We were cruising slowly by Avebury Park ,(slowly on account of the distressed road surface), when I spotted a chicken near the herbaceous border on the far side of the Park lawn. So I parked the car and went for a closer look. Alas, by the time I reached the border the chicken had disappeared. But, seriously, folks, there was a chicken. No doubt she had strayed from a neighbouring property, unless the City Council now keeps chickens in its parks.
As I was leaving the Park, a small boy was dawdling on his ownsome towards the entrance gate. He was very absorbed in a stick and the pathway. Suddenly, he looked up, saw me and said very forthrightly, “What is your name? ” I told him and he announced, equally forthrightly, “My name is Ray”. And sure enough, just as he said it, a call came from across the park, ” Ray, where are you? Hurry up.” And off he hurried. I wonder if he thought I was as strange a sight as the stray hen.
The homestead at Avebury Park has lived many lives. At one time, it was the city’s first youth hostel and called the Cora Wilding Youth Hostel. Our city was home to Cora Wilding. She was instrumental in establishing the youth hostel movement in New Zealand. Here is a beautiful spot in the Park where one can sit and reflect on what is, what was and what is yet to be in this lovely part of our city.