Thursday, September 15, 2011

Family history lights up wall

It was an easy choice for long-time Kingsland resident Jan Lees to have her family history projected in lights for the public to see.

Her family's roots have dug themselves deep into the Kingsland town centre's suburban heart.

Mrs Lees has submitted a collection of her grandfather's photos for the Kingsland Thursday Night Lights show, which has been organised by the Kinsgland Business Society.

Her family's photos will be among many other residents' snaps collectively known as "the faces of the suburb" put on display on the wall of the old Kingsland Post Office.

But not many of the photos submitted will date as far back as Mrs Lees' do.

Her great-grandfather was a volunteer fireman at the Kingsland station.

"I sent in photos of my great-grandfather's funeral service in the 1930s with the honour guard, the Macfarlane and Oldfield's service station before it turned into a burger bar and our old family house," she says.

"He lived on Mountain View Rd and was known for being a handy man but not much else can be traced back," she says.

"The house he and my grandfather lived in was given down to my aunt and I can still remember the smell of it.

"Unfortunately it's not in the family any more."

Mrs Lees says her grandfather, who was born in the Mountain View Rd house, died in 2003.

He grew up in Kingsland using facilities many still use today.

"When I married I came back to Kingsland," she says.

"My grandfather thought it was great we bought a house in Kingsland because we were coming back to our roots."

The light-show is the result of years of hard work by the Kingsland Business Society.

Manager Christine Foley says the festival aims to showcase Kingsland in its past and present and provide an experience for visitors and Aucklanders alike.

"The effects are some never seen before audio and visual techniques – it's fantastic," she says.

You can see the Kingsland Thursday Night Lights every Thursday an hour after sunset. Shows last 10 minutes and screen continuously for three hours. Search Kingsland-Auckland on Facebook for more information.

- Auckland City Harbour News

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