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Tuesday October 3 2017
Addington: City’s ‘most interesting’ suburb By Andrew King WORKING CLASS families living in a hub of industrial and commercial activity – that’s just one reason why historian John Wilson says Addington is one of the city’s most interesting suburbs. So, with the help of the Addington Neighbourhood Association, he has penned a book called Local Lives: A History of Addington, which is available for a pre-release. It has been a labour of love for the former St Albans man, who spent more than 20 years interviewing locals, pouring over records and collating a huge amount information to put the 368-page book together. “I have talked to a lot of people, but have missed a lot as well. If I was to interview everyone on the list I would have been dead for 20 years,” he laughed. Mr Wilson, who now resides in Arthur’s Pass, was working for the city council heritage team in the 90s when he was approached by the neighbourhood association to write the book about the suburb. “The Canterbury History Foundation gave me funding at a critical point in either 2007 or 2008 as it was looking like I
LOOKING BACK: Historian John Wilson’s book, Local Lives: A History of Addington, features more than 150 photos and illustrations, including this one with the concrete water tower which was built in 1883. PHOTO: SUPPLIED couldn’t keep it going,” he said. Mr Wilson spent nights, weekends and any spare moments he had around his regular jobs to put the book together. One of the most interesting pieces in the book, according to Mr Wilson, was the vicar for St Mary’s Church, Reverend Walter Stanley Bean, who was the sonin-law of the country’s longest
Member of Parliament for WIGRAM
standing prime minister Richard John Seddon. “He used to visit Bean quite a bit and he would get the train to stop in Addington, something the locals could not do. They had to ride it into the city centre,” Mr Wilson said. Mr Wilson, who has a PhD in history from Harvard University, said it was great the book was
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being designed and printed in Christchurch. “It has been quite a task for us to put this out and I’m very grateful to all of those who have helped me and the association make it happen,” he said. Association treasurer Graham Robinson said they were excited to get their hands on the finished product.
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“There hasn’t been a history book on this area done to date. We thought it was time we illustrate the story of the suburb.” The pre-release price of the book is $40, until November 15. Afterwards, it will rise to $50. If you would like to preorder the book or find out more information about it, visit www. addington.org.nz/wordpress
Call Rochelle on (03) 373 8591 bupa.co.nz