The West End of Palmerston North is Garry O'Neill's third book in a series, to be launched on Saturday.

The former principal of Lady of Lourdes School said he researched and wrote the book over four years.

However, there was a time in those four years where he ran out of steam, but was urged on by Mary Earle to complete the book.

Garry received a "Creativity and Research" grant from the Earle Creativity and Development Trust to write his third book.


"Hokowhitu was to be my last book but I was persuaded to carry on with my research because the books are very valuable for new residents."

Garry says his interest in the history of Palmerston North was piqued by his mother Molly O'Reagan.

"As a young girl she used to drive a gig into the city and she shared these stories with me when I was very young.

"The research brought back the stories my mother told me," another reason that Garry enjoyed the research for his books.

"I found out about the unusual, the things that are different. It's a bit of fun, I enjoyed it."

The in-depth history of the West End covers the Scandanavian settlement in the 1870s where the European settlers were given a Crown grant of 16ha.

"It took them 10 years to pay for the land but it was flooded by the Kowhai and Mangaone streams which ruined their homes, so they moved away."

Garry said he was grateful to work with Tanenuiarangi Manawatu chief executive Danielle Harris (ONZM) for her knowledge of the Rangitaane sale of land and its loss of tribal reserves.

The Slack family and the land known as Riverdale, the Wai Toi Toi land renamed Ahimate Park, the story of Maxwells Line and the "fascinating story of James Linton" are some of the researched stories in Garry's book of The West End.

Garry's first two books, Terrace End 2009 and Hokowhitu 2012 are also being reprinted and will be available at the launch and in Paper Plus and Bruce McKenzie Booksellers.

In 2015 Garry was honoured for his research prowess and named senior historian for Palmerston North.

Launch of The West End of Palmerston North, 2pm Saturday, Floor 2, Palmerston North Library.