June 9, 2019
FROM IDEA TO REALITY: THE EVOLUTION OF PETONE SPIRITUALIST CHURCH
BUILDING A CHURCH The following story come curtesy of the April 1979 Newsletter.
Remembering the humble beginnings of the Petone Spiritualist church is important. ‘Remembering the past will help you learn in the present and grow in the future.’
It was a fortunate day for the Petone Church Committee when the premises next to 86 Richmond St came on the market, at a price of $18.000. the committee felt it would be our advantage as we already occupy no 86. Inspection of the premises were carried out and after much consideration concerning the problems presented by the extreme dilapidation of the interior, it was decided to attempt to purchase the building. Our position regarding finance at that time was $7,000 with the owner extending a loan for the balance over three years at 10% interest. Mr. Reynolds after consulting with the committee drew up two lounges, a kitchen and two toilets. These plans were required by the Petone Borough Council and were passed with no objections from residents. The committee employed a local carpenter to begin work. As one half of the house was to become the Church, all the walls on that side of the interior were pulled down. The roof had, therefore to be reinforced with new roofing, plus piles, electrical work and plumbing. This cost $7.950. Floor sanding and finishing was $200 with legal fees of $363. Altogether the total cost being over $26.500 without interest cost! Heavy blue curtains were supplied by the Ladies Guild, Drapes were supplied by Mr. and Mrs. Fry, and carpet for the church was supplied by members of the Church. The painting and interior were decorated under the supervision of Mr. K Kent who also supplied the paint. Seating was kindly supplied by Mr. L Spence and a stereo system was given by Mr. P Swaby. According to Council regulations, the Church had to provide a car park. The husband of one of the members said that if our members dug out the rear section to a certain depth. He would then fill the area suitably – he being in the quarry business! When offered payment, he replied that simply working on the project was just like getting a free pass to heaven!
Looking back to the time when we first considered the purchase and then surveying what has been achieved, one is overwhelmed by the transformation and all this is due to the fantastic teamwork of our members who gave assistance according to their abilities in every way. I have spoken to members of the Church who were here during this time and have fond memories of Committee members selling everything from clothes, pickles and jam, jam and more jam to raise money for the much-needed work to be carried out and making the Church what it is today. Beatrice Swaby.
I have included this story for two reasons, 1) it important to remember the history of the church so we can pass this information on for generations to come and 2) to remind people that when we work together for greater good, great things can be achieved.