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JOHN PLIMMER'S "ARK"

♦ OLD LANDMARK DISAPPEARING. The expansion of The Dominion, business demands more room for machinery and factory plants, and a, tender lias already been let to Messrs. Campbell and Burke, which will mean the erection of a substantial brick structure between the existing operating room on Plimmer's Steps and the bulk store on the Boulcott Street frontage. On this area has stood for about forty years the residence of the late Mr. John Plimmer, one of Wellington's pioneers and personalities. There lie drowsed and .dreamed towards the end of his days, always solicitous of the well-being of the beautiful old city garden which reached right down to the main building of The Dominion's present main office; and there in the fullness of liis days he died honoured and respected of men. Mr. Plimmer's house, now in the knacker's hands, was one of the rapidly-diminish-ing links between modern and old Wellington. It was'called "Plimmer's Ark" for a double reason, first because it sheltered "the father of Wellington," and secondly because of the quaint lines which appeared in letters of gold above the balcony. These wore: — "That Noah's Ark 'is existed There is nothing left to prove, But here is mine attested By the presence of the dove." And there sure enough was a golden dove, holding in its beak a golden olive branch. The lines had an inference, too. to the "Ark," which formerly restea deep in the beach on the present site of the Bank of Now Zealand, on the comer of Lambton Quay and Customhouse Quay. That "Ark" was the hull of the barque Inconstant, which struck on Barrett s Reef_ when entering the Heads, was towed in a sulking condition into Lambton Harbour, and beached somewhere near where the Free Public Library stands to-day. The vessel was offered for sale, bought by the late Mr. John Plimmer, and kedgod to Lambton Quay, or, as it was then known, Clay j Point. The Inconstant was a stout I oaken-built vessel, and served for many years as a storehouse, and on her deck was built the main shop, which did duty as business promises for many yearß. Then gradually the rooks and sandy beach thereabouts were reclaimed, and the "Ark" bccame "snowed under," so to speak. The hull, still sound as a bell, wits found when the excavations For tho foundations of the existing Bank of New Zealand were made, and the oaken chairs in the board-room are the last of the Inconstant'.? timbers. Having an affection for the old "Ark," tho late Mr. Plimmer enlivened its memory with the lines quoted, until many regarded tho old residence as tho "Ark," and called it such. Now its time has come. Tnr. Dominion will persist in growing, and that growth necessitates tho demolition of tbe old landmark, so that in a day or two not even the golden dove will attest the existence of the "Ark." The old house was linnri-builb, and all its timbers appear to be as sound as the day they wcro first assembled.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/DOM19150401.2.34

Bibliographic details

JOHN PLIMMER'S "ARK", Dominion, Volume 8, Issue 2425, 1 April 1915

Word Count
508

JOHN PLIMMER'S "ARK" Dominion, Volume 8, Issue 2425, 1 April 1915

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