Portobello Public Library marks 150th anniversary

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Former librarian Wendy Morris, who worked in Portobello Public Library for 30 years from 1980, cuts a cake in the library on Saturday to celebrate its 150th anniversary since opening in 1870. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

The Portobello Public Library celebrated its 150th anniversary on Saturday.

Library president Edna Stevenson said about 50 people celebrated at the library.

“It was a lovely celebration together.”

Portobello School pupils made a display about their enjoyment of reading for the celebration.

The library started in a cupboard at the school 150 years ago, before moving to its current location in the front room of Coronation Hall.

Another display made for the celebration featured books published 150 years ago, including Around the World in 80 Days, Black Beauty and The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer.

The work of library treasurer and secretary Laurel Dunn, of Broad Bay, for helping organise the celebration needed to be acknowledged, she said.

Portobello Public Library librarian Dot Steentjes, of Portobello, said the cost of running the library was paid for by the Peninsula Libraries Trust.

The trust covers the cost by leasing land it owns in Portobello, near the New Zealand Marine Studies Centre.

The land was “taken by the Crown for defence purposes”.

“They thought there might be an invasion up Otago Harbour.”

When the risk of invasion abated, the land was given back to the people, via the trust, to maintain library services on the peninsula.

Funds raised were shared by libraries in Macandrew Bay, Portobello and Pukehiki.