The Story of No 1 Parnell, Rawene, Hokianga.
No 1 Parnell is a historic building dating back to the early 1900's when it was owned by A S Andrewes and Sons who established a family grocery business. A son, Barry Andrewes, recalls his family's memories of goods being delivered to the Rawene wharf by boat from Auckland in two ships The Ronaki and The Hokianga.
In more recent years The Ferry House was owned by businesswoman Catherine Donaldson:
"My mother bought it as a grocery and haberdashery store, then turned it into a tearoorm during the war. The Andrewes provided a wonderful service for the town which extended to giving credit to customers who couldn't pay their grocery bills during the Depression. In those days groceries were delivered to people's homes and they paid for their goods on a monthly basis. Benzine was sold in wooden boxes and four gallon tins. Mrs Donaldson sold The Ferry House to John Post, who now runs the Bed and Breakfast the "Postmasters Lodgings"
In 2001 John Post ran a successful restaurant, bar, boutique, antique and holiday shoppe with curios and collectables. In 2005 ownership changed once again with Dr Bill Adams-Smith Educational Trust buying the property. It was used for a period as an art gallery and studio by local artist Dallon August but then was unoccupied and deteriorated for a number of years while up for sale.
In 2013 the building was purchased by Linda Blincko and Lynn Lawton who work at the Depot Artspace in Devonport. The Depot is a multi faceted creative community, with galleries, recording studios, professional development programme for artists, Depot publications and a host of other initiatives.
They have lovingly restored the building as a social conscious art space providing opportunties for artists to develop greater sustainability and for the community to have a space to hold creative events. Local Kaikohe builder, Malcolm Kildare, has been project manager and lovingly and with great care carried out the restoration and refurbishment work.
Though the restored building today is a far cry from the old Andrewes Store, No.1’s wooden floor still shows off its indentation, the place where customers stood behind the shop counter to purchase and pass the time of day.