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Former PM visits Ellen Melville Centre

Published: 18 September 2018

To coincide with the one-year celebration for the revamped Ellen Melville Centre, former prime minister Helen Clark was welcomed at an event held in a room named in her honour.

The upstairs room retains its original Pioneer Women’s Hall name, while the five rooms in the centre all have names recommended by the Auckland branch of the National Council of Women.

The whole building was renamed the Ellen Melville Centre after the upgrade last year.

The new room names honour the significant contributions to Auckland civic life made by Elizabeth Yates, Betty Wark, Eleitino Paddy Walker, Marilyn Waring and Helen Clark.

"The local board accepted all of the National Council of Women’s recommendations for the room names, including naming the fantastic ground-level lounge space with commercial kitchen that opens on to Freyberg Place the Helen Clark Room," Waitematā Local Board chair Pippa Coom says.

“The board was delighted to host a gathering with the national council to acknowledge Ms Clark’s considerable achievements in ‘her’ room because she wasn’t able to attend the opening last year.” 

Understood to be the first room named for the former prime minister, it is at the heart of the community centre building which won design and architecture awards during its restoration.

"This event marks the first anniversary since we opened the upgraded Ellen Melville Centre and Freyberg Place," Ms Coom says.

"Cutting the ribbon last year was a very proud day for the local board. Since then we have watched the Elven Melville Centre become a thriving hub and a building that is central to its community."

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