Monday, April 4, 2011

Eden Street gets a web site

On the weekend the Friends of the Janet Frame House in Oamaru unveiled their brand new web site.

Congratulations to them, and welcome to the internet!

It will now be easier for culturally-inclined tourists to find information about the Oamaru house where Janet Frame spent most of her childhood. They can access contact details, the current opening hours, notice of events to be held at the house or organised by the Eden Street Trust, etc.

Please note that the "Janet Frame Eden Street Trust" which owns and cares for the house at 56 Eden Street, Oamaru, has no formal connection with the "Janet Frame Literary Trust" which is the charitable trust that Janet Frame herself founded in order to manage her literary estate.

Except of course, that the Literary Trust and the Eden Street Trust are friends!

We're united in our admiration and respect for Janet Frame and our wish to protect and care for her legacy and promote her work.

Another misunderstanding that sometimes arises is the idea that members of the Frame family are responsible for the care of 56 Eden Street. I'm often asked if I live there! But the Frame family never owned the house at 56 Eden Street, they just rented it, so the property at 56 Eden Street has no legal connection with any members of the Frame family either.

Although speaking for myself, I'm always deeply moved to visit the house, because of my family connections with it as well as my own awe that it was the childhood home of one of the great writers of the world.

When I visited the house a few days ago, a fantail flew into the house through an open door and stayed for a while, flying from room to room, before finally being persuaded to leave. Beliefs about such an event vary, but many New Zealanders regard such a visitation by a fantail as a deeply spiritual event suggesting a link between one world and the next. It certainly impressed those of us who witnessed it.

A fantail visits 56 Eden Street

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