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Remuera Heritage ENewsletter October 2018 No.38





Remuera Heritage is looking at a visit to the new Bruce McLaren Heritage Centre at Hampton Downs, 60 kms south of Auckland. The Bruce McLaren Heritage Centre was formally opened on the 30th August 2017. The centre has on display trophies, picture, memorabilia that celebrate the life of Bruce McLaren and heritage of New Zealand motorsport. The heritage centre is run by the Bruce McLaren Trust, formerly of 586-592 Remuera Road where Bruce and sister Jan grew up in the Upland Motors garage building before moving to Upland Road, Remuera.

The purpose of the Bruce McLaren Trust is to be a living working memorial to Bruce McLaren and the McLaren Team heritage. Bruce McLaren was born in Auckland, New Zealand in 1937 and was killed tragically whilst testing one of his cars at Goodwood circuit, England in June 1970. He was a world class international motor racing driver, engineer and designer whose name is still used in Formula 1 motor racing today -  a remarkable achievement. With fellow New Zealanders, Denny Hulme and Chris Amon, Bruce took on the might of the international motor racing world and triumphed with enormous success.

A proposed date is Saturday 3rd November 2018 in the afternoon, with lunch in the Hampton Downs’ café beforehand.

We are coordinating transport for this event. Please rsvp to and mention if you require transport.

Check out the new website for the Bruce McLaren Trust -

AUCKLAND HERITAGE FESTIVAL 29 September – 14 October 2018

Remuera Heritage hosted two successful events this year:


60+ people heard Rob Allen Professor of Social History at AUT speak about the Arts and Crafts Movement which originated in England with William Morris, architects Philip Webb, Edwin Lutyens, Charles Voysey and Baillie Scott. There were many Remuera houses, including and especially Coolangatta, which were influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement in their design in the early 20th century, with architects Gerald Jones, Roy Binney, and Noel Bamford. Remuera houses covered were the Wrigley House (Ladies Mile), Spicer House (Baytree Cottage, Mainston Road), Hanna House (Arney Road), Fairley / Awatea (Bassett Road) and the Hellaby House which was at 519 Remuera Rd and at Karaka, Franklin since 2003.

Ann Calhoun’s book Arts & Crafts Design: "like yet not like" nature: sources for a New Zealand story by Ann Calhoun – Digital Book (PDF), 350 pages, 42mb , can be downloaded here for free –


On Friday 5th October, as part of the Auckland Heritage Festival, 65+ people heard Ruth Lam, co-author of the Fruits of our Labours, give a fascinating talk about the Chinese fruiterers in Remuera. Remuera has been home to more than a dozen Chinese fruiterers since the 1920s, with Jack Lum & Co continuing the tradition of selling high quality fruit and vegetables.

The first Chinese fruiterer in Remuera was Wong Kee & Co in 1924 in the Coles Building. Other familiar names who had businesses in Remuera were the Chinn family, Willie & Allan Tam, Fong Kee, She Cheong, the Wong family –  parents Francis and Alice with children Joana, Margaret, David and Susan, the James and Ida Wong family, and Yee Hop owned by Chan Yuen Ling.  Ron Wong, son of James and Ida, spoke about how as a teenager he made his own fireworks with help from Bruce Culpan, chemist.  

The book was meticulously researched and written over 4 years by Ruth Lam, Beverley Lowe, Helen Wong, Michael Wong and Carolyn King. It contains many family histories and stories plus detailed research from libraries, archives and museums throughout New Zealand. Fruits of our Labours was commissioned and published by the New Zealand Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust in 2018.

Copies of the two volume book can be ordered for $80 from


To commemorate Armistice Day 11th November 2018, the Field of Remembrance Trust will have a special field honouring the families who suffered multiple losses. The field of 1,461 crosses will be situated near the Gallipoli Pine in front of the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

It will be divided into 3 sections the first for the 637 families who lost two sons; the second for the 51 families who lost three members and the third for the nine sets of four brothers. There were ten Remuera families with more than one son killed in WW1: read about them here.

Also commemorated will be the 100 anniversary of the signing of the Armistice and the end of the war, with a field of 18,277 crosses for each New Zealander who died in World War One. Each cross bears the name of a soldier or nurse who died during the war. The crosses will be on display from 19 October until 20 November 2018.


Remuera Heritage was very sad to hear of the death of John Stacpoole on September 5

th 2018. John was a past resident of Remuera, a friend to Remuera Heritage and a gentleman and a scholar. His 1976 book Colonial architecture in New Zealand was the first to piece together the story of New Zealand’s notable buildings and their architects. Remuera Heritage recently completed an oral history with him on social life in

Auckland between the two wars.

Heritage New Zealand have a detailed tribute to John Heritage This Month - October 2018:

John Stacpoole remembered

Heritage New Zealand was saddened to hear of the passing of John Stacpoole last month at 98 years of age.

In 1965 John began his association with the then New Zealand Historic Places Trust – the forerunner of Heritage New Zealand – when he became the Ministry of Works advisory architect to the Trust. His first heritage project for the Trust was the restoration of the Mission House at Waimate North. Read more here.

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