Whangarei Old Library Building 75th Jubilee
Sorry, this event’s been and gone
|Mon 7 Nov ’11, 10:00am–9:00pm||
|Tue 8 Nov ’11, 10:00am–9:00pm||
|Wed 9 Nov ’11, 10:00am–9:00pm||
|Thu 10 Nov ’11, 10:00am–9:00pm||
|Fri 11 Nov ’11, 10:00am–9:00pm||
|Sat 12 Nov ’11, 10:00am–9:00pm||
Where: Old Library Building Arts Centre, 7 Rust Ave, Whangarei
Restrictions: All Ages
Event listed by: Ruth Green-Cole
Whangarei will celebrate the Old Library Building’s 75th birthday this November with a week of 1930s inspired events. The festivities will begin on Monday the 7th of November with swing dance lessons and an opening function, finishing with a black tie gala dinner on Saturday the 12th of November. The extravaganza will include high tea and dancing for the golden oldies, silent movies, a visual history exhibition of the Old Library building, jazz band concert, and the Whangarei Music Society musical quiz night, along with a special guest appearance at the gala dinner.
The week-long celebrations will serve a dual purpose; to celebrate the architectural splendour and history of the Old Library Building and to officially launch the opening of Old Library Community Art Centre. The art centre now runs independently under a separate organisation, Old Library Limited, which administers the art centre as well as the building and is supported by the Friends of the Old Library committee (FoOL).
The Old Library building was opened in 1936 to the design of Horace Massey and Alfred Morgan. Early beginnings for the building were rife with difficulty because the funds needed for the build were raised during the depression. A few members of the public saw £7730 as an ‘unnecessary extravagance.’ However, after the official opening by the mayor the architects were awarded a gold medal for its design.
"Well may it be called Whangarei’s home of culture, and the town is fortunate to have in its midst men [sic] of vision who could conceive and carry into effect, with such impressive and dignified results the planning of what will be recognised as one of the most modern and artistic buildings of its kind in the southern Hemisphere." - The Northern Advocate, November 12, 1936.
The Old Library building has evolved in terms of the service it offers to the people of Whangarei; nevertheless, it still is a cultural precinct for the district. Through its use as a community arts centre it offers a home for art exhibitions, theatre and concert events, community user groups and short-term venue hire. The Old Library building also provides rental space for small innovative and creative organisations that promote and sustain the arts. The support from these organisations contributes to the ongoing maintenance and running of the building and ensures the Old Library building can stay open to the public. The anniversary celebrations will celebrate the Old Library building’s history, old and new.