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April 2017

Evening at Selwyn Library

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A very convivial evening at the historic and beautiful Selwyn Library on Thursday 16th March 2017 provided a perfect venue to learn about the historic building and Bishop Selwyn’s work for the Anglican Church community in Auckland.

Over 40 people attended and enjoyed the company, the array of drinks and delicious food provided by the Parnell Executive team, along with stories of the early church.

old SL.jpg

The above photograph shows the original Library and its shelves of books.  Today the books have gone, mostly to St Johns College and perhaps some returned to England with Bishop Selwyn.


We were very grateful to Bishop Ross Bay (above), the current Anglican Bishop, who gave many insights into the history of Bishop Selwyn’s time in 19th Century Auckland and the buildings he inspired.  Bishop Bay, a volunteer fireman no less, described what it is like to live in the Selwyn buildings today and the slightly quirky aspects of living in such an historic environment.

After answering questions from a lively audience Bishop Bay went off to cook dinner for his wife and guests.  Dr Warren Limbrick then took the floor and presented further background to Bishop Selwyn’s tireless work.  Dr Limbrick is producing a second edition of his History of St Stephen’s Chapel at Judges Bay with the support of Parnell Heritage.  He has a wealth of knowledge of the Selwyn era in 19th Century Auckland and added fascinating detail to the stories.

Julie Hill, co-chair of Parnell Heritage Inc., presented Dr Limbrick with an Honorary Lifetime Membership of the society in recognition of his service since its inception on 17th March 2005.

No doubt the Selwyn Library has hosted many happy events throughout its history.  We all went home feeling privileged to have enjoyed another such gathering with great company and many memories from Auckland’s past.