March 14, 2014 … old friends and stately buildings

Old friends in town  from far-away places are a sufficient excuse for a trip to the city.

The National Library of New Zealand

In another country, one might suspect that the outward form of our foremost repository of knowledge looks like the headquarters of a secret police service.

My friend Yogesh lives and works in Basel, but occasionally comes home. When we worked in the dairy industry, all those years ago, Yogesh and I travelled together to places like Bahrain, Dubai, Dammam, Jeddah, Santa Rosa Ca, and Singapore and enjoyed working on some interesting projects, as well as sharing good food and wine when off duty. It’s great to catch up with him and other friends from that era. As always, I arrived ahead of schedule, so spent a little time wandering around Thorndon, looking for images with my standard lens.

St Paul's Cathedral

The facade is at the South end of the church.

Across the road from the National Library is the Anglican Cathedral of St Paul. From the outside, it gives the impression of having been designed on a very strict budget and has very few redeeming features (no pun intended). Nevertheless, the people involved with the cathedral go out of their way to make it a welcoming place, so I went inside to explore.

Exploring the choir

The chatter of small children was not at all obtrusive

A bunch of young children were being shown around the choir and looking at the sanctuary. Behind the altar, the dossal, or wall hanging is very impressive and was created for this church by Beverley Shore Bennett in 1990.

The sanctuary as seen from the chor stalls

I like the architect’s use of light.

Despite my misgivings about its external form, there is a tranquility and ethereal light inside, especially in the sanctuary area.

Old St Pauls is up to the right of the larger tree

In the foreground is the National Archive, and storage place of the Treaty of Waitangi

But time was fleeting, and I went and enjoyed some drinks and a catch up with Yogesh and other friends. On the way back to my car afterwards (having been careful to stay within appropriate bounds of consumption), I looked up Murphy Street, and there, hidden among the taller modern buildings, is the spire of the Old St Paul’s Cathedral, deconsecrated, and now merely a historic place. Designed by Frederick Thatcher and built in the Gothic style, entirely of native timbers, it is a stunning piece of architecture, well worth a visit.  But not last night.

Sunset seen from Petone

We are about to get some ugly weather, so I was determined to enjoy this sunset as I ate my fish and chips on the foreshore

As I reached Petone on the way home, I paused to construct this panorama of the rosy sunset,

My big lens is fixed, and should be back with me next week. Yay.



About wysiwygpurple

I am a family man, a passionate amateur photographer and a retired academic . What's the purpose of this blog? Well in the first instance it provides me with a platform from which to resume writing, an activity I greatly enjoy. What will the blog be about? Anything that takes my fancy but it is likely to arise from things I see and experience, in my family, in my travels, or anything else I feel like. Each daily post will contain one or more images made the previous day. Sometimes the image will illustrate the points made in the prose, and sometimes the prose will attempt to interpret the image. What kind of images will they be? Always safe for work and family. Usually they will be representational, and sometimes they will be impressionistic or experimental.
This entry was posted in Architecture, Children, Food, harbour, Petone, Social, Weather, Wellington. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to March 14, 2014 … old friends and stately buildings

  1. Your interior cathedral shot towards the alter, with the children in the foreground, looks like a painting. I think the soft lighting and the lack of high contrast does it. A most impressive shot.

  2. Dear Brian,
    I still enjoy your purple prose as much as I did way back in the days of s.c.n.z! It is a pleasure to see your photos and know you are enjoying a happy retirement, and blessed with a wonderful family.
    And nice to see Charles Eggen here as well as well – hi Charles!
    Speaking of s.c.n.z, I don’t know if you heard, but regular ChCh poster Lyndon Watson passed away last year. I believe it was cancer, although not sure as it is some years since I was last in contact.

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