Blockhouse Bay Surf Lifesaving Club In the late 1930s, a group of young Blockhouse Bay men formed the Blockhouse Bay Surf Lifesaving Club. They took their training very seriously and were coached by Barney Clews. During the week the club members would train at Blockhouse Bay beach doing exercises on the shore, and swimming across from Te Whau Point to the sandbank and back again. On Friday nights they caught a bus to Karekare, where they stayed in the clubhouse over the weekend and did their surf training, before travelling back to town on Sunday night.
Armanasco House – its family history Photo of the Armanasco Family in front of their house One part of our heritage which has been saved is the historic Armanasco homestead, across the other side of the Green. It was built in 1890 by Stefano Armanasco, an Italian who came to New Zealand in 1885 and bought several parcels of land in Blockhouse Bay. The site he chose for his home was on six acres bounded by Heaphy Street and Blockhouse Bay Road.
The story behind Craigavon Park and its connection with a founder of a famous Auckland department store. Craigavon Park is a recreational area in Blockhouse Bay and bordering Green Bay, Auckland. This park with its bush setting with walking tracks, playing areas and children’s playground offers residents of the surrounding area the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors without having to venture far from the Blockhouse Bay main street and shopping area.
Butcher Shop at 533 Blockhouse Bay Road Changes coming in our village mainstreet. The building at 533 Bockhouse Bay Road is due for demolition, because the old original building was moving on its foundations, and it will be replaced with a new shop, and apartments. In about 1930, No. 533 was a purpose built butchers shop. It had sawdust on the floor, a huge wooden butcher chopping block, a rail on which carcasses were hung, as well as a cool room at the rear.
Memories of Primary School During WW2 A wet afternoon and a box of old photos needing labelling and sorting, but soon I found myself remembering back to the 1940s. One memory led to another and though the photos are still largely unsorted, I had a fascinating afternoon, even going right back to commencing school during the early days of WWII. Miss French on chair with flowers. Miss French at her farwell from Blockhouse Bay School in 1943.
The Blow family seat A Gift To Our Community From 1939, Helen Blows, with sons Bruce, Keith, Ray and Don, lived at 20 Mitchell Street, and the family were all very involved in Bay life. After service on the “Leander” in WW2, Bruce Blows, and his wife Billie, bought two acres of land across the road on the corner of Connell and Mitchell Streets and built their home in 1946.
Blockhouse Bay’s Handweaver Fabric Artist - Ilse von Randow 1958 Ilse von Randow Alexander Turnbull Library After having the pleasure of hearing at our April meeting, Tyl von Randow’s talk on his childhood in Shanghai during WW2, this is the story of his Mother’s fame here in Auckland as an artist and contemporary designer of hand woven fabrics. After the communists came to Shanghai, Ilse von Randow and her two sons, in April 1952, through refugee status, settled in Auckland.
Kauri tree Written and researched by Keith Rusden As far as can be ascertained, the Blockhouse Bay area can boast only one veteran kauri tree. This tree sits precariously on the cliff edge, exposed to the prevailing wind and weather and all the elements. At my request, Bruce Edwards, the Auckland City arborist, viewed this tree on 17 June 2004 to give an estimate of its age (before this he had been unaware of its existence).
On the weekend of 4th and 5th September 2010, the 150th Anniversary of the building of the Blockhouse, after which this district is named, was celebrated. A large mural of the Blockhouse was placed on the Village Green beside [[Armanasco House]] on 3rd September. An unveiling ceremony was held the following day in the afternoon, and guests were then invited to view a display in Armanasco House showing the history of the Blockhouse.
Notes on some features of the Manukau coastline, from Green Bay to Onehunga A.W.Glen, November 2006 Green Bay Green Bay is at the western end of the Blockhouse Bay Historical Society’s bailiwick. The bay is a small indentation in the coastline on the inner channel. This bay was the southern exit of the old Maori portage from the Waitemata to the Manukau, via the Whau River. The route was a direct path from the Kaipara Harbour through the portage to the Waitemata, and then inshore to the entrance to the Whau river between the Te Atatu and Rosebank Peninsulas.