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The Saving of Old St Paul's

The Saving of Old St Paul's

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  • Wed 7 Nov ’18, 12:10pm – 1:00pm


Te Ahumairangi Ground Floor, National Library, cnr Molesworth & Aitken Streets, Thorndon, Wellington


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Free Admission


National Library

These monthly Public History Talks are a collaboration between the National Library of New Zealand https://natlib.govt.nz/ and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage https://mch.govt.nz/.

Elizabeth Cox, author of the recently published A friend indeed: the saving of Old St Paul’s will discuss the heritage battle during the 1950s–1960s to decide the future of the church.

Opened in 1866, a century later St Paul’s Church in Thorndon, Wellington was facing a future of demolition, dismemberment or relocation from its site. This talk will discuss the heritage battle during the 1950s–1960s to decide the future of the church, and discuss some of the personalities and organisations that entered the fray.

It will also consider the developing and differing concepts of what 'heritage' is in New Zealand, concepts which were put to the test during the sometimes bitter fight to save the church, one of the first and most important heritage battles in New Zealand conservation history.

Elizabeth Cox is a Wellington heritage consultant, and a senior historian at ManatÅ« Taonga the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. She has researched and written about the social history of many of Wellington’s most important heritage buildings. For a number of years she has undertaken a project to explore the social history of Wellington city through the lens of just one building, Old St Paul's; this project can be found at www.osphistory.org.

Her book about the saving of the church, A Friend Indeed: The Saving of Old St Paul's, was launched by the Prime Minister earlier this year. She also blogs about Wellington heritage issues at www.bayheritage.co.nz/heritage-blog/.

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