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Illustrated history of “The Basin” released

Illustrated history of “The Basin” released

Wellington’s Basin Reserve is arguably the most famous sports ground in New Zealand, and is certainly the only one with National Heritage Place status. It is also the focus of the latest book from Canterbury University Press, The Basin: An Illustrated History of the Basin Reserve, by high-profile sports writers Don Neely and Joseph Romanos

“The Basin”, as it is affectionately known, has a much more varied past than many would realise, as a venue for everything from synchonised swimming, ballooning displays , marching, and woodchopping, to carnivals and a host of celebrations and sports.

Neely and Romanos have teamed up to write a history that captures The Basin’s broad background, paying fair tribute not only to the ground’s important contribution to cricketing history, but also to its role as a canvas for the panorama of New Zealand’s developing society.

The geographic feature of a “basin” was created by a major earthquake in 1855, and since then The Basin has constantly been reshaped, modernised and renovated, and through all that time it has remained one of the major landmarks of the capital city.

Neely says the authors delved widely to present a pictorial history that uses many images, a large number of which have never previously been published.

“We are both confirmed Wellingtonians for whom the Basin Reserve holds special affection and have long felt that the story of the remarkable ground needed to be told. The challenge was to present the story in an attractive and entertaining way – hence the decision to make it an illustrated history.”

The Basin will be launched officially in Wellington next Thursday 8 May at a special luncheon in the Long Room, RA Vance Stand, Basin Reserve. Guest speakers will include the Speaker of the House, the Rt Hon Jonathon Hunt, the Chairman of the Board of the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame, Garry Ward, and former New Zealand cricketer John “Mystery” Morrison.

The Basin: An Illustrated History of the Basin Reserve. Hardback, 280mm x 210mm, 176pp, more than 200 illustrations, b/w and col. RRP $49.95 ISBN 1-877257-05-2

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