This sign by tile artist Jan Morrison (1994) stands at the northern entrance to Henderson (map), where Great North Road crosses the Opanuku stream. The minutes of the Henderson Community Board tell us that this as well as its southern counterpart is an “Entry Statement”, constructed at the time of the Henderson 150th Celebration.
The predominant theme is a celebration of the local viticulture, with a fantail flitting into the frame from the left.
1844 marks the year when Thomas Henderson and his brother-in-law John MacFarlane reached an agreement with local Maori regarding the transfer of a block of land. In the years that followed, this became a centre for milling kauri obtained from the Waitakere ranges (“Henderson’s Mill”); the developing settlement later became known as Henderson. One may well wonder with the Timespanner blog if this date of 1844 can legitimately be construed to be the ‘founding’ of Henderson. It would be interesting to know if there were analogous celebrations 50 or 100 years earlier; maybe it was simply time for a good party in 1994…
At the Southern entry point of Henderson, by the bridge of Great North Road over the Oratia Stream (map) stands a corresponding sign:
This sign is also by Jan Morrison (1994). It was vandalised a year after its installation, but restored in 2002 thanks to the generosity of local businessman Ross Harvey.
On this entry statement we find kowhai blossom and a tui on the top, with the grapes acknowledging the winemaking tradition of the region.