Arrival of ‘grand old dame’ big step for food initiative

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Arrival of ‘grand old dame’ big step for food initiative

Arrival of ‘grand old dame’ big step for food initiative

A new food initiative in Roskill South, Communities Feeding Communities Initiative (CFCI), has reached a major milestone with the arrival of Victoria Hall from its former Presbyterian Church site in Avondale.

The hall was moved in two parts to the CFCI site, 1207 Dominion Road, in two stages last week.

Presbyterian Support Northern Community Relationship manager Anne Overton says it’s a huge milestone for the initiative.

“This grand old dame of a building has a lovely spirit and stood to be demolished before we claimed her.

“It’s going to be wonderful to see her brought back to life and be at the heart of what we want to do here.”

Victoria Hall has served the community in Avondale as a spiritual space of belonging for the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand. Its historical tapestry has helped linked diverse Pacific cultures together to the New Zealand spiritual landscape.

Overton says Victoria Hall will be renovated over the next few months and then opened up to locals for community meetings and hui, workshops and classes.

Overton hopes to install a commercial kitchen sometime in the next year, as funds allow, and have locals come in to teach international cuisine cooking classes. It will be a key part of CFCI operations.

Northern Presbytery Rev Fa’amanu Akeripa, who is based at the CFCI site, says he hopes that the hall will help create a new sense of spirituality among the community.

“It is exciting that the hall will be at the heart of the Roskill South community. For me, it is about building a sense of ownership for the people and that they will in the long term see this as their spiritual home for Roskill South.”

While renovations are underway, a nature play area for children will be installed, garden allotments created, community gardens planted and a pizza oven for neighbourhood picnics built into the surrounding grounds.

CFCI is a new model for feeding people in need through a centralised community food initiative. It has been developed by social services provider Presbyterian Support Northern (PSN) in conjunction with Northern Presbytery, Saint Kentigern Girls & Boys Schools, other local schools, major food producers and growers, and the local community.

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