Biddick’s Bay history revealed

Last Updated : 03 Nov 2015
Biddick's Bay history revealed
From left: Bryce Gore, Graham Gallant, Jocelyn Horan, Len Gore, Orākei Local Board member Colin Davis, Jim Biddick, Kay Roberts, Glen Biddick, Pam Brewster, Jason Biddick, Kylie McGrigor and Rachael Horton.

A family’s historic connection with a bay in the Orākei Local Board area has been officially recognised.

Orākei resident Audrey Biddick married into the family descended from Captain James Biddick, the man for whom Biddick’s Bay was commonly known, and she approached the mayor to ask that the name be given official recognition.

Orākei Local Board took ownership of the project to install a sign at the bay and deputy chair Colin Davis began speaking with Mrs Biddick and researching the history of the Biddick family and the bay.

Early settlers

The prominent local family settled in the Orākei area in the 1870s and owned a fleet of scows essential to Auckland’s early development. As Tāmaki Drive was not built until the early 1930s, the Biddicks would sail or row to the Devonport store for supplies.

Mr Davis was able to find historic photographs of the Biddick family’s scows, houses and the bay itself in Auckland Libraries’ Sir George Grey Special Collections to feature on the Biddick’s Bay sign.

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Audrey Biddick

Sign of the times

The site selected for the sign is almost opposite the former site of the houses and is on the seaward side of Tāmaki Drive, on the beach side of the seawall.

“People can read the sign with the vista of the bay in front of them and the site of the Biddick family houses behind them,” says Mr Davis.

Sadly, Mrs Biddick passed away before the sign was installed, but she knew and approved of its contents.

“Mrs Biddick was looking forward to the sign being there,” says Mr Davis. “She took a very keen interest in the project, as did her immediate and extended family.”


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