Drink­ing foun­tain to work again

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By JESS LEE

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.

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