Anzac Avenue, Auckland

Anzac Avenue Anzac Avenue

In 1914 Auckland City Council began work on a new eastern outlet road from the waterfront, linking Beach Road with Symonds Street. This road followed the route of the old Jermyn Street, and the council initially proposed to name the new thoroughfare Jellicoe Street. However, in December 1916, at the suggestion of Councillor A.J. Entrican, it selected the name ‘Anzac Avenue’ instead, as a memorial to the men who had died at Gallipoli.

There is no record that the avenue was ever formally consecrated as a war memorial. However, on 19 September 1918, a tree planting ceremony was held to commemorate its construction. Governor-General the Earl of Liverpool planted two puriri trees at the corner of Waterloo Quadrant and Lower Symonds Street, opposite the Supreme Court building, and schoolchildren from various Auckland schools planted a number of other native trees and exotic shrubs.

The new concrete road was partially opened to traffic in June the following year, and a tram service began along it in February 1921 (one stop was the St Paul’s Church war memorial tram shelter which had been opened further up Symonds Street on 28 March 1920).

Auckland City Council donated a section in Anzac Avenue to the Auckland Women’s Patriotic League for a proposed Soldiers’ Club, but the scheme was never realized on the site.

Sources: ‘Memory of Brave Men’, NZ Herald, 1/12/1916, p. 9; ‘Changed Name Deplored’, NZ Herald, 29/6/1917, p. 4; ‘Anzac Avenue: Tree Planting Ceremony’, NZ Herald, 20/9/1918, p. 6; ‘The Soldiers’ Club’, NZ Herald, 5/6/1919, p. 7; ‘New Traffic Outlet’, Auckland Star, 10/7/1919, p. 7; G.W.A. Bush, Decently and in Order, Auckland, 1971, pp. 113, 116.

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