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Essay competition rewards amateur historians

Essay competition rewards amateur historians

Winners of the inaugural JT Diamond Essay Competition were announced at a special ceremony at Glen Eden Intermediate School on Wednesday night.

Organised by Waitakere City’s Library and Information Services, the competition honours the life and work of Waitakere City’s most renowned historian, the late Jack Diamond, whose vast local history collection is housed at Henderson Library.

Entrants were asked to prepare an essay from a range of topics related to west Auckland history, including natural history, legends and traditional stories, industry, old buildings, sites or monuments and local personalities.

Thirty-nine entries were received - 33 in the junior category and six in the adult amateur historian category. Topics included memories of different west Auckland suburbs, New Lynn brickmaking history, local vintners, holidays in West Auckland, research into local sports clubs (surfing, soccer and rugby). There were also a number of oral history interviews.

The Glen Intermediate School hall was set up with a large number of displays exhibiting examples of research work carried out by its pupils. Some pupils also showed Powerpoint presentations summarising their research. Carol Diamond, competition judge and granddaughter of Jack Diamond, also entertained with a recital of one of Jack’s poems.

The Council’s Child and Youth Advocate, Cr Brenda Brady, says the essay competition was an effective way of encouraging original research into local history and promoting a wider understanding, especially amongst our youth, of the how people and events of the past have helped shape the Waitakere City of today.

As primary research materials, all essays will be available at Henderson Library’s J.T. Diamond Research Room.

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