Milton Church hall featured in many lives

Glen Taylor, of Milton, at home with her book on the old St John's Anglican Church hall. Photo by...
Glen Taylor, of Milton, at home with her book on the old St John's Anglican Church hall. Photo by Helena de Reus.
A town's social history has come to light in a book written by a Milton resident.

Glen Taylor (74) will next month launch her book on the former St John's Church hall and the social history of Milton.

Her 52-page book The Old Church Hall: Saint John's Anglican Church Hall 1897 to 2005 shares stories about the demolished hall and Milton society.

"The best part were the hilarious stories. Whatever happened in Milton, happened in that hall."

Mrs Taylor said she thought to write the book in 2005 when she saw an old man leaning on his walking stick looking lost while bulldozers moved in and began to be demolish the hall.

"I looked at him, and knew his whole life was centred on the church. It wasn't just a church hall, it was a Milton hall."

Before the contractors moved, Mrs Taylor was one of many people who sorted through items left in the hall.

"As we sorted through everything, all these wonderful stories emerged as long-lost treasures were found and many began talking about the 'good old days'. A lot of Milton's social history is centred around that old hall."

The St John's Anglican Church hall was built in 1897, and was originally mooted as a place to hold Sunday school.

The project soon included a kitchen and a stage, and the hall became a place for social functions as well church functions.

"The ladies groups were the force behind the hall - they kept it going."

The book took Mrs Taylor longer than she expected, as family matters and illnesses intervened.

"The church was hugely supportive during the rough times.

"The book is my thank-you present to them."

Mrs Taylor said her husband, Martin, was also very supportive.

"Martin is quite proud of me, I think."

A book launch will be held in the St John's Anglican Church at 7.30pm on October 5, and photos of the hall and events held there will be displayed alongside the book.

helena.dereus@odt.co.nz

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