how it all started...
Following the establishment of the Federation of Wellington Progressive and Residents' Associations in 1972 a residents' association was formed in the inner-city called The Flagstaff Hill Residents Association. The Association was established in 1976 and spread across the suburbs of Te Aro and Wellington Central. Its area of interest was bounded by the Everton Terrace Bridge to the north, the CBD to the east, Ghuznee Street to the south, and Victoria University of Wellington to the west. The Association's activities were intermittent.
On 17 June 2008 Grant Robertson (Labour Party candidate for Wellington Central and later MP) organised a meeting of inner-city residents to discuss the possible formation of a residents' association to consider ideas and issues of interest to their community. All three Lambton Ward Councillors (Iona Pannett, Stephanie Cook and Ian McKinnon) participated. During this early period local resident Gus Charteris facilitated several meetings of the group at the Southern Cross Tavern, Abel Smith Street in Te Aro.
On 8 September 2008 Mark Blumsky (National Party List MP and former Mayor of Wellington) organised a meeting of Cuba Street businesses and residents at the Tulsi Restaurant, 135 Cuba Street in Te Aro, to discuss the possible formation of a Cuba and Surrounds Business and Residents Association to also consider ideas and issues of interest to their community. Two of the Lambton Ward Councillors participated (Pannett and McKinnon).
Given the similar objectives of these two groups the parties agreed to unite and on 3 November 2008 at the Southern Cross Tavern, they formed an Inner-City Residents and Business Association. In that same month a constitution for the new entity was drafted and agreed upon. The organisation officially came into existence when it was incorporated on 19 January 2009 as the Wellington Inner-City Residents and Business Association. It held its inaugural AGM on 19 February 2009 at the Southern Cross Tavern. Following its AGM in April 2017 the organisation became known as Inner-City Wellington.
The first officers of the organisation were David Wood (President), Mark Blumsky (Vice President), Gus Charteris (Vice President), Cheryl Ferguson (Secretary) and Jamie Frazer (Treasurer). The first Committee which included two alternatives, compromised Stella Bridge, Grant Firth, Tony Hiles, Anna Locker-Lampson, Danny McGrath, Godfrey Nicholson, Jean Phipps, Rachel Wilkinson and Martin Young. The tenures of the early presidents were David Wood (2009-10), Gus Charteris (2010-11) and Geraldine (2011-17). On 8 March 2016 Geraldine was presented with the Wellington Community Champion Award by Grant Robertson (Wellington Central MP) for her services to the organisation.
The Founders of the organisation shall be acknowledged as Grant Robertson and Mark Blumsky. The Founding Day of the organisation (which occurred at the Southern Cross Tavern) shall be 3 November 2008. The organisation shall digitally preserve its history to include that of its personnel, milestones and achievements.
Photo credit: David Webb