This article is part of the Reminisce topic. Below are more articles in this topic.
This article has been submitted by a GrownUps member. GrownUps accepts no liability for its content and the views and information contained within are not necessarily those of the GrownUps website.
There are no trees on the top now, but I remember when we were kids at home, that there was one tree and I believe that at some stage there were two, but in 1960 one of them was cut down. Originally there was a Pohutukawa at the top, which gave the hill it’s original English name. Unfortunately it was cut down in an act of vandalism in 1852. In 1994 the tree known to many Aucklanders, was attacked with a chain saw followed by a similar attack in 2000 which left the tree in a state of non recovery. Eventually the tree was completely removed for safety reasons.
“One Tree Hill (also known as Maungakiekie) is a volcanic peak located in Auckland. It is an important memorial place for both Maori and other New Zealanders. The suburb around the base of the hill is also called One Tree Hill. The hill's scoria cones erupted 20,000 - 30,000 years ago, creating lava flows that covered an area of 20 square kilometres, mostly towards Onehunga, making it the largest (in terms of area covered) of the Auckland volcanic field. The summit provides views across the Auckland area, and allows visitors to see both of Auckland's harbours”
So why the story, well as children this was our playground. In those days there was no TV, no video games, no X Boxes and such like, so we made our own games and fun. Most weekends our usual gathering of mates from around the neighbourhood would meet at one of the houses and then we would all go to the hill. We even had our own name for it. We called it, “oney” as in 1E. Often we would say to our dad that we were going up oney and he new where we were going. We would play all day, either on sleds in what we called the crater, or just run around all over the hill. We would also explore the many caves, some of which were so hidden that there location was only known to a selected few. It’s probably what kept us so fit. I lost track of the number of times that I actually walked to the summit. What a view! Strange thing was that, although we didn’t have a watch, no matter where we were, we always new when it was time to go home because dad would stand on our back porch and call out, and we would always hear him. Many times on a Saturday afternoon, we would go to the local cinema to see a western and then the following day we would go to the hill and reinact it. I hated being the Indian, as they always got killed, but then we would get up again and say “you missed me” We used to wear hankies over our faces so no-one would recognise us, which looking back it was a bit silly, as we all knew each other. We had home made guns, mostly made of just a piece of wood and a nail for the trigger. Any one who had a real toy gun was always the sheriff. Also back then there were sheep and cows everywhere, with the occasional geese which would chase us if we got too close. We had to be careful where we put our feet as there were droppings all over the place.
It’s not only the trees that are gone now, as I remember the Cornwall Park Hospital, which was built by the Americans and had a main corridor that was a mile long. There was also a small shop by the children’s playground just inside the Manukau Road entrance. Then there was an old folk’s home just below the Sorrento. When I was in the scouts, we used to frequent the Scout hall at the Olive grove. One of the best things was the trolley derby’s that were held between Twin Oaks Drive and Campbell Road. Now all gone but not forgotten. Unlike the derby’s of today, ours trolleys were made of a few pieces of wood with rope to the front axel for steerage and a box to sit in. No bakes, no helmets and many a scraped knee. The do gooders of today would not have approved.
I often think about the fun times we had and wonder what ever happened to my friends and if they are telling their children of the good times that were had by all.
Unfortunately the youth of today will never know the great times and mates that we had as there are too many electronic devises to amuse them. We do see from time to time, parents with their children having picnics at the hill, but watching them it doesn’t seem the same.