Devonport Heritage (2017) Inc is governed through a committee of volunteers who contribute the furthering the objectives and mission of the society. The committee meet monthly.
TRish deans - Chair
Trish Deans has advocated for heritage preservation in Devonport since 1995. As an early member of the first Devonport Heritage, Trish sought to ensure that the significance of Devonport’s historic character could not be undermined, damaged or overlooked.
Trish grew up on a dairy farm outside of Te Awamutu where her interest and passion for understanding and valuing the stories of the previous generations began.
She remembers her father finding stone adzes as they walked through the paddocks. Trish grew up in awe of the shape, weight and the story that lay behind them.
Trish attended Auckland University and completed a B.A. in English and Anthropology. Later completing a Diploma in Teaching and a Diploma in Dispute Resolution. Trish worked for many years in the education sector as a Department Head of English and as a Secondary School Assistant Principal.
Trish and her family have lived in Devonport for many years but also spent time living in Glasgow. In the holiday breaks the family travelled across Europe and visiting the old cities fuelled her appreciation for heritage.
“In Warsaw they rebuilt their old city after WW2, with only four facades standing and using the rubble that was littered around them. They had to achieve this rebuild surreptitiously while a hostile Communist Government frowned on their activities. The Polish community wanted their heritage back.”
Trish has a passionate interest in retaining NZ’s built and natural heritage,
“We need to acknowledge and understand the legacy that we have been left from the earliest times. What we have is unique.”
Margot Mcrae - Deputy Chair
Margot McRae has been campaigning for the protection of Devonport’s heritage since 1995 and received a Queen’s Service medal for her efforts in 2017.
She grew up in Christchurch and as a teenager, came to value all things old and historic. Her family has deep connections to Banks Peninsula and the beautiful historic village of Akaroa had a strong impact on her developing love of heritage.
She attended Canterbury University in the old neo gothic stone buildings (now the Arts Centre in central Christchurch) where she received a BA in English and a diploma in journalism.
Margot spent many years as a journalist and later a playwright. Her first play Finding Murdoch had three productions.
She settled in Devonport in 1993 and has lived here with her family ever since.
She served on two local school boards, as a Devonport Community Board member and became a member of Devonport Heritage in the mid 1990’s.
She joined the board of the Victoria Theatre Trust in 2008 and has been instrumental in the re-opening and revival of the Victoria Theatre.
Margot continues to make short documentaries about heritage houses and theatre restorations in Auckland.