckland Star, 17 May 1887, p. 8)
Reinstating shops, Manukau Road, Parnell (Auckland Star, 16 August 1887, p. 5)
Alterations to bond store, Little Queen Street, for Ehrenfried Brothers (tender, Auckland Star 2 September 1887, p. 8)
Bridge Hotel, Coromandel (tender, Auckland Star, 17 September 1887, p. 5)
Additions and Alterations, house, Remuera (tender, Auckland Star, 29 November 1887, p. 8)

In October 1887, Carrick Paul, son of James Paul of Dunedin, late of Glasgow, married Eva Kathleen Douglas at St Francis Catholic Church, Willoughby Street, Thames. The couple left Auckland in the ss. Manapouri for Sydney “where Mr Paul has lately obtained an appointment.” (Thames Star, 17 October 1887, p. 2)

In Australia

At an examination lately hold to determine the qualifications of candidates for license to survey under the Crown Lands Acts, the following gentlemen were found by the Board of Examiners to be competent, and have been recommended to the Secretary for Lands for appointment :-Michael Herbert, Carrick Paul … (Sydney Morning Herald, 23 December 1887, p. 7)

Mrs Kathleen Paul died April 1896. (Thames Star 20 April 1896, p. 2)

1913 – appears to have been a government railway surveyor (Clarence and Richmond Examiner, NSW, 8 April 1913, p. 2)

One son, Carrick Stewart Paul, born in Thames 1893 (possibly during a curative visit by his mother), died in 1919.

“Carrick Paul came from [Thames], New Zealand, and was a Surveyor’s Assistant in Sydney, aged 21, when he joined the 6th Light Horse at Rose Hill on 24 September 1914. He left Sydney on HMAT A29 Suevic on 19 December. On 13 July 1915 he was wounded in the foot at Gallipoli and evacuated to Malta, and then to Egypt. In March 1916 he was Mentioned in Despatches for action at Gallipoli. After rejoining his Regiment, he was wounded in the shoulder during an action near the Suez Canal on 4 August. A year later he was accepted for flying training and posted to the School of Aeronautics and then to No 21 Training and No 58 Reserve Sqns RFC, in Egypt, before being commissioned after graduation. He was assigned to No 67 (Australian) Sqn in December 1917, and in 1918 he went on to be credited with five victories (one shared) while flying Bristol F2B C4627 with Lt W J A Weir as his observer …

He died on 22 January 1919 when he fell overboard from the transport ship after overbalancing while recovering a quoit that had gone under a lifeboat. He was seen in the water after falling in, but could not be found when the ship returned to pick him up.”

(World War I Talk messageboard,, 2009)

Carrick Paul sr. appears to have died 4 October 1926 in Chatswood, Sydney. (death notices, Sydney Morning Herald, 5 October 1926)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A jam roll death in Freeman's Bay

Updated 29 August 2019.

Just before midnight, on 5 January 1893, Walter Nelson died from arsenic poisoning from eating just a single piece of jam roll. Matthew Gray, in his book Tales from the Crypt (2010), stated that Nelson had died while other members of his family had suffered but survived, because he had been hungry and had eaten more of the tainted snack. Something repeated in the Western Leader, republishing from the book, this week.

This, according to the reports on the inquest in the Auckland Star, was not the case. He only had a single piece of the jam roll, before he left the house, feeling the beginnings of illness. Had he vomited, as the rest of the family had done, he might only have had lingering stomach cramps telling him he had eaten something he shouldn’t have. But, he didn’t vomit, no matter how hard he tried. Medical help wasn’t forthcoming that night – he died because what ailed him wasn’t viewed as serious enough until after he had actually expired.

At the time of Nelson’s death, the Star reminded its readers of another horrific poisoning case, that at a Pahiatua wedding in December 1891 where arsenic (the “arsenic of commerce”, or arsenious acid) was involved, possibly in the preparation of a lamb roast. The poisoned were guests of Mr Edward Naylor. There were two deaths (Joseph Moore, member of the County Council, and Mr Dickson, manager of the Wholesale Drapery Company), and twenty poisoned. It was thought to have been done deliberately by person or persons unknown, although the coroner’s inquest finding was inconclusive. Soon after, some biscuits made by a Mrs Marsh in the vicinity and sold by a grocer in Woodville, were also found to have contained arsenic. Cats and dogs, given some of the tainted meat at the time, before investigations were underway, also shows signs of distress and vomiting.

Walter Nelson was aged 25. He worked as a millhand near Kaukapakapa, and had arrived in Auckland 23 December 1892 with his wife Anneata, at the time around three months pregnant, and their baby Vera to spend the holidays. They stayed with his wife’s grandmother, Ann Webb, just off Union Street in Freeman’s Bay, near the Robert Burns Hotel. Walter and Aneata had been married two years. She, her sister Laura Webb and brother Jamie were the children of a bricklayer, William Webb of Cook Street.

5 January 1893
Around 4.15 pm
Walter Nelson was away from the house, but the rest of the family ate some jam roll, freshly made by Laura Webb. Mrs Ann Webb (88), Mrs Anneata Nelson, Miss Laura Webb (17), and Vera Nelson (17 months) each consumed pieces of the snack. A currant cake baked at around the same time with the same ingredients as the jam roll wasn’t touched.

The baby started vomiting first, followed shortly after by the others within half an hour. Laura stated her throat felt dry, and she vomited, but there was no stomach pain. She continued to feel unwell until 6 January, the first day of the inquest.
4.40 pm
Laura Webb testified that only the infant had been sick by the time Nelson arrived home. He arrived in a “jolly mood”, asked what was for tea as he had to head out again that evening, and sat down to have a read of the Star at the table. He saw the jam roll on the dresser and asked for a piece. Laura stated he only ate one piece of the jam roll. At that point, all the adults complained of feeling sick. He complained of feeling sick, but not enough to vomit. He had a cup of tea, then went out for a walk in the fresh air to Watkinson’s, a Wellesley Street tailor.

Between 6.15 and 6.30 pm
Walter Nelson returned, feeling much worse. He complained of pains in the stomach and burning in the throat. He took to bed, feeling sick, but unable to vomit. Mustard and water was administered as an emetic, but to no avail. Laura’s brother Jamie got some emetic from a Freeman’s Bay chemist, but this didn’t work either. Instead, Walter experienced several bouts of diarrhea.

9.00 pm
The family went to bed, apart from Jamie Webb.

10.00 pm
Mrs Nelson woke Laura, saying Walter Nelson had cramps and was worse.

10.50 pm
Dr. Hooper was sent for by Jamie Webb, but, strangely, did not see Nelson, although Webb asked him to do so. Instead, he made out a prescription which was filled and the medicine taken to Nelson, along with some impecacuanha. Jamie Webb then tried Dr Coom, who wouldn’t accompany him back to the Webb home (he said he was tired, and had to get up early to go away somewhere), as with Dr Walker (who said he had a cold). Webb even tried elderly Dr Purchas, who refused as well, but offered to call Dr Lawry for Webb or furnish medicine. Webb got Purchas to contact Lawry. The coroner, Dr. Philson, stopped the line of questioning as to why the various doctors said they couldn’t come, as “they could not compel a doctor to attend any more than they could make a baker supply them with bread.” Perhaps he regarded this as an attack and a part laying of blame for Nelson’s death upon his fellow members of the medical profession. A juryman remarked in response, “It was quite time they had the power to compel a doctor to attend in a case of life and death,” but nothing more was said regarding that line of enquiry.

Shortly before midnight
Walter Nelson died. Jamie Webb was still out at the time trying to find a doctor to come back to the house.

Dr Bayntun, who performed the autopsy, said that Walter Nelson was a healthy man, but his bowels had purged 20 times just before he died. The Foreman of the jury asked if Dr Bayntun might have been able to help Nelson if he’d have been called earlier. The doctor said he couldn’t say, but he might have helped him to vomit. The Foreman suggested a stomach pump should have been used.

6 January
7.00 am 
Chief Detective Martin Grace arrives at the Webb household. He took possession of a parcel of jam sandwiches, some currant cake, a paper bag of sugar, a cotton bag of flour, the cream of tartar tin, an open tin of jam, a baking dish, and other items.

Later at James Boyle’s shop, he took a stone jar labelled “cream of tartar”, still containing a quantity of white powder, and a tin canister also containing white powder.

The inquest began that day.

The cream of tartar was sent to chemist John Kenderdine in Karangahape Road, who confirmed the ingredient was nearly all pure arsenic. Laura Webb said she had a small tin of it in her cupboard, not previously used. It was purchased on Wednesday 4 January, the day before the poisoning, from James Boyle’s grocers shop in Union Street by Anneata Nelson, who said she purchased 2 ounces. The tin was always used for cream of tartar, taken along to the grocers whenever they needed a refill. The tin had also, from time to time, been used for baking soda.

The jam roll had been made from Ireland and Golden Grain Lily-White flour from Oamaru, three eggs, one and a half spoonfuls of cream of tartar, three-quarters of a spoonful of baking soda, and Tui brand plum jam (Orleans Plum) from a Mrs Margarita Watson, originally from Mennie & Dey’s store in Albert Street. The flour had previously been used for Christmas Cakes, so was ruled out as a source of the poison.

The ingredients were analysed by James Alexander Pond, colonial analyst. Pond also tested Nelson’s stomach from Dr Bayntun, and found undigested pieces of fruit and an estimated 3.97 grains of arsenic. Crystalline remains in the stomach lining proved to be arsenious acid. Traces of arsenic were also found in Nelson’s excreta.

5.35 grains of arsenic were found in each of the pieces of jam sandwich Pond analysed, or 42 grains in the whole quantity examined. The currant cake, 42½ oz, contained a whopping 175½ grains of arsenic. The cream of tartar in the Webb’s tin was nearly 84% pure arsenic, with only 11% actually cream of tartar. 5 % was lime. The large stone jar from Boyle’s shop contained just over 15% arsenic. The tin confiscated by Chief Detective Grace from the shop was nearly 18% arsenic. Another tin found contained nearly 2% arsenic. Dr Bayntun testified that from 1 ½ to 3 grains of arsenic was a fatal dose.

Another family in Wellington Street, Freeman’s Bay, the Rashleighs, had bought a tin of the cream of tartar from Boyle, and had also vomited after eating food and drink made from it.

Boyle obtained the stone jar of cream of tartar, 10lb in weight according to the invoice, from chemical importers Sharland & Co in Lorne Street in May 1892. He had been selling tinfuls of the contents to his customers from that time – but only in the case of the Webbs, from December, and the other Wellington Street family had reports of vomiting been traced to the stone jar at Boyle’s shop and its contents. No arsenic was kept at the shop, witnesses said, not even in the form of rat poison. The jar, unreplenished from any other source during that period, for example from supplies at auction, had been originally filled by Sharland & Co employees.

Arsenic was imported by Sharland & Co in iron drums, according to an employee who testified, Herbert Hayward Baber, while the cream of tartar came in casks, and were then transferred to stone jars for sale to grocers like James Boyle. Baber declared that he couldn’t see how the arsenic could be mixed up with the cream of tartar, as the arsenic was kept on the ground floor of the firm’s warehouse, while the cream of tartar was two floors above. When sold, arsenic always went in drums, tins or parcels, not stone jars. The question was raised as to whether the cream of tartar had been adulterated with arsenic in England, but this couldn’t be proved. Most likely, at some point, the stone jar reused by Sharland & Co for the cream of tartar they sold had previously contained arsenic. Whether Sharland & Co had done this, or whether they hadn’t washed the jar properly before reuse, again could not be proven.

James Cragg Sharland is reported to have been the first importer of pharmaceutical drugs into New Zealand in 1847, but the earliest record I can find comes from Taranaki in 1852, where he was importing medicinal herbs. He was trading as a chemist in Auckland by 1872 in Shortland Street, one of his first products made by him was “Sharland’s Carbolic Acid” in sachets, advertised as both a powerful disinfectant, and a perfume. He died in July 1887, but his firm continued on as wholesale agents, supplying the retail trade. They remained in business down to the 1960s.

13 January 1893
6.00 pm
Verdict returned, accidental death by arsenical poison. A rider was added by the jury that chemists should be more careful in future. That tacked on rider, though, caused discussion between the coroner Dr. Philson and the jury.
Dr. Philson, the coroner, asked whether the jury meant that anyone had been culpably negligent, and thereby caused deceased's death. Such negligence had not been proved in evidence.
A juryman: Such a verdict was not intended.
Dr. Philson : Then perhaps the rider casting such a reflection should not be added.
The Foreman: That is our verdict. I don't think that the jury will be willing to alter it in any way. I am not quite prepared to give reasons.
A juryman: There has been neglect somewhere. Chemists should be more careful in the handling of poisons.
Dr. Philson : Then you are simply giving advice to chemists in general.
A juryman : Yes, Mr Coroner.
Dr. Philson : I suppose you will be thanked for it.
Anneata Nelson gave birth to a son, Walter Clifton Nelson, on 28 May 1893 at Cook Street.

Sources: Auckland Star 6 -14 January 1893; December 1891-April 1891. NZ Card index for general info on Sharland & Co., Taranaki Herald, 1852.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Takapuna School War Memorial

While in Takapuna in May with friends, I spotted these gates as we went past in their car, and said, "I'll come back to get a photo on a good day." Took me a wee while, but I got there last month.

These memorial gates at Takapuna School on Anzac Road were unveiled 10 May 1923 by Governor-general Viscount Jellicoe.
Nothing could be more appropriate as a memorial to the old pupils of the Takapuna Public School and to the other men of the district who served in the war than the striking gates that have been erected at the entrance to the well-kept school grounds ... On the lawn, under an oak tree, just inside the gates, a temporary dais was set up, and round this gathered a large number of Takapuna residents, as well as all the children attending the school, who were marched on to the scene by the headmaster ... and his assistants ... One of the names was that of a past girl pupil. The first name on the list was that of Lieut. Sanders, VC, one of the greatest heroes of the war. (Applause) ...
 Auckland Star 11 May  1923

Actually, the reporter was wrong, and perhaps the speechmakers were wrong on the day if they, too, said that Sanders' name was first. It isn't. It tops the list on the front face of one pillar, the right one, but -- the names, with one exception, are listed alphabetically by the engraver. Sanders is simply first on the list of one of the four marble plaques.

So, who was Lieut.-Commander Sanders? Press clippings from Papers Past best relate his story.

Private advice has been received by Mr. E. H. C. Sanders, of Takapuna, says the New Zealand Herald, that his son Lieutenant-Commander William Edward Sanders, V.C, had been killed in the North Sea. No details of the casualty were given.

Lieutenant-Commander Sanders, who was the second Aucklander to be awarded a V.C. in the present war, was born 35 years ago. After passing through the Nelson Street School he commenced a sea career on the small steamer Kapanui, engaged in coastal trade from Auckland. Next he joined the Government steamer Hinemoa, passing from her to the Craig Line of sailing vessels. He was first mate of the Joseph Craig when she was wrecked on the Kaipara Bar, the entire crew having a narrow escape from death. Proceeding to Sydney he passed for extra master, and joined the Union Steam Ship Company. He served for about a year with the Union Line on the Willochra and the Tofua.

Mr. Sanders offered his services to the Admiralty on the outbreak of war, but was not called upon for service for 18 months. Proceeding to England, he was appointed to a warship as sub-lieutenant. Promotion to the rank of lieutenant-commander came quickly, and he was twice recommended for distinction while serving on a fast patrol vessel. On 15th February, 1917, he was given command of. a patrol boat, and at the end of June came the announcement of the award of the Victoria Cross, Lieutenant-Commander Sanders thus being the first New Zealander to gain, as a naval officer, the highest British decoration for gallantry and devotion to duty. Letters received show that the late officer had been engaged in a number of minor operations, for several of which he was recommended for decoration and for promotion. Writing on 10th May of this year, he said: "I can give you no names, but it will give you some idea when I tell you we were only 80 yards apart. We are badly holed, and our internal fittings are all smashed up, but the enemy is no more."

In the last letter received by his parents, Lieutenant-commander Sanders stated that he had had another strenuous time, having gone for five weeks without taking off his clothes.
Evening Post 21 August 1917

Lieut.-commander William Edward Sanders, from Scars of the Heart exhibition, Auckland War Memorial Museum
The following letter from His Majesty the King has been received by Mr E. H. C. Sanders, of Takapuna .-—"Buckingham Palace, September 13, 1917, It is a matter of sincere regret to me that the death of Lieutenant Commander William E. Sanders, V.C., D.S.O., R.N.R., deprived me of the pride of personally conferring upon him the Victoria Cross, the greatest of all rewards, for valour and devotion to duty' (Signed) George, R.I"

Colonist 1 December 1917

At a meeting convened by the Mayor of Auckland and held in the Town Hall, Auckland on May 3rd it was resolved "that in recognition of the services rendered the Empire in the present war by the late Lieut.- Commander Sanders, VC., DSO., this meeting resolves to establish a fund for the purpose of providing an appropriate memorial in honour of the memory of that gallant officer."

At a subsequent meeting it was resolved that the memorial take the form of-—
(a) a suitable statue or obelisk of approved, design, and
(b) A Sanders Memorial Scholarship, open to New Zealand boys desirous of entering the Merchant Service.

A committee was set up to further the objects, and his Worship the Mayor (Mr J C Adams) has now received from the committee a subscription for the purpose of assisting to raise funds for the objects mentioned.

Among the letters received by the late Lieutenant-Commander's father, Mr E H.C Sanders of Takapuna, Auckland, is the following from the Lords of the Admiralty—
"The Prize had fought gallant actions with the submarines on April 30th and June 12th 1917, .She was sunk on August 14th in the Atlantic on a dark and stormy night, and her gallant commander, Lieutenant-Commander W Sanders, who in five short months had been awarded the VC and the DSO in command of her, went down with her beneath the Atlantic wave, leaving his name to be inscribed imperishably on the same roll of Naval History where stands the names of Blake, Nelson and Riou."

Subscriptions may be left at the Times office where the list now lies or may be forwarded to the Mayor, Mr Adams.

Bay of Plenty Times 8 July 1918

"The Q-ship Prize in action against U-93 on 30 April 1917", painting by Arthur J Lloyd, from Scars of the Heart exhibition, Auckland War Memorial Museum
Account of the sinking of H.M.S. Prize, Lieut.-Commander W E. Sanders, R.N.R., by enemy submarine, on 14th August 1917, at 1.30 p.m.

"A man-of-war was in company with the Prize, a decoy sailing ship, on 13th August, when, at 3.60 p.m., the Prize hoisted the signal indicating 'enemy to port,' and hove to. Fire was opened on the Prize, and shots could be seen falling near her. Although the submarine with which she was engaged was not seen, the Prize had hoisted the White ensign. Her guns were seen manned, and she was ready to attack, but it was difficult for the ship in company to make out anything, as there was considerable mist. That night, however, at nine o'clock when the two ships had an opportunity to talk, the Prize gave her some details of the action.

“In the afternoon the submarine had been sighted in (latitude and longitude given) the Atlantic, northwest of Ireland, about two miles off, three points before port beam. She dived after firing a few shots and appeared again on the starboard side. The Prize opened fire at 200 yards and Lieut.-Commander Sanders thought he had got five shots home. The enemy submarine appeared to sink, or at any rate, disappeared. After this the communication ship in company drew off and took station astern of the prize. The night was dark and squally. The Prize was ahead, her outline being just visible. About 1.30 a.m. a heavy explosion was heard, and the Prize was seen to heel over to port and disappeared in a few seconds. Nothing could be seen of her with glasses or with the naked eye. A torpedo had struck her, and she must have sunk almost immediately. The accompanying ship passed close to the position where the Prize had disappeared and remained there for some time, bat nothing could be seen or heard in the dark and storm. As soon as day broke at 5.15 a.m., careful search of the position was made, but nothing further was seen.

“The Prize had fought gallant actions with submarines on 30th April and 13th June, 1917.”

Evening Post 18 December 1918

Auckland, Sept. 24. A striking tribute to the splendid valour and leadership of the late Lieutenant-Commander Sanders, VC, DSO, was paid to-day by Admiral Jellicoe, in unveiling a memorial to Sanders in the Takapuna School. Three Victoria Cross winners were present at the ceremony, namely, Lieutenants Bassett and Judson and Private J.Crichton. Admiral Jellicoe said that Sanders was promoted to his rank within twelve months of joining the service, and this, as far as he was aware, was almost a record. He detailed the last gallant fight made by the Prize when torpedoed out of range. That, said the Admiral, was the end of as gallant a craft and as gallant a captain and crew as ever sailed the seas.

Colonist 27 September 1919

Sanders' family and war record details also appear in detail on a Pembroke County Memorial website.

The very first name on the Takapuna memorial, though, and placed out of alphabetical order so it is definitely the first of the roll of names -- is that is that of nurse Elsie Mary Emily Cooke. The plaque, though, has a "C" instead of the "E" for Emily, but, never mind. Her name is part of what makes this memorial somewhat different from usual World War I memorials -- a woman's name, included, and she served during the war as a nurse.

Again, the news clippings convey her story -- but sadly, not enough. I don't know, at the moment, what happened when she returned to Australia in 1919.

N.Z. Nurses for the Australian Army Nursing Service

It will be remembered that as a result of the interview between a deputation from the N.Z. Trained Nurses' Association and the Hon. J. Allen, Minister of Defence, m January, a cable was sent to the Defence Minister of the Commonwealth, asking if some New Zealand nurses might be included m subsequent detachments of Australian nurses to the war. There did not at that time seem any likelihood of nurses being accepted from New Zealand for service by the War Office. The Commonwealth Government have very courteously remembered this request from our Government, and the call came very suddenly by a cable, on March 25th, m which, the Matron-in-Chief , Miss Maclean, was asked if twelve New Zealand nurses — two sisters and ten nurses could be ready to sail for Melbourne on March 31st. Telegrams were immediately despatched to each centre, for its quota towards this contingent, and although many of those on the Reserve and Volunteer List who were due for the next call, had to be telegraphed to from the centres, and were informed that it was possible that they might have to pay their own fares to Melbourne, and expenses preceding embarkation there, the necessary twelve were ready to sail on the appointed date, which was April Ist, from Wellington, by the " Ulimaroa," for Sydney direct.

Good positions were vacated at very short notice, by more than one of these nurses, and the despatch with which they arranged their private affairs and reported themselves as ready to sail would be difficult to surpass. …The nurses selected so hurriedly were : Misses Elizabeth White, Alice Fraser, Ethel Dement, Grace Guthrie, Helen Brown, Cora Turnbull, Jessie Verby, Hilda Steele, Elsie Cooke, Nora Fitzgibbon, Dorothy Rose, Emily Scott. The rate of pay for the Australian Army Nursing Service is less than m the New Zealand Service ; being 6s. a day for sisters, and 3s. 4d. a day for nurses, plus the usual 3s. 6d. a day field allowance for both when full board is not otherwise provided …

On arrival they were met by the Matron of the Sydney Hospital and accommodation was provided, for those who had not friends to go to. Uniforms and other necessaries had to be seen to immediately and a busy time of shopping took up several days, the firm responsible for the making of the uniforms (David Jones and Co.), presenting each nurse with a black silk umbrella. At the Sydney Hospital the Matron gave each member of the band a parcel of necessaries from the Red Cross Society. Orders had been received that they were to embark on April 13th for Melbourne where the remainder of the contingent was to be picked up. The writer states that nothing could exceed the kindness of the Australian nurses, who have shown not a trace of jealousy or resentment at New Zealand being thus represented m the Commonwealth contingent — a spirit which speaks well for the women who are banded together in the same splendid common cause.

Kai Tiaki : the journal of the nurses of New Zealand, April 1915

Sister Elsie Cook, who was one of the twelve New Zealand nurses who joined the Australian Forces writes from No. 4 Australian General Hospital, Randwick, Sydney. She and Sister Scott volunteered for transport duty, but hoped to get back again to their unit. They are keenly disappointed now that the others have gone to France. Later news says they have had orders to report for Transport duty.

Kai Tiaki : the journal of the nurses of New Zealand, July 1916

Sister Elsie Cooke, attached to the Australian nurses, writes from H.M.H.S. Lawrence in the Mediterranean. She and Sister Scott left Sydney in August, and were nine weeks in England. They expected later to be sent to France. Some of the Australian sisters had been to Brockenhurst to relieve them before our own sisters arrived from Egypt. They said they never worked so hard in their lives, but they thoroughly enjoyed it, and could not say enough for the way the New Zealand orderlies worked. Another thing that pleased them was the supply of comforts for the men.

Kai Tiaki : the journal of the nurses of New Zealand, April 1917

According to the Cenotaph database, Sister Elsie Cooke was awarded ARRC (Associate of the Royal Red Cross) for her wartime work.

Another thing about this memorial -- out of the 108 names displayed, only !6 died while on active service during the war, so this is more a memorial to the war's survivors than it is to those who didn't make it back alive.

Monument to Camp Hale

Back in May, when I last visited the Auckland War Memorial Museum, I spotted this plinth just outside the front of the building. It looks like it has been resited from somewhere else -- perhaps further down the hill towards the north (folks, please do fill me in if you know more). I do know that the Court of Honour around the cenotaph has been redeveloped.

This is a memorial to Camp Hale, the US forces barracks sited on the Domain during World War II.  There were a number of American military facilities dotted around the Auckland region at that time, including at Western Springs, and the site of today's Avondale College and Intermediate (my old schools).

Here in the enlargement from the plaque you can see the museum top right, the Court of Honour area (laid out and levelled by unemployed workers under a government subsidy scheme in 1929, and consecrated on 28 November that year), and just below, the barracks. These were shifted after the war to Titoki Street just behind the museum to become transit housing for those waiting for State housing assistance -- as also happened withe the Western Springs camp, during the 1950s.

I wonder how many visitors, amongst those who stream into the museum each day, bother to look down, and wonder what on earth is the cement pyramid-like thing doing there by the path, four-sided but with with only two plaques?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Edinburgh Castle Hotel: Symond Street's sole survivor

Edinburgh Castle Hotel in the centre of an Upper Symonds Street scene, 8 February 1928, photographer James D Richardson. 
Ref 4-2235, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Council Libraries.

There were at least three hotels along Upper Symonds Street in 1905: the Edinburgh Castle (proprietor, William James Brewin), Eden Vine (Maria Ballin), and the Queens Hotel - later the Astor - (Victor Cornaga). Only the Edinburgh Castle survives. It was the first, and now it is the last.

Above, thanks to the Sir George Grey Special Collections, you can see the Edinburgh Castle on the corner of Newton Road and Symonds Street, where it has remained since 1864 -- but in the days of clanging trams in the late 1920s.

On 10 August 1864, David Bunn and Richard Matthews sold Lots 9 and 10 of Allotment 2, Section 7 of Suburbs of Auckland, on which the hotel now stands, to builder and carpenter Andrew Clow for £440 15/-. We've seen seen Clow around in 1860s Auckland before -- another building he worked on was the O'Connell Street furniture factory for James Halyday. Immediately Clow took out a £600 mortgage which was discharged quickly on 31 March 1865, and a day later the land “with all buildings thereon erected” was sold to farmer Thomas Aitken for £2000. The next month, Thomas Aitken successfully applied for a license for the Edinburgh Castle Hotel, "Khyber Pass Road", according to the Southern Cross, 18 April. But not without a bit of a fight from nearby residents. After all, this was the first pub in the area at that time. Perhaps they had thought they had escaped the "dens of iniquity" in the city centre ...

On the application of Thomas Aitken, for the Edinburgh Castle Hotel , Kyber Pass Road, Mr. Weston said be was instructed by a number of the inhabitants of the neighbourhood to oppose the granting of the license. He read a petition, signed by sixty residents in Symonds street, and the neighbourhood, which contended that there was no need for a hotel in that neighbourhood, and that such a place would be likely to interfere with the peace of the neighbourhood.

Mr. Beveridge, for the applicant, stated that Mr. Weston had admitted there was no hotel within half a mile of this house, and he thought that, taking into consideration the rapid growth of the locality, such an admission might settle the question. He was sure there was not a more necessary case on the list. Granted. 
Southern Cross 19 April 1865

Aitken didn't remain associated with the Edinburgh Castle for long. While he initially held the area lead, that ended when William Galbraith built the Eden Vine in 1866. He defaulted on mortgages and lost title to the property in July 1868 to publican John Clark. During Aitken's time, at least, there were waiters employed there, and a billiards area, with games priced at 6d (or 9d if you preferred a light).

In 1868, Henry Fuller became the licensee. This was a time when prohibition campaigners were gathering strength to close the hotels down, and the Edinburgh Castle was on the list. This letter comes from Thomas Brown Hannaford to the Southern Cross, 18 April 1871.

It appears the Auckland Alliance Association have made a "trial trip," and endeavoured to shut up the Edinburgh Castle Hotel, the York Hotel [East Street, Newton], the Newton Hotel [run by widow Ellen Lawless, Karangahape Road, see below], and the Queen's Hotel. As regards the two former, they may be the hotbeds of iniquity or very patterns of propriety for aught I am aware of, being unacquainted with either the houses or their landlords; but the proprietors of the two latter I do know, and it is through that knowledge you are troubled with this my present communication.

The peculiar locality within which the foregoing hotels are situated causes me to suspect a certain fussy South Newton professor of the magic lantern as the prime mover in the crusade. [Possibly, he meant John Waddell, a baker and magic lantern entertainer in the area at that time.] If I am correct in my surmise, I think that gentleman might have exhibited more Christianlike feeling in his mode of procedure, and remembered that, although he may at the present moment be a rigid teetotaller, he was at one time an out-and-out Bacchanal (at least, he told me so one day at Mount Eden). It has been a cause of some surprise that a public-house near the Newton Hotel was not "spotted" as well as the rest. I think, however, that is easily explained: one of the members of the Alliance lives near it, and finds it handy to pop into for his supper beer (I have seen him go and get it).

Had the leaders of the movement tackled such men as Copland, Sceats, Perkins, and others I could name, although I might have my own opinion of the advisability or wisdom in shutting up known respectable and useful houses of public convenience, I should, however, have admired the pluck they had exhibited in so doing; but to single out and swoop down upon a poor unprotected widow (the landlady of one of the houses), against whom not one word of complaint has been ever breathed, and the quiet inoffensive landlord of the other, who I verily believe would as soon see the Evil One enter his doors as a drunken man, and who is well known invariably to refuse liquor to an intoxicated individual, is so mean, so sneaky, so cowardly. —I am, &c., T. B. Hannaford, High-street.
In May 1871, Fuller took a newspaper letter writer, Newton resident and land surveyor, Francis Cherry, to court on a charge of libel after Cherry's letter was published in the Evening News:

"Something has been said about the separate character or standing of the houses. Individually, I know nothing against two of these houses, the York and the Queen, except the one fact that they are licensed to sell liquors; against their keepers or general conduct I say nothing; but I have heard and seen enough against the other two. If scenes of drunkenness and cases of gross indecency in the neighbourhood of, and traceable to either of these houses, are of any consequence, then the residents would not merely have been doing their duty, but acting in self defence, in seeking to close them. If children going to, or returning from the Sabbath school are to be familiarised to hearing and seeing what no respectable parent would wish his children to see and hear, then a house at the Symonds-street end of Newton Road is a thing to be tolerated; but such is neither the wish nor the opinion of yours, C."
It appears that, in early June 1871, Cherry was found not guilty.

Auckland Star 9 September 1871

In February 1873, Fuller's license was transferred to Andrew Pollack. Pollack "thoroughly refitted" the hotel, and proclaimed that he dealt in only the best brands. But, by January 1874, Pollack's business was in trouble. Advertisements appeared for the auction of "beer engines", bar fittings, and the kitchen range, by order under bill of sale. Pollack wasn't able to keep up with his debts. Soon after, he was on the run from the police.

Andrew Pollock was charged with failing to keep a light burning in his lamp over the principal door of his licensed public house known by the sign of the Edinburgh Castle Hotel, from sunset, on the 19th inst., to the rising of the sun on the following day. The defendant did not appear in answer to the summons, and a warrant was ordered for his apprehension.
Auckland Star 24 January 1871

The owner, Clark, put the hotel up for lease in February that year. The Auckland Star, 6 February 1874, reported that Clark had applied for a transfer of license from A Pollack to himself, and that the hotel had “been untenanted for some time past.” Later in the month, Clark transferred the license to Mrs Ellen Lawless, late of the Newton Hotel. Lawless remained as the licensee until 1881, when the licence was formally transferred to John Seccombe. Seccombe, though, was leasing the property from Clark from June 1878. Seccombe was son to Richard Seccombe, of Great Northern Brewery fame, so from that point on, the Edinburgh Castle came under the wing of one of the main brewery firms then in existence.

There were three tenders called for additions to the wooden hotel in the 1880s, one in April 1881 called for by architect George Bowring, (NZ Herald, 18 April 1881) one in 1883 by noted architect Edward Mahoney (Auckland Star, 25 October 1883) and the other by architect Thomas Searell in 1886. (NZ Herald, 9 October 1886)
The Bowring-designed alterations in 1881, constructed by William Gill, was blighted somewhat by a fatal accident.
A serious accident occurred last evening to Mr James Hedley, carpenter, by falling from a ladder. Mr Hedley was engaged on the work of extension at the Edinburgh Castle Hotel, on Mr Gill's contrast. About five o'clock Mr Hedley was descending by a ladder from the upper floor, when within five feet of the ground the ladder gave way, and Mr Hedley fell heavily to the ground. Assistance was immediately at hand, and as the unfortunate man had evidently sustained internal injuries, he was carried into the hotel. By order of Mr Gill, Dr. Tennant was sent for, and on his arrival he recommended that the sufferer should be removed to the district Hospital, He received the attention of Dr. Philson and Dr. Cooper who examined the patient and found that he had sustained severe internal injuries. We learn that Mr Hedley has a wife and five young children depending upon the profits of his labour. Mr Hedley's injuries were attended to at the Hospital, but he died shortly after midnight. An inquest will be held on the body at two o'clock to-morrow afternoon.
Auckland Star 12 May 1881

John Seccombe transferred the license for the hotel to John Thompson in June 1882. In March 1885, Thompson was involved in a buggy accident which, it was feared, left him with internal injuries. His wife Christina, aged 58, died at the hotel the following August. In October 1885, the hotel was taken over by Henry Maiden, who went into bankruptcy proceedings in February 1888. The license was transferred to John Wood in June 1888, at which time the hotel was described as being of 10 rooms, exclusive of those required for the publican's family. By October 1888, however, the license had been transferred yet again, this time to Patrick Quinlan. In May 1889, Quinlan was describing the hotel as being of 23 rooms, exclusive of those used by himself and his family. No further additions to the hotel, to explain the discrepancy between Wood's description and Quinlan's has been found in Papers Past.

An Auckland Trotting Association was formed at a meeting held in the Edinburgh Castle on 21 May 1890. This led to a trotting meeting at Potter's Park, Epsom on 21 June 1890. This club changed their name to the Onslow Trotting Club a little later -- part of the origins of the Auckland Trotting Club and their racing today at Alexandra Park.

Auckland Star 9 March 1892

On 25 April 1895, there was a meeting at the hotel to form an "Inanimate Bird Club". This appears to have been a club for the equivalent of skeet shooters.

In August 1898 the Great Northern Brewery finally purchased the building outright from Clark. The brewery company gave Quinlan notice to quit in October 1903, but he resisted. The company were keen at that stage to sell the hotel. Part of the original site was sold by the Great Northern Brewery in 1914 and in the same year more additions were completed. New Zealand Breweries took over the hotel in 1971, with a change of name to Lion Breweries in 1978.

And, here is the hotel as at 29 June 2011. Surface plaster hides its wooden construction, and some of the former decoration is missing from the top, but at least these days the huge billboards hiding the top storey have gone.  It is now advertised as a 24-hour sports bar, with 18 rooms as accommodation. I wonder if the owners will celebrate 150 years of sports and beers in 2015?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Eden Vine on the hill

As I grew up and passed this building going back and forth in buses, indeed from when I was knee-high to the proverbial grasshopper, this was where funeral directors W H Tongue & Son were. Right on the ground floor, corner doorway, leading to a tasteful showroom, until fairly recently.

But this site goes back further than that, of course.

To the left is Mt Eden Road, and to the right is New North Road, the road in the 19th century to the Cabbage Tree swamp, so folks knew the first building here, the Eden Vine Hotel, as being at the Mt Eden - Cabbage Tree Swamp Road corner. 

That original Eden Vine Hotel was a 13-room more-or-less square wooden building, built for William Galbraith in April 1866. He finally obtained his license for the premises in June that year. The Eden Vine was Mt Eden's only pub, and also the largest building for meetings of the ratepayers who formed a highway district within the walls there, argued about the nearby toll-gate, and in general forged together the start of one of Auckland's central suburbs (and later, in the 1870s, the Eden Terrace District). Galbraith suffered an injury in 1873 -- and nothing really to do with the demon drink.

Mr W. Galbraith, of the Eden Vine Hotel, is suffering severely from the effects of a blow inflicted by the cork of a lemonade bottle upon his eye. Both eyes are so much swollen that the sufferer is at present almost blind.
Auckland Star, 4 January 1873

A later article said the culprit had been ginger beer.

By April 1874, the licensee was James Poppleton, who went trout fishing one day later that year.

A very fine trout fish has been drawn up in a bucket from the well of Mr Popplcton, of the Eden Vine Hotel, measuring fifteen inches in length This species of river fish is rare in this part of tho province, and Mr Poppleton thinks that, as his well is very deep, the fish must have come into the well from some stream far below the surface of the water.
Waikato Times 20 October 1874

The infant son of Poppleton died there aged only 3 days in January 1875.

Samuel Evinson was proprietor from 1879, and advertised his new billiard saloon opened on the premises in September that year.
Mr Samuel Evinson, proprietor of the Eden Vine Hotel, opens his new billiard room at seven o'clock this evening. He has succeeded in securing a splendid billiard table from the best maker. This proves a great attraction to his customers.
Auckland Star 22 September 1879

Auckland Star 24 March 1880

By 1883, the hotel's proprietor was James Taylor, who transferred to John Morrison in December (Auckland Star, 3 December 1883).  By March 1885 Morrison had headed off to the Rising Sun Hotel, and John Jessie Olum applied for the license in May. By June, though, the licensee was W W Warnock.

Mr Tole presented a petition from W. W. Warnock, licensee of the Eden Vine Hotel, Auckland, against which the Licensing Bench of Arch Hill district admitted they had nothing to say. Nevertheless, in granting a license for this year, the Commissioners announced from the Bench that they wished to give notice that next year, if elected, they would grant no license, but would close every house in the district. The petitioner therefore was left to the mercy of a small number of people on the ratepayers' roll, and asks redress by the granting of power to all residents to vote at the election.
 Auckland Star 18 June 1885

The Eden Vine soon found itself to be another jurisdiction entirely, though.
It will be seen by the last Gazette that the Eden Terrace Highway District has been separated from the Arch Hill Highway District, and formed into a licensing district within itself. This will give the ratepayers of Eden Terrace complete control of the Eden Vine Hotel. 
 Auckland Star 1 February 1886

Along with a new owner -- Louis Ehrenfried, a Hamburg-born wine and spirit merchant who was by that time well-known in Auckland as one of the four main hoteliers and alcohol merchants (the others were Hancock & Co, John Logan Campbell, and Richard Seccombe.)
Mr Ehrenfried intends removing tho building at present known as the Eden Vine Hotel, and replacing it by a handsome brick structure, at a cost of between two and three thousand pounds. The present licensee, Mr Warnock, will be in possession of the new hotel when completed.
But, the Eden Vine was in the cross hairs of the prohibition movement. The shift in the boundaries placing the hotel with the Eden Terrace voters meant that three gentlemen of both that area and the "dry" brigade pledged that, once elected, they'd shut the hotel down.

Auckland Star 25 February 1886

The opponents at that stage didn't get their way. The brief architectural partnership of Robert Mackay Fripp and Carrick Paul, which lasted only from 1885 until 1887, advertised tenders for the removal of Galbraith's wooden hotel, and the building of Ehrenfried's new brick replacement in late 1886. (Auckland Star, 17 December 1886) The actual construction of the building, though, was not without its drama.
A man named Watkins, a plasterer, dropped dead while working on the Eden Vine Hotel. He fell a year ago from the top storey of Freeman's Bay Hotel, and has been ailing since.
 Christchurch Star 12 March 1887

Eden Vine Hotel, c.1890s, unknown photographer. 
Ref 7-A4507, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Council Libraries.

And within weeks of completion, the billiard tables were in use. The Eden Vine's new publican, Louis Ballin, was busy and had rebranded it as Ye Eden Vine Hotel. Like Galbraith, he was to become closely associated with the hotel at the top of the hill through his longevity with the building.
Public Notices- BILLIARDS.— The sum of £1 will be given for the highest break made in a hundred up by an amateur on the Eden Vine Hotel Table within a month of this date, July 4, 1887.—LOUIS BALLIN.
Auckland Star 4 July 1887

The Eden Vine Hotel, Auckland, occupies (a) position which specially suits the convenience of travellers, visitors, &c. Standing on a prominent corner, close to tram and rail, it is on the confines of two Prohibition districts, commanding two main thoroughfares, and while removed from the city's din and bustle, it is so near as to make it virtually in the city. Under Mr L. Ballin's management this hotel has advanced very rapidly.
 Observer 28 September 1889

Mr L Ballin, proprietor of the Eden Vine Hotel, will be glad to see any of his old friends. The hotel has every convenience, and Whitson's best ale is always kept on draught, so that visitors to the top of Mt. Eden can get a refresher en route.

Observer 1 January 1890

Observer 12 September 1891

Strong winds today often grace our headlines when destruction is involved. When part of a landmark hotel was damaged in the 1890s, especially the Eden Vine, that was definitely noted.
The strong wind blowing last night proved disastrous to the lamp at the Eden Vine Hotel. The licensee, Mr Louis Ballin had just put out the light at ten o'clock, when all the fixings were blown away and the lamp smashed down on the pavement. Fortunately, Mr Ballin was not struck, though he had only just moved out of the way.
Auckland Star 11 July 1892

And then, in 1897, Louis Ballin died.

We have to record the death of another old colonist in the person of Mr Louis Ballin, licensee of Ye Eden Vine Hotel, who died early this morning. Mr Ballin had been suffering for the past two years from an acute attack of dropsy, and succumbed peacefully at ten minutes to one this morning in the presence of his family. The deceased gentleman came out to New Zealand in 1862 in the ship Victoria, and after trying his luck for a time on the gold fields at Hokitika, he went to the Thames, where in conjunction with his two brothers he ran a lemonade factory. Later Mr Ballin went to Coromandel and started a brewery, but for the last twelve years he has been hotel-keeping. Mr Ballin was a prominent member of the United Order of' Druids and also of the Masonic fraternity. He leaves a wife, three sons and three daughters. The funeral takes place at Waikomiti next Sunday, leaving his late residence at 2.30 p.m.
Auckland Star 26 November 1897

The remains of the late Mr Louis Ballin, licensee of the Eden Vine Hotel, were interred at Waikomiti on November 28th. The coffin was carried from the residence to the hearse by members of the Lodge Auckland of Freemasons, while the Lodge itself, tbe Victoria Hall, was opened and closed in accordance with Masonic custom. A number of the Druids headed the funeral cortege, while members of Masonic lodges also marched in front of the hearse. About 70 carriages followed the remains to the burial ground, the chief mourners being the deceased's three sons, the committee of the Synagogue and the Jewish Burial Committee. The burial service was conducted by the Rabbi (Rev. Mr Goldstein), and a Masonic hymn was also sung at the grave.
 Auckland Star 23 December 1897

This was the start of the last years of the Eden Vine. Ballin's widow, Maria, held the licence and applied to keep it early the following year in what was now the Parnell Licensing District (she succeeded). Around the same time, Louis Ehrenfried, the hotel's owner, had predeceased Louis Ballin, dying in February 1897. His business was inherited by his nephew Arthur Myers (who went on to be one of Auckland's mayors, and closely associated with Myers Park and the kindergarten there) and in December 1897 amalgamated with John Logan Campbell's brewing enterprise to form Campbell & Ehrenfried.

But, in the local option (prohibition/continuance) poll during the 1905 election, the Eden Vine's luck had finally run out. By then, it was in the Grey Lynn licensing area -- and the electors had chosen no license. So, the sole hotel in the Grey Lynn area, the Eden Vine, shut its doors as a hotel in June 1906.

The No-license poll in Auckland showed an increase all round, but in actual results the hotels will suffer very little. Grey Lynn is the only No-license district, and in it there is only one hotel, a fact which no doubt accounted for tho apathy of the trade in the district. The one hotel which will lose its license is on the boundary of the district, where it joins City East, and within a stone's throw of it there are two licensed houses which come under the city vote. The trade, therefore, had little to lose, and probably they regarded the hotel (the Eden Vine) as not worth the expense of an election.

Marlborough Express 12 December 1905

And, that was it. End of the hotel, and the start of the building's new life as a retail block.

Eden Vine Hotel, 10 January 1928, photographer James D Richardson. 
Ref 4-2188, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Council Libraries.

At some point, probably from the 1930s, the exterior was modernised. Darryl Godfrey (see comment below, 7 July 2011) advises "The exterior of the building had its ornamentation removed and window boxes added between 1956 and 1961." Fripp & Paul's pediments were removed, and only the old chimneys left to show the block had a past life as an old hotel on the hill.

Updated: 16 July 2011