Heroes, humps and haunted house

TALIA CARLISLE
Last updated 05:00 04/04/2014

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The Wellingtonian

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The name Freyberg is associated with Freyberg Pool, Freyberg Beach and Sir Bernard Freyberg, the war hero and former Governor-General.

However, Freyberg St in Lyall Bay is named after his brother.

Paul Milton Freyberg was a member of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force Rifle Brigade. He died of wounds in France in 1917.

Paul Freyberg was the second of five brothers, including sub- lieutenant Oscar Freyberg, who was also killed in the war.

The street was originally Tainui Tce, but was renamed to honour the war hero.

Freyberg St is an 800-metre road that runs from Lyall Pde to Queens Dr, and splits in two near Lyall Bay School.

It passes through Rua, Toru and Wha Streets (2, 3 and 4 in Maori). Tahi St, which means 1, is in Miramar.

The Wellingtonian reader Pauline Swann said she had many happy childhood memories growing up in Lyall Bay in the 1930s and 40s.

"I can remember southerly busters and gutters filled with sand all the way up Freyberg St," she wrote to us last year.

St Jude's Anglican Church, Rongotai Plunket Centre and Lyall Bay School are located in Freyberg St.

Lyall Bay School has undergone many upgrades since opening as Maranui School on February 1, 1909. The named changed in about 1917 when the name of the suburb changed.

The school began with 178 pupils, and the roll swelled to 844 by the mid-1920s.

Numbers gradually declined over the next 60 years, reaching an all-time low of 216 in 1989.

However, the area became more desirable because of its flat land and seaside location. Significant infill housing, cafes and the Lyall Bay Retail Park were developed as a result.

Lyall Bay School enrolments increased again and today the roll is more than 400. A school zone was implemented in 2013 to manage ongoing roll growth.

About five years ago the school acquired property on its southern boundary.

Along with the land, it acquired an old building, which housed a squatter and was dubbed the "haunted house" by students until it was removed.

A new five-classroom complex was built on the southern site in 2012, followed by four more junior school classrooms in 2013, at a total cost of about $2.5 million. A further $600,000 was also invested into playground development which transformed the grounds from its former "concrete jungle".

No sooner had the school's issues with roll numbers been dealt with than a new problem arose: drivers speeding past the school.

Two e-petitions were set up on the Wellington City Council website last year, one to install speed humps, one opposing them.

The pro-speed hump petition was presented to the council's strategy and policy committee last June. There are still no speed humps in Freyberg St.

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- The Wellingtonian

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