Mt Albert, 150 years later
Condensing the history of one of Auckland’s oldest suburbs into 250 pages is a gruelling task. But one author and historian Deborah Dunsford took it in her stride.
It’s been 55 years since a book has been published about the wider Mt Albert district and a lot has changed during those years.
Once a spacious suburb covered by small farms, Mt Albert is now densely populated and filled with housing - making it one of the fastest-growing suburbs in New Zealand. It’s this change that sets the tone of Dunsford’s new book, Mt Albert, Then and Now.
Dunsford was commissioned to write the book by the Mt Albert Historical Society in time for next year’s 150th anniversary of the formation of the Mt Albert Road Board. The society had been fundraising and planning to publish a book on the area since 2010.
Dunsford says it was quite a responsibility to be entrusted with writing the book, particu- larly as she isn’t a Mt Albert resident. But after years of searching archives, interviewing residents and scrolling through newspapers, Dunsford says she was able to write an ’’intimate and personal’’ account of the Mt Albert district.
The paperback book is filled with photographs and paintings from the area dating back to to the depths of the 1800s. It was launched at a special ceremony held at Ferndale House on Tuesday.
Author and historian Deborah Dunsford.