Wednesday May 31, 2017
Research calls for former Terrace tenants By Julia Czerwonatis
Victoria University of Wellington has launched a research project, conducted by historian Kate Jordan, to unravel the history of the Gordon Wilson Flats on The Terrace. “We want to find out who used to live in the flats. The block style of the flats is very unusual for Wellington. It would be interesting to know if there was a sense of community for example,” Kate explained. The flats, named after a former government architect, were completed as a residential building in 1959. “When the flats were opened the bottom floor of 12 bed-sits was
reserved for single women between 40 and 55, due to pressure from professional women’s groups,” Kate said. “There was a lack of suitable, affordable accommodation for these women – the government received 240 applications for the 12 bed-sits. “There were problems with the gas heaters almost immediately – one woman had a heater explode in her face. “ Through her research Kate has also found out that in October 1962 heavy rain caused a mudslide down the hill at the back of the property, flooding the basement with silt. In 1998, a man was arrested for
brandishing an imitation gun, which resulted in an armed offenders squad alert. The Gordon Wilson Flats were used for social housing until 2012. Housing New Zealand deemed it an earthquake risk, and tenants were given seven days notice to move out. “The future of the flats is currently unknown,” Kate said. “The university bought the flats in 2014 and applied to remove them from the District Plan’s heritage list.” In April 2016, the Wellington City Council approved the rezoning of the flats, allowing Victoria to demolish the building; however, the Architecture Centre lodged an
appeal against this decision. Kate is reaching out to Wellingtonians who used to live in the Gordon Wilson Flats. “We are looking for all sorts of stories, both the good and the bad,” she said.
“We want to know what life was like over the flats’ 53 years in use – there’s still plenty of history to be told.” To contact Kate email Kate. Jordan@vuw.ac.nz.
Onslow student attends Sydney science camp By Julia Czerwonatis
Emma Hogan from Onslow College is one of six New Zealand students who have been selected by the Royal Society Te Aparangi to attend the Harry Messels International Science School in Sydney, Australia. “The camp will focus on future technology,” Emma said. Her favourite field is computer programming. “I like thinking about what is going to be important in the future,” she explained. The International Science School is a biennial science school. The two-week camp which will include a range of activities including lectures by
renowned scientists including Nobel laureates, hands-on scientific workshops and an active social programme. Joining the six New Zealand students will be another 140 students selected to attend from Australia, China, Japan, Singapore, Thailand and the United Kingdom. Emma is looking forward to meeting new people from overseas that are science enthusiasts, she said. “This is a great opportunity for talented young New Zealanders to interact with experts at the top of their fields in science,” Andrew Cleland, chief executive of Royal Society Te Aparangi, said.
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Emma Hogan is Year 12 at Onslow College. After finishing school she wants to study a science related subject. PHOTO: JULIA CZERWONATIS
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Independent Herald 31-05-17