Former Hutt Valley YMCA Memorial Hut

After the First World War, the men of the NZEF who formed part of the Army of Occupation in Germany raised funds to build a memorial commemorating the work undertaken by the YMCA during the war. This eventually took the form of a ‘Memorial Hut’ to house the activities of the then Hutt Valley branch of the YMCA.

Governor-General Lord Bledisloe opened and dedicated the Memorial Hut on the corner of Cuba and Manchester Streets, Petone, on 4 November 1934. The single storey-building incorporated spaces for three shops on the Cuba Street frontage with a YMCA lounge room and a gymnasium behind. A second storey was planned, although never built. (A second building was opened and dedicated in Birch Street on 31 July 1941, although this does not seem to have had memorial status.)

The original Memorial Hut later fell into disuse and was closed about 1965, after which the building was leased out for some years. The Petone YMCA was dissolved in 1983. The building was sold in March 2006 and the proceeds have since been applied to other YMCA activities.

See: ‘Y.M.C.A. Memorial Hut’, Hutt News, 20/6/1934, p. 5; ‘Memorial Hut: Hutt Valley Y.M.C.A: Dedication Ceremony’, Evening Post, 5/11/1934, p. 3, [illus. p. 7]; ‘Y.M.C.A. Memorial Hut in Petone’, Press, 7/11/1934, p. 9; ‘Dedication Ceremony and Charter Concert’, Hutt News, 30/7/1941, p. 5; ‘A New Y.M.C.A: Birch Street Hall Dedicated’, Press, 6/8/1941, p. 5; Pemsel Staff, YMCA New Zealand Soldiers Great War Memorial Trust, 2016.

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