Born in Denmark and emigrating to NZ in 1875, Oscar Alpers had a varied career in Christchurch with success as an actor, teacher, journalist and lawyer. In 1925 he took his seat on the bench as a Supreme Court Judge. These extracts describing his home at 55 Fendalton Road are from his biography written by his son Antony Alpers.
During the autumn of 1911… O.T.J. was having a house built, off Fendalton Road beside the Wairarapa Stream … The sweeping lawns slope down to the river still, admired by envious tourists in hired punts who probably imagine they are looking at the one-time home of a wealthy man. p128.
The house was designed for O.T.J. by Cecil Wood… It is a good example of his early work… facing the driveway of Mona Vale. Because there was flax growing down by the stream when he bought the section, O.T.J. named the house Linburn. In 1989 there was still wild flax nearby. p114.
After their marriage in 1911 O.T.J. and Natalie were seldom apart … Linburn, of pre-war serenity, made a tranquil setting for a life of domesticity… Each evening at dusk a hundred noisy rooks high up in the Humphreys’ gum trees just across the river. p132.
The Humphreys then lived at Daresbury, 67 Fendalton Road. 55 Fendalton Road is still there but its Fendalton Road frontage has been split off with a townhouse built on the site.
Oscar Alpers was deeply involved in his community as the many mentions of him The Press newspaper attest.
Alpers, O.T.J. Confident tomorrows: a biographical self-portrait of O.T.J. Alpers, 1867 - 1927. Auckland, N.Z.: Godwit Press, 1993.
- Looser, Frieda Fendall's legacy: a history of Fendalton and North-west Christchurch. Christchurch, N.Z.: Canterbury University Press, 2002
- O J T Alpers Articles in The Press, from Papers Past