Knowledge Bank tops local awards
The artistic, historic and architectural winners in this year’s Landmarks Awards have been announced by Hastings District Council, recognising projects that preserve and enhance Hastings’ individuality.
Acting mayor Sandra Hazlehurst presented the awards, for projects from public art and architecture to land-scaping and the preservation of historic buildings, from small to large, historic to new, and from very public to a little more hidden.
The supreme award, the Jeremy Dwyer Trophy, went to the Hawke’s Bay Knowledge Bank. The Knowledge Bank volunteers work to digitise the region’s historic records, many from family collections, so they are not lost forever.
The organisation was set up by James Morgan, who believed the work should be done “by the people of today for the people of tomorrow”. He brought together a group of volunteers and trained them in the technology to enable the records to be preserved forever and widely viewed through its website.
The Knowledge Bank is housed within Stoneycroft, the Hastings District Council-owned listed historic homestead on Omahu Rd built in 1875.
One of the smaller but important projects recognised was the preservation of two historic leadlight ceiling panels in the Hutchinson’s Flooring, Furniture and Interiors building in Heretaunga St. The work was done by glass art specialist John Owens, who was lured out of retirement to undertake the painstaking work.
As the Landmarks citation said: “It’s not always the big projects that catch the Landmarks Trust’s eye … We commend Hutchinson’s for their dedication to funding and completing a project that preserves these beautiful features which are so easily lost in this transient world.”
Four building projects were recognised for their two new buildings and two restorations.
One perhaps not so well known to the wider population is Te Waiaia, the new Maori language suite at Hastings Girls’ High School. The design is reflective of a traditional whare “reimagined for the 21st century”, the citation says. With its outdoor performance space and landscaped seating area it is “sympathetic to the surroundings and adds an element well-described by Te Waiaia, meaning very beautiful”.
Another new building, the Waimarama Surf Lifesaving Tower, is “unique to its area and community” its citation says. Of particular note is the artwork by Phil Belcher, sandblasted on to the concrete piers on each side of the tower.
The gift from Nga Hapu o Waimarama ”speaks of places and legends of the area and is there to protect and adorn the tower”.
High praise went to the Havelock North community and Hastings District Council for the relocation of what had been “the old, rather sad Havelock North Cricket Pavilion…sitting forlornly” on the edge of what was the Havelock North Domain.
Now the historic building is the crown jewel in the revamped and newly named Village Green.
At 105 years old, the Hawke’s Bay Electric Power Board Building in Eastbourne St East has had a major facelift, preserving its original Edwardian neo-classical features and adding sympathetic extensions.
“On a number of counts this building has elements of distinction: architecture, historical, aesthetic and social”, the citation says.
A piece of exceptional public art that is “unmissable” to those walking or cycling the limestone track between Whakatu and Clive is Te Papa Otanenuiarangi.
The ornately carved pou, designed by the late William Jameson, features an ornate ruru (native owl) overlooking Kohupatiki Marae. The Landmarks citation says the pou “embodies the pre-European history of a rich. navigable river and land protected by kahikatea trees where ruru abounded”.
Also lauded was the Lions’ Community Playground in Windsor Park, developed by Hastings Host Lions Club and Hastings District Council.
The performing arts were also recognised, with the Edible Fashion Awards cited for successfully nurturing creative ambition and talents. “From modest beginnings in 2006 … the awards night has justifiably become a highlight of the Hastings event calendar”.
TOP GUNS: Supreme awards winners The Knowledge Bank team at Thursday night’s Landmarks Awards. with acting mayor Sandra Hazlehurst. They were presented with the Jeremy Dwyer Trophy.
JEWELS: One of the stained glass ceiling panels in the Hutchinson’s Flooring, Furniture and Interiors building, restored by glass artist John Owens.