Alberton has a ball to mark 150 years
Formal balls are being held at Alberton as celebrations to mark the mansion’s 150th anniversary continue.
The balls will be held on August 31 and September 14.
Guests can enjoy colonialera dancing under the expert guidance of Beth Harris.
‘‘Beth has been teaching English country dancing, early dance and international dance for the past 30 years. She has a special interest in colonial dances of early New Zealand,’’ Alberton manager Rendell McIntosh says.
‘‘She’s a great teacher and knows how to make dancing fun so everyone is in for a treat. The other thing is that people don’t need to come with a partner to enjoy our gala events.’’
The Mt Albert mansion is cared for by the NZ Historic Places Trust and this will be the first time in at least 20 years that Alberton has hosted formal occasions like these.
‘‘Our two formal dance evenings are inspired by a similar event held in the Alberton Barn on September 20, 1877, when more than 250 people danced in the first County, or Riding Ball held in New Zealand,’’ Mr McIntosh says.
‘‘The ball would have attracted prominent community leaders and business people of the day, given that Alberton was a social centre for Auckland’s colonial elite. Although the ball was held in Alberton’s barn, it’s fair to say that it was certainly no barn dance.’’
Alberton’s barn was demolished many years ago but organisers believe the spirit of that first formal occasion will be recaptured at both gala events that will take place in Alberton’s ballroom.
‘‘Our programme will include Victorian and Ceilidh dances with live music from the Rose and Thistle Country Dance Band,’’ Mr McIntosh says.
‘‘Guests are encouraged to dress up in their finery, and Victorian outfits if they wish, and take part in our wonderful events, which will become a part of Alberton’s history.’’
History captured: Balls are being held at Alberton as part of its 150th anniversary celebrations.