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The Story of Madills Farm
In pre-European times the Madills Farm area was a lagoon and raupo swamp. The general area was known by Maori as Waipara ra - meaning duck water, after the pārera or native grey duck that thrived in these local wetlands areas.
Up until the late 1920's - punts were used as transport across the lagoon.
In 1842 the Crown sold a 200-acre block between the beach and Kohimarama Rd to a Captain Porter.
In 1860 the land was then on-sold to Bishop Patterson of the Melanesian Mission (for £3,500).
It was in 1919 that Mr William Madill - a local farmer took over the lease of a 119 acres block - that included the Madills Farm Reserve area.
More Recent History:
In 1943 the Melanesian Trust Board sub-divided the land from Speights Rd to Kohimarmara Rd. The development was to include 550 new houses, a group of shops now known at the Melanesia shops, and a 30-acre space to be set aside as reserve land to be developed by the Council for recreational purposes.
Council did not finalise the purchase of this land until 1959, and in the meantime, the land had been used for land-fill and was known by the locals as the "dust bowl", it was a wilderness of wattle, blackberry bushes and weeds.
In 1964, 3ha at the southern end of the Reserve was levelled and a child's playground built. The remaining 27ha was not developed until the late 1970s when tons of soil were brought in and the area was levelled and grassed.
In 1980, Council built the current facility on Madills Farms, which provided for the tractor and implement sheds, the committee room for the local community board, and changing rooms and toilets.
In the late 1980s, the Eastern Suburbs Associated Football Club was granted the lease for the building and the winter use of the sports fields. The tractor sheds and committee room were converted into our current clubrooms.