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Proposal to name skate+park after a city forefather

Date: August 20th, 2012

Council to discuss proposal to name skate+park after a city forefather

Hastings’ new inner city park may be named after one of the city’s great forefathers, William Nelson

The 6000m2 Skate+Park, which is bounded by St Aubyn Street, Avenue Road and King Street, may become known as William Nelson Park following a Hastings District Council meeting this Thursday. The family of William Nelson had approached council following the sale of the original Nelson Park, and requested that his legacy to the district be recognised by the naming of a park in his honour.

Margaret Walmsley of Havelock North is the granddaughter of William Nelson. She says “Family members are delighted with the proposal that the inner city park may be named after William Nelson. It would be a fitting tribute to a man who gave an enormous amount of time and energy during the early days of the development of Hastings District.”

Margaret Walmsley says “It would be appropriate that the inner city park be named after her great grandfather as it is in close proximity to the original location of Nelson Park and is likely to be the largest park developed by council in the CBD.”

William Nelson (1843–1932) was born in Warwickshire, England, and came to New Zealand in 1863. He began working with his brother at Kereru, a sheep run belonging to their cousin J N Williams. He formed a partnership with his brother Fred, cousin J N Williams and Nelson Bros Limited (England) to manufacture tallow in Hastings and opened the Tomoana plant in 1881
He founded Heretaunga School in 1882 (now Hereworth) and was also part of a group which established Woodford House School. Waikoko Gardens in the Hawke’s Bay Showgrounds is part of the property which was purchased in 1884 for the construction of the Nelson homestead.
William Nelson’s lasting legacy is his generosity as a benefactor, and the creation of employment and wealth through the Tomoana Freezing Works, which helped build the economic prosperity of Hastings in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Upon his death many acknowledged him as “The Father of Hawke’s Bay” in recognition of his contribution to the whole province.

The recommendation to name the Skate+ Park, William Nelson Park will be put before a full council meeting on Thursday 23rd August 2012.


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