New interpretive signs at Melville Park, installed thanks to Albert-Eden Local Board, reveal the history that makes this gem of a park special.
Some wouldn’t know that Melville Park is named after Ellen Melville who was a pioneering figure in Auckland in the early 1900s. Just at the end of the century in 1893, women had won the right to vote.
At this interesting time in history, Ellen Melville symbolized what the suffragettes had campaigned for by living as an independent professional woman. She participated in public life as a lawyer and a City Councillor for 33 years. And was only the second woman in New Zealand to be admitted to the bar in 1906.
Today the park is much loved by sports enthusiasts, popular for both cricket and croquet. Creating level fields for sports in this area was no mean feat back in the day in 1930s; it was done with manual labour. The fields were built as part of the Relief Scheme.
“I remember playing hockey at Melville when I was at school. It’s got a special place in my heart and the view across to Maungawhau is special too,” says Albert-Eden Local Board Chair Margi Watson.
The next time you’re out and about at Melville Park, you’re sure to find these interpretive signs interesting and meaningful. They tell the story of our local heritage and the events and people that make our local area unique.