The building for the Newtown Community Centre, located on Colombo/Rintoul Streets, was completed and officially opened in February 1915 as a church for the Church of Christ, making next year its 100 birthday! The building was designed by William Gray Young, the same architect for other important Wellington buildings such as The Wellington Railway Station, The Turnbull Library and the Wesley Club in the CBD.
In the early decades, the Church played a significant community role in Newtown, holding social events and offering various workshops/trainings, as well as their regular faith-based services and meetings. In 1970, a fire damaged the building, and it was eventually sold to Wellington City Council who, at the pressure of the local community, converted the building into the community centre which has operated at the site since.
To celebrate the centenary of the building, the Newtown Community & Cultural Centre Trust will be hosting a number of events at the centre in the first half of 2015. A visual timeline of events taking place between 1915 and 2015 will be created, with the main focus being on the Community Centre itself. Other important events which have taken place over this time both globally and in the wider Newtown community will be included, providing a backdrop for the events based at the centre. The timeline will be unveiled at an afternoon celebration at the beautiful Centre’s theatre, to be accompanied by cake (of course!), music and speeches, open to all those involved with the Centre, past and present. Celebrations will continue in the evening, with a musical journey over the past 100 years since WWI.
The Community Centre would love to hear from anyone who would be keen to share any in-depth historical knowledge they may have of the Centre and of Newtown, or from anyone interested in carrying out some research through local archives. You can reach Anna at the Community Centre on 389 4786 or at firstname.lastname@example.org