Old cup­board­dis­pens­ing books to kids

Kapi-Mana News - - OUT & ABOUT - VIR­GINIA FAL­LON

A 1970’s air­ing cup­board will soon be dis­pens­ing books to Porirua chil­dren.

Te Kapeta Puka­puka, or The Book Cup­board, took a year to com­plete and was a real com­mu­nity project, Ch­eryl Brown said.

‘‘It was quite a mad idea but hope­fully a good, mad, idea.’’

The in­spi­ra­tion for the cup­board came from places like Christchurch where peo­ple had made book ex­changes in old fridges and phone boxes, Brown said.

Porirua’s ver­sion was also go­ing to be housed in an old fridge but the process of strip­ping the elec­tri­cals and mo­tor made it too dif­fi­cult.

‘‘We were do­nated this old air­ing cup­board which is much lighter....with some wheels and han­dles it’s great.’’

The project was the brain­child of Brown and Rosie Gal­lagher, both mem­bers of the Ranui Res­i­dent’s As­so­ci­a­tion.

Formed seven years ago to take ad­van­tage of coun­cil vil­lage plan fund­ing, the group have been busy beau­ti­fy­ing the area.

‘‘Ranui some­times feels like a sub­urb of two halves and we re­ally wanted to do some­thing for the chil­dren here.’’

The res­i­dents as­so­ci­a­tion would stock the cup­board with books and hoped the com­mu­nity would take own­er­ship and care of the ex­change, she said.

Ruth Robert­son-Tay­lor was com­mis­sioned to paint the out­side of the cup­board and knew ex­actly what de­sign she wanted.

‘‘I wanted some­thing that re­ally re­flected the sur­round­ing area and noth­ing does that more than the book Wa­ter­cress Tuna and the chil­dren of Cham­pion Street.’’

The book, orig­i­nally pub­lished in 1984, was writ­ten by Porirua author Pa­tri­cia Grace and il­lus­trated by Robyn Kahukiwa and told the tale of chil­dren in Porirua’s Cham­pion Street.

‘‘It just seemed the ob­vi­ous choice for the de­sign and I was de­lighted when we got per­mis­sion from the author and il­lus­tra­tor of the book.’’

East­side Four Square owner Di­pak Dubariya agreed to have the book cup­board out­side his shop in the Mun­gavin Shops and would wheel it in­side at night.

Wheels and han­dles were added to the cup­board by the Whi­tireia con­struc­tion team. A do­na­tion from St Martin’s con­gre­ga­tion un­der Don Bor­rie helped fund the cre­ation of the book ex­change.

PHOTO: VIR­GINIA FAL­LON

Ch­eryl Brown from the Ranui Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion with the book cup­board.

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