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Official Opening

Official Opening. Photo: Neil Price

Opening Photo: Marg Ellis

From left: Myfanwy Emeny, Manager Parks and Reserves; Deputy Mayor, Jill Day; Volunteer Danielle Saunders; Claire Bibby, Glenside Progressive Assn. Inc. and Councillor Peter Gilberd.

The historic Halfway House at Glenside was officially opened on Sunday, 29th October, when Deputy Mayor Jill Day and Claire Bibby, President of the Glenside Progressive Assn. Inc. cut the red ribbon midst applause.

Official Opening Report

Community report on the Halfway House Official Opening (PDF 1.1 MB)


In her opening speech, Deputy Mayor Jill Day acknowledged the partnership between Council and community to bring the vision to fruition. She read out the names of staff at Wellington City Council who had key roles in the restoration. 

Claire Bibby, President of the Glenside Progressive Assn. Inc. and leader of the Heritage Gardeners  spoke about the history of the Glenside Halfway Houses since 1841 and the people who occupied them. She praised the efforts of the Glenside residents, who worked tirelessly over many years to retain the house in Council ownership for community use and acknowledged the work of the Heritage Gardeners to create a Victorian farm garden. 

Cnr. Peter Gilberd thanked the Glenside community for their partnership with Wellington City Council, describing it as a "showcase"of how a Council and community partnership should work. He said the house would provide a destination for people in the 'haven of green' reserve land. Councillor Malcolm Sparrow affirmed his words.


More than 331 people signed the guest book. The Richardson family, who lived in the house from 1944-1956, travelled across from Australia for the opening. People travelled from Palmerston North, Levin, Waikanae and Masterton, as well as from the wider Wellington area and local suburbs.  People signing the guest book were asked "What brings you here today" and the most popular reason was history, heritage and love of old houses. 


The house was filled with flowers. Photographs and stories of people who lived in the house were placed in the rooms. Upstairs was a historic photographic display prepared by the Heritage Gardeners and Glenside Progressive Assn. Inc.  An interactive space provided people the opportunity to suggest how the house and garden could be used in future.  Donwstairs, the Onslow Historic Society had a sales table and sold historic books about the local area. 

The Heritage Gardeners had a plant sales table, and placed interpretive signs in the garden for people to read as they wandered in the grounds. The Glenside Riding Club had horses available for people to pet. 

Funds raised

 $595.70 was raised through door entry donations. This money will go toward framed historic pictures, for example, the 1849 Halfway House, and the 1846-1849 map of the Halfway House. These will be hung in the community front rooms.

$152 was raised by The Heritage Gardeners and will be used to buy heritage plants for the garden. Twigland Gardeners World have offered to help out with these purchases.


Bunting - Margaret Ellis
Carparking - Fletcher Construction
Door entry – Glenside residents Danielle Saunders, Trejan & Maneesha Parera, Zaynah & Sabah Ahmad, Margaret & Barry Ellis, Donna Sherlock, and Suzanne Hendry
Driveway entry – Park Ranger Matt Robertson
Flowers - Margaret Ellis and Suzanne Hendry
Guest book – Claire Bibby, Margaret Ellis
Heritage display – Paul Bicknell and Claire Bibby
Heritage grasses – Carolyn Lutter
Horses – Meredith Hegh and the Glenside Riding Club
Onslow Historic Society – Stan Pillar
Plant table - The Heritage Gardeners esp. Bicknell family, Patricia Apperly, and Megan Bibby
Potted colour - Twigland Gardeners World
Ribbon – Corryn Elliott, Project Manager
Signage – Barry and Margaret Ellis, Barbara Bligh