Mt Al­bert, 150 years later

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - ELESHA ED­MONDS

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.

ELESHA ED­MONDS / FAIRFAX NZ

Au­thor and his­to­rian Deb­o­rah Dunsford.

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