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Birthday celebrations for Takapuna Library

Birthday celebrations for Takapuna Library

Takapuna Library celebrates its 125th birthday in September and the hunt is on for descendants of its first members - and former staff - to join the party.

The library was incorporated on September 29, 1879, one year before the opening of the Auckland Public library.

Takapuna library manager Helen Woodhouse says the day will be celebrated with two events - the launch of an anthology of North Shore writing in the evening and a morning tea for current and former staff of the library, and descendants of the first 12 subscribers to the library.

"We know who our 'first families' are and we'd be thrilled if any of their descendants who are still living locally would join us for the celebrations," she says.

On the evening of September 29 the library will host the launch of "Golden Weather: An Anthology of North Shore Writing", edited by Graeme Lay and Jack Ross.

The anthology comprises work by 48 writers and poets who have lived in North Shore City. Among those included in the anthology are Frank Sargeson, Janet Frame, Michael King, Allen Curnow, Keith Sinclair, Maurice Duggan, Kevin Ireland and Robin Hyde.

The library has in its archives a document recording the incorporation of the library and listing the names of the first 12 subscribers - Mrs Anne O'Neill; Henry Dacre; Miss Janet Mackay; Robert Mackay; Benjamin Menary; Thomas Poynton; Thomas Seaman; Miss Susan Seaman; Thomas William Seaman; Michael Shea; and James Steele.

Mrs Woodhouse said that although details were sketchy, she believed the library was initially housed in the Takapuna Primary School.

The first librarian was local teacher Susan Seaman who, under her married name of Susan Mactier, was known as the 'lake poet'.

The library was housed in rooms in the Strand Chambers from the early 1900s until 1956 when it was moved into a purpose-built building in The Strand. The current library building was opened in 1989.

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