Drinking fountain to work again
A parched historic drinking fountain will flow once more thanks to restoration work.
The water fountain in Herne Bay’s Pt Erin Park is being refurbished as part of works commissioned by the Waitemata Local Board.
The fountain will be refitted and its gilt lettering and a missing finial on top will be replaced. It was installed in the park by members of the Temperance Society in 1917 in memory of Robert French, an early president of the Auckland Prohibition League.
Social reformers time saw alcohol cause of many of problems.
Auckland historian Edward Bennett says many at the as the society’s historic public drinking fountains are representative of the movement.
‘‘They were symbolic – ‘you don’t need alcohol to have a good time, just fill up your water bottle and go back to your picnic’,’’ he says. ‘‘People believed that if you stopped the flow of alcohol you will put a stop to lots of social evils – like gambling, violence and prostitution.’’
The temperance movement was very strong in Auckland, he says.
‘‘It was a highly volatile society full of young, reckless men who were sometimes making a lot of money and drinking, gambling and fighting.’’
Efforts are being made to have the fountain registered on the Council Cultural Heritage Inventory.