We saw Catherine and Mark off at the airport yesterday.
I am glad that they are safely home, but a little melancholy that they are so far away. After they had booked in Mary patiently sat in the car and read her book while I prowled the back streets of Te Aro looking for some images. Though they are gradually being demolished and replaced by more modern and utilitarian buildings, there remain many buildings that reek of history.
This little church which I came upon from the rear, is fenced off, presumably in preparation for demolition. I clambered up on a wobbly pile of stacked pallets to try to get a view above the fence. It was definitely higher off the ground than my bathroom scales so I soon ran out of nerve, but managed a couple of white-knuckled shots while I was up there.
From the front there were just sufficient of the raised letters on the facade to reveal the building’s history as a Chinese Mission. This part of Wellington has a long association with the Chinese community, including one of its darkest days, 24 September 1905, when the murderous bigot, Lionel Terry randomly shot a Chinese man, Joe Kum Yung to achieve publicity for his campaign against the so-called “yellow peril”. He was sentenced to hang, but this was commuted to life in prison by reason of insanity. Terry died in a mental hospital in 1952. There is a plaque memorializing the murder of Joe Kum Yung in nearby Haining Street.
Another interesting building is the Compassion Centre on upper Tory Street. Named for the saintly nun, Mother Suzanne Aubert who worked in this area at the beginning of the 20th century, this “soup kitchen” carries on her mission by providing meals for the homeless. The “graffiti” on its exterior walls is clearly purposeful though the message eludes me.
That’s all for now.