106-year-old prescription book found

02:26, Jan 02 2013
1906 prescription book
HISTORIC: This 1906 prescription book was found in a quake-damaged building.

A Christchurch optometrist did not expect to find prescription books dating back to 1906 in his earthquake-destroyed business.

John Veale, the owner of one of Christchurch's oldest optometry practices, unearthed prescription books cataloguing clients' details and notes about their glasses.

"What I find really interesting is that not a lot has changed since then," he said. "We use computers an awful lot, but we still do hard copies and keep paper records of all our prescriptions."

John Veale
SLICE OF HISTORY: Optometrist John Veale with an historic prescription book.

Veale said his business was founded in 1906 by Australian George Sevicke-Jones, who built the Sevicke-Jones building in 1926 that stood in Cathedral Square until it was demolished after sustaining major damage in the February 2011 quake.

"We left Cathedral Square in 1999 because the building was getting a bit run down and we moved into Gloucester St [opposite the Central Library] and we changed the name to Veale & Hulme," he said.

The central-city building also sustained damage in the quakes and received a red sticker before being knocked down.


"About eight of us went in in June and salvaged all the small stuff, but things like the big chairs we used to have, we lost those," Veale said.

"And then John [Hulme] and I were unpacking and clearing things out, and that's when we found the books."

Veale described the find as a "slice of history".

"I'm not a hoarder, but the books are classic," he said.

Veale opened Merivale Optical in Papanui Rd about four weeks ago.

The Press