Waitakere Legends

I’m on holiday (i.e. away from the Magic Pen) until the New Year, but I’ll try to post some pictures in the meantime.

These are some drawings I did for Waitakere Legends, a project organised by Waitakere City Council before it was merged into the new Auckland City. They commissioned a number of artists (including Misery and the great Barry Linton) to illustrate stories from the history of the region. These then turned up in various places: on a billboard at the Henderson Railway Station, in a printed booklet, and decorating selected public buildings.

I did three pictures for the project, and here they are. You can click on each image to see it larger.

Whatipu dances

In the 1920s, a large cave at Whatipu beach was used for evening dances. A wooden (kauri) dance floor was laid down by local millers and a launch would bring revellers from Onehunga to the Whatipu wharf. The cave was decorated with lanterns and ribbons and a band would play for the well-dressed dancers. Decades later, the cave was also used for psychedelic and trance dance parties, although the wooden dance floor is now buried under metres of sand.

Karekare Races

Since 1985, a semi-annual horse race has been held at Karekare beach (a wild west-cost surf beach), to raise money for the local school, surf lifesaving club and volunteer fire brigade. People come from all over the region, and a festive atmosphere reigns, with barbecues and raffles, bright banners and family fun. The date of the event moves around, as it needs a low tide at midday on a Saturday, which happens about three times a year.

Oratia Beauty

Waitakere has long been a place of orchards, vineyards and market gardens – many first planted by newcomers from the Dalmatian Coast in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. One such family is the Glucina brothers, Gregory and Mate, who arrived between 1898 and 1900, whose orchard on Shaw Road in Oratia gave birth to a brand new variety of apple, which came to be called the Oratia Beauty. The apple is famously tart and crisp, and rather sour but it spread throughout New Zealand and is now considered a heritage apple.

4 Responses to “Waitakere Legends”

  1. Brendan Donovan says:

    Hi Dylan,

    I have a place at Karekare and my 4 year old boy would love a copy of your Karekare horse race poster, where can i get one?

    Thank you,

    027 271 6061

  2. Toby says:

    Dylan I saw this picture at arataki visitor centre. I did the 10k human race this year finishing on the beach and then went to watch the Karekare races with my kids who absolutely loved it. Is there any way to buy a copy?
    Thanks heaps

  3. Dylan Horrocks says:

    Hi Toby – I can do a print; get in touch via contact(at)hicksville.co.nz and we can sort something out. And well done – what a run!

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