Topic: Calvert Road (TDN 11/03/2017)
In the 1840s the Wesleyan Missionary Society purchased land at Ngamotu. Today we know the area as the 'Whiteley Leases'. The eastern boundary was formed by a road subsequently named after a missionary called Calvert.
Reverend James Calvert was born in England in 1813 and dedicated his life to the Wesleyan missionary movement. He spent many years in Fiji and later South Africa, only visiting New Zealand in his latter years. Importantly, his fellow missionaries in New Zealand thought so highly of him that they named Calvert Road in New Plymouth after him. By the early 1900s, the small settlement formed around lower Calvert Road was known by locals as 'Ahoroa'.
In 1923 bowling enthusiasts developed an area of low-lying swampy land at the corner of Calvert Rd and St Aubyn St that was a part of the Whiteley Leases. They drained the area, laid out bowling greens, and formed the Paritutu Bowling Club. In 1978, following much debate, the land was sold to the bowling club for $29,000. It was the first time any of the Whiteley lease land had been sold to a private body. All previous land sales were completed to allow public works such as roads and the railway.
The religious flavour of the area was maintained in the early 1920s when the Roman Catholic Church purchased the 'Heidelberg Estate' beside Calvert Road. St. Joseph's School was built and officially opened in October 1926.
It was originally intended that Calvert Road should connect through to Lyn Street. In the 1950s the council decided the expanding city needed more sports fields so the area of Lynmouth Park was separated off and developed for cricket and football.