Situated at 128 Abel Smith Street on the shoulder of the bypass, is Wellington’s Radical Social Centre.
This rundown vintage home is these days utilised as a community centre of many functions.
Behind the peeled paint timber walls lies a bike workshop, an anarchist library, space for art creation / screen printing and band rehearsals. It is a meeting place for marginalised genders and offers those in need without a roof, a place to stay. Locals or travelers, all are welcome. There is no discrimination.
The Centre distributes free bread and fresh produce to the homeless or needy, kindly donated by market gardeners and local businesses.
Sometimes there’d be someone sitting around outside, smiling and eager to chat for bit. On my last visit, I met an old homeless woman who had turned up to get some fruit. She handed me a small bag of apples. I took a couple out and handed the bag back into the box to go to someone more needing of them than myself. Bloody nice apples they were too!
I spent much time with friends in places like this, in Auckland and on road trips around the country with bands, during the mid eighties.
The diversity, openness, sharing, communal living, friendship, music and art appreciation and the good old honest, Punk Rock D.I.Y ethic, that I still hold close at heart, to this day.
Places like these are very much needed within the communities. Long may they live on!