Off to a new home at Taupo

Manse dismantled and shifted, but will be restored and made into new home

Manse dismantled and shifted, but will be restored and made into new home

This week the manse’s top storey was loaded on to transporters to head for Taupo and a new life as a home. Picture by Liam Clayton
An early photograph of the Presbyterian manse in Childers Road, built in 1910 to replace a minister’s house that occupied the corner site where St Andrew’s Church now stands. Picture courtesy of Tairawhiti Museum

The former Presbyterian manse prominently situated in Childers Road since 1910 is no more.

The building, bordered on three sides by the former St Marys School for much of its life, has been dismantled and shifted to Taupo, where it will be restored and made into a home.

The top storey, cut in half last week, began its journey on two trucks to its new home at about 10.30pm on Monday night.

The two trucks stopped north of Rotorua on Tuesday morning as the heavy load had to be off the road by 6am.

The journey was completed last night.

The bottom storey was similarly cut in half and transported to Taupo via the Waioeka Gorge over one night two Sundays ago.

New owner, Taupo restaurateur and interior architect Laura Kelly, said the second trip was more difficult because of the roof’s height.

Bay of Plenty Removals Ltd owner Steve Jones was professional and easy to work with, she said.

The former manse had been left derelict for the past couple of years and was subjected to vandalism and an arson attack.

Obscene language painted on the internal walls of the home once occupied by nine Presbyterian ministers, could be seen from Childers Road.

Ms Kelly said such damage was not significant.

She would restore the building “beautifully’’ on her three-acre Taupo section and live in a small cottage on the property in the meantime.

“I’ve done mostly commercial work and some residential.

“It’s nice to be doing something for myself.

“It needs a lot of lipstick.

“I would like to keep the integrity of the building

‘‘It’s a charmer.’’

There was no deadline to complete the restoration, she said.

Neither was she intimidated by the size of the restoration project.

“It’s nothing I’m scared o f. It’s what I do.’’

The former manse was erected in 1910 at a cost of 911 pounds and originally consisted of five bedrooms, two sun porches, dining room, kitchen and pantry.

The year before, Presbyterians had decided that a new manse was required to replace one built on the corner of Cobden Street and Childers Road in 1875.

The site at 466 Childers Road was chosen because the sisters of the Rev George Morice, the first Presbyterian minister to hold a service in the district, back in 1872, donated the land.

St Andrew’s Church was built on the site of the former manse in 1913.

On the adjoining site, the former St Andrew’s Church was demolished and replaced by St Andrew’s Hall in 1954.

The hall is dedicated to 25 men from the congregation who were killed during World War 2

Reverend William Grant, along with his wife and their five children, was the first Presbyterian minister to live in the new manse in Childers Road.

He was killed at Gallipoli while looking after wounded New Zealand and Turkish soldiers.

Reverend Grant is honoured in Sir Peter Jackson’s Great War Exhibition as the first of 11 New Zealand Army chaplains to be killed in the two world wars.

His death was the second fatality involving a Gisborne Presbyterian minister after Reverend John McAra was killed in a buggy accident in 1890.

The Childers Road manse was sold into private ownership in 1988, for ‘‘a net $71,835.42”.

The former Presbyterian manse prominently situated in Childers Road since 1910 is no more.

The building, bordered on three sides by the former St Marys School for much of its life, has been dismantled and shifted to Taupo, where it will be restored and made into a home.

The top storey, cut in half last week, began its journey on two trucks to its new home at about 10.30pm on Monday night.

The two trucks stopped north of Rotorua on Tuesday morning as the heavy load had to be off the road by 6am.

The journey was completed last night.

The bottom storey was similarly cut in half and transported to Taupo via the Waioeka Gorge over one night two Sundays ago.

New owner, Taupo restaurateur and interior architect Laura Kelly, said the second trip was more difficult because of the roof’s height.

Bay of Plenty Removals Ltd owner Steve Jones was professional and easy to work with, she said.

The former manse had been left derelict for the past couple of years and was subjected to vandalism and an arson attack.

Obscene language painted on the internal walls of the home once occupied by nine Presbyterian ministers, could be seen from Childers Road.

Ms Kelly said such damage was not significant.

She would restore the building “beautifully’’ on her three-acre Taupo section and live in a small cottage on the property in the meantime.

“I’ve done mostly commercial work and some residential.

“It’s nice to be doing something for myself.

“It needs a lot of lipstick.

“I would like to keep the integrity of the building

‘‘It’s a charmer.’’

There was no deadline to complete the restoration, she said.

Neither was she intimidated by the size of the restoration project.

“It’s nothing I’m scared o f. It’s what I do.’’

The former manse was erected in 1910 at a cost of 911 pounds and originally consisted of five bedrooms, two sun porches, dining room, kitchen and pantry.

The year before, Presbyterians had decided that a new manse was required to replace one built on the corner of Cobden Street and Childers Road in 1875.

The site at 466 Childers Road was chosen because the sisters of the Rev George Morice, the first Presbyterian minister to hold a service in the district, back in 1872, donated the land.

St Andrew’s Church was built on the site of the former manse in 1913.

On the adjoining site, the former St Andrew’s Church was demolished and replaced by St Andrew’s Hall in 1954.

The hall is dedicated to 25 men from the congregation who were killed during World War 2

Reverend William Grant, along with his wife and their five children, was the first Presbyterian minister to live in the new manse in Childers Road.

He was killed at Gallipoli while looking after wounded New Zealand and Turkish soldiers.

Reverend Grant is honoured in Sir Peter Jackson’s Great War Exhibition as the first of 11 New Zealand Army chaplains to be killed in the two world wars.

His death was the second fatality involving a Gisborne Presbyterian minister after Reverend John McAra was killed in a buggy accident in 1890.

The Childers Road manse was sold into private ownership in 1988, for ‘‘a net $71,835.42”.

The first minister to live in the manse was killed at Gallipoli while looking after wounded men.

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Tony Pickett - 9 days ago
Good one, sorry it is leaving Gisborne. Hate to see my old house go to another district.