Street History: Moorefield Rd

ROBERT JOHNSON
Last updated 14:06 14/06/2012

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The Wellingtonian

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Most people in Johnsonville can cite numerous examples of the influence of the Moore family in the area.

Alex Moore Park, Frankmoore Ave and Moorefield Rd were named after members of the iconic Johnsonville family.

Moorefield Rd was originally two separate streets - Moore Rd, which went north of Broderick Rd and Field St, which ran south from Broderick Rd.

The road, which runs directly through Johnsonville, takes in some important landmarks, such as Alex Moore Park, the Johnsonville train station and the local community centre.

James Moore Sr was born in Ireland and arrived in Wellington in May, 1857, on the colony ship Alma.

He was employed by the Wellington Provincial Government, where he was promoted to the position of overseer and inspector of public road works in 1864.

Frank Thomas Moore, born in 1867 and the eldest of 11 siblings, was the manager of the Wellington Meat Export Company freezing works in Ngauranga in 1892.

He was employed by the Premier, Richard Seddon, to prepare a report on the state of the refridgeration industry for Government.

Frank Moore gained national notoriety in 1902, when he was charged with attempting to kill the acting Premier, Sir Joseph Ward, after comments he made about how freezing companies were treating farmers.

It seems there were no legal consequences. Frank Moore was elected chairman of the Johnsonville Town Board in 1905.

His younger brother, Alex Moore, was born in 1882 and also became chairman of the town board, holding the position for 12 years.

Alex Moore was president of the Johnsonville Cricket Club for more than 10 years and president of the Johnsonville Rugby Club.

The suburb's main sports ground, Alex Moore Park, was named after him in 1951.

The Moore family were large contributors to sport in Johnsonville, most notably in cricket.

Alan Isaac's book, 125 Years of Village Cricket - Up in the Hills, mentions the time James Moore won the cricket club's 150-yard race and the three-legged race, and says Frank Moore took 80 wickets at an average of 2.81 in a season.

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