• This photograph of John Guiniven is courtesy of Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 34_190.
Tags: History

Takapuna 60 years ago

Some will remember the 'North Shore Advertiser' local newspaper, which was published from 4 May 1954 to 14 June 1966 by North Shore Printers Ltd., based at 48 Hurstmere Road in Takapuna. That newspaper amalgamated with the ‘North Shore Times’ to become the 'North Shore Times Advertiser' in 1966.

The 'Advertiser' was free and home delivered fortnightly until 1959, and then weekly. At first varying between six and eight pages an issue, from 31 May 1955 it increased to 12 pages and later on to 16. Subtitled To advance the trade and prosperity of the North Shore, the initial distribution was just within the Takapuna Borough boundaries, including Castor Bay but not Devonport. However, by June 1955 it had expanded its coverage into the East Coast Bays, with 7,000 copies now being distributed. In its early years the rival weekly ‘North Shore Times’ wasn’t free, but also included Devonport, Northcote, Birkenhead and Albany in its area.
The ‘Advertiser’ format was quite simple with serialised stories, an 'Of feminine interest' column, recipes, a 'Books and authors' column, sport reports, astrology, some local body reports and of course lots of advertisements and classifieds. A specialty was the advertorial reports on local businesses.
These included North Shore Tile and Terrazzo Co. of Sunnybrae Road, Takapuna Drycleaning Co. Ltd. of Barrys Point, K.R. Skinner and Co. Ltd. which manufactured venetian blinds from Porana Road factory and George Nicks and Son Ltd of Northcroft Street who were timber and joinery merchants. Locals may remember some of those firms.
The 17 December 1954 issue welcomed the first of the retail chain stores to come to Takapuna when Milne & Choyce opened in Hurstmere Road, just north of the corner with Anzac Street. On 8 December 1955 Lewis Motors (Ford dealers) opened a little further up Hurstmere Road opposite the Mon Desir Hotel. They were one of many car dealers operating in the Takapuna shopping area.
In the 9 April 1955 issue, the Mayor of East Coast Bays Borough, R.H. Greville, recalled that back in 1925, Takapuna Borough had started a drainage and freshwater reticulation system, and began to concrete its roads. Nevertheless, in October 1956 there were still 61 septic tanks reported in the Jutland and Taharoto Road areas.
Between 1951 and 1956 the number of Takapuna telephone subscribers rose from 2,940 to 6,560, an increase of 123%. The ‘Advertiser’ also noted new housing subdivisions such as the Ocean View Estate in Belmont. As of March 1956, only 50 of the original 145 sections in that estate remained unsold and soon after, both Williamson and the new part of Seacliffe Avenue were tar sealed.
In March 1956, the Takapuna Borough Council welcomed the opening of the new public library building in the Strand, and library membership grew from 500 to 4,000 in just 12 months. The foundation stone for the proposed North Shore Hospital was laid in May 1956; the 37-acre Taharoto Road site had been purchased by the Auckland Hospital Board in 1948. In February 1957, three new schools were welcomed: Westlake High (at that time for both boys and girls), Belmont Intermediate and Murrays Bay Primary.
In May 1957, the Milford based 'Pirate Shippe', still offering a ‘dine and dance’, was now in line to be demolished and in June 1957 the death of John Guiniven was acknowledged. A structural engineer by profession, he had been Mayor of Takapuna Borough (1931-50) at a time of the move away from Lake Pupuke for freshwater supply, changing the rating system to unimproved value, the acquisition of Smith's Bush and developing playing fields at Belmont and elsewhere. He had also served on the Auckland Hospital Board in the 1940s and the Waitemata Electric Power Board (1933-50).

By David Verran

Issue 80 September 2017