The Historical Society of Eastbourne Newsletter – August 2022

Historical Society of Eastbourne Newsletter header

The full August 2022 newsletter (with images) is available as a pdf file download (400K) – below are introductions to the complete articles you can read when you get the full newsletter.

A very Wellington story…
A while ago we came across a delightful children’s book, The Little Cloud, published in 2017 by Mākaro Press. The story had been written in 1959 by Beverley Burch (later Longmore) and illustrated by local artist Elspeth Nicol. At the time they were both kindergarten teachers, and became lifelong friends

Oral history interviews on Access Radio
Many of you have told us how much you enjoyed this series. John MacDonald of Access Radio reports that Betty Fitzgerald’s 11-part interview was ‘definitely one of our most popular history stories’. As a bonus, the links to each episode provide a permanent online archive. So many thanks to all the local families who gave their blessing (and lent photos) to the project

‘The Gallery Collection’
As we work on creating an inventory of the Society’s artworks, we’ve been finding out more about the artists – many of them residents of the Bays. One who intrigued us was Lisbet Delbrück, a German artist who travelled widely in the 1920s and 1930s, living and painting in several countries. She was in New Zealand when war broke out in 1939 and could not return home. Being German, her status here was uncertain, but residents of the Bays vouched for her good character and she was able to live in one of the ‘Fell flats’ in Mahina Bay. She remained here for the rest of her life, and died in 1967, aged 90

Digitising photos
Regular batches of photos are now going to Simon Hoyle at Southlight Studio for hi-res scanning, and from there to our online catalogue on the Hutt City Libraries system. Searching the catalogue for photos is far easier when you can see the actual image, as we found when working on the 2023 Kindy Calendar

Can you help?
In May we had a visit from Nicky Won (née Sue) of Auckland, who is looking for photos and information about the Sun Young Kee fruit shop at 8 Rimu Street (where ‘Artisan’ is now). Her grandparents owned the shop in the 1930s and ‘40s, and her mother, Grace Sue, attended Muritai School. The family moved to Island Bay in 1946. The Lai family subsequently took over the business, and moved it across to their current premises in 1955

Back in the day…. (courtesy of PapersPast)
In 1926, a surprising number of Eastbourne businesses advertised in Wellington newspapers: 3 grocers, Latham’s (‘closest to the wharf’), Roberts & Gwilliam, and the Mutual Stores; 2 butchers, Hill’s and Bonner’s; 2 pharmacies, H O’Reilly’s and Hooper’s; Lucchesi, bootmaker & repairs; J P Fortune, stationery & bookshop; Goer’s shoe store; A D MacDonald, electrical items & services; Corrin’s Star Bakery; A Birkett, land & estate agent; Cheyne & Woolley, builders; F Mazzola, fruiterer & greengrocer; Walker’s dairy & fruit shop; and the Rona Bay Furnishing Store in Oroua Street

Download the full August 2022 newsletter or find out more about the Historical Society of Eastbourne.