In 1993, the Victoria Neighbourhood Group opened this reserve in one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Christchurch. In nearby streets such as Beveridge, Conference, Peacock and Montreal still showcase some of the old worker’s cottages and villas. Most of them have been well looked after and are of great character! These little whares are well over 100 years old.
The reserve is named after Reverend John Aldred (1818 – 1894) who owned that very land during his life in Christchurch. John was born in Suffolk, England. Ordained in 1830, he was selected for missionary service in the south seas.
He arrived in New Zealand in 1840 and began his work in Wanganui and Taranaki. Later the same year, he became the first Wesleyan missionary in Port Nicholson (Wellington). In 1842, it was another first when he took his missionary work to the Chathams.
In 1843, John made the move to Nelson – just before the Wairau Massacre – where he took over the Wesleyan Mission there. Not one to stay still, over the next 14 years he would do his missionary work in the Hutt Valley, Canterbury, Dunedin and Wellington again. While in Christchurch, he opened the first Wesleyan Chapel.
In 1867, while riding his horse, he met with an accident that resulted in him retiring from the church. He settled down in Christchurch and spent most of his time in the British and Foreign Bible Society.
John died in Christchurch in 1894.
*photo taken by Annette Bulovic*