Khandallah Heritage Night this week

Come along to the Khandallah Library this Thursday evening (7th November) from 6pm where we will be celebrating the heritage of the greater Onslow area with the rededication  of a memorial scroll in honour of F.L (‘Fanny Louise’) Irvine-Smith.

Born in 1878, Irvine-Smith was a pioneering educationalist who lectured at the Wellington Teachers College and had a notable role in first introducing Māoritanga and NZ History to the primary school curriculum. She is best known for her work as a historian and her book The Streets of my CityFirst published in 1948, her book presented Wellington’s past through a tour of its streets and how they had been named. It was a radical departure from the dry, pedestrian works of local history which had been published to that time and it went on to be re-printed multiple times. However, we remember her for her extraordinary efforts over many years to establish the Khandallah Library. A strong believer in the importance of libraries to the social health of a community, she lobbied the council and walked the streets of the suburb to gather nearly 1300 signatures on a petition supporting the library’s establishment.

As well as unveiling the memorial scroll we are going to take the opportunity to launch a digitised collection of a historic local magazine, The Ngaio and Khandallah Review and its follow-up publication, The Social Review which were published in the early-mid 1930s. Drawn from the collection of the Onslow Historical Society, we worked collaboratively with the society to allow these  extremely rare copies to be made available to the general public for the first time on our digital heritage platform, Wellington City Recollect. They offer a fascinating insight into the local community 85 years ago and will become an invaluable source of local history and genealogical information. Once launched, the digitised magazines will be fully key-word searchable.

Come along to the Khandallah Library on Thursday evening from 6pm to share your memories of the library and the greater area. Light refreshments will be served. There is no need to R.S.V.P but space will be limited. 

A helping hand from local knitters

The Crafters’ Knitting Corner at Tawa Library has really taken off! Each of the branches in Wellington City Libraries’ north cluster (Tawa, Johnsonville and Khandallah) have set up a space where the customers can sit down, take a moment to relax, unwind a bit of wool and knit or crochet a few rows or a square (20cm by 20cm) towards a peggy-square blanket. The squares will be sown together to form blankets which will be donated to refugees coming next month from such diverse places as: Somalia, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Sri Lanka.

So far the corner has proven incredibly popular with library visitors! Both children and adults have sat down in the library to knit squares, while others have donated wool, or brought in squares they have knitted at home. One customer has even donated a whole blanket.

If you’re visiting one of these libraries – why not check it out and knit or crochet a few rows.