Story: Communes and communities

Bickerton's Federative Home, 1899

Bickerton's Federative Home, 1899

A group poses in front of the Federative Home at Wainoni, by the Avon River in Christchurch. The community was established by science professor and socialist Alexander Bickerton (seated at centre left, with beard and light-coloured shirt) in 1896. Until the initiative ended around 1903, about 30 people lived at the home, which boasted a billiard room, library, fernery, conservatories, painting studios and a photographic darkroom. The residents' highly organised social activities included bands, glee clubs, carving and art classes, and social evenings. Some residents also worked in community-run businesses, including a fireworks factory.

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Christchurch City Libraries
Reference: Canterbury Times, 5 April 1899

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How to cite this page:

Caren Wilton, 'Communes and communities - Early communities', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 13 August 2022)

Story by Caren Wilton, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 4 Apr 2018