Acabamos de encontrarnos con que, a lo largo de este mes de septiembre, se ha creado una entrada en la edición en inglés de la Wikipedia que recoge una descripcion del Basque Park (también llamado Basque Road Reserve) que se encuentra situado en el centro de la capital de Nueva Zelanda.

Curiosos por naturaleza, nos hemos preguntado ¿Por qué hay un parque en nuestras antípodas que lleva el nombre de nuestro país?. La verdad es que esperábamos, deseábamos, encontrar una explicación que implicase la presencia de alguno de esos vascos que salieron durante el siglo XIX a buscarse la vida por todos los rincones del globo.

La explicación, más bien la suposición, que hemos encontrado para explicar la aparición, en 1886, de una calle que llevaba el nombre de “Basque Road”, tiene que ver con una batalla naval acaecida durante las Guerras Napoleónicas entre la escuadra francesa y la escuadra británica,  junto a la Isla de Olleron y justo frente a La Rochelle. Esa zona de aguas protegidas es llamada Basque Roads.

Nos lo cuenta, en un extenso y detallado artículo, la página web Timespanner, que bucea en la historia de Auckland y de Nueva Zelanda. Aunque también es verdad que sólo supone que ésa es la explicación de que apareciese una calle  con esa denominación que luego, a su vez,  dio nombre al parque.

Lo que está claro es que sea por una batalla de las guerras Napoleónicas, sea por un vasco que se paso por allí y dejo su impronta. Hoy hay un Basque Park en Auckland.

Wikipedia –  7/9/2012 – USA

Basque Park

Basque Park is a north-facing reserve in Eden Terrace, central Auckland the largest city in New Zealand.[1] It is surrounded by Symonds Street, Newton Road, New North Road and the North Western Motorway. This green area was part of a group of important working class housing suburbs of New Zealand. Based in the most densely housed urban area in the country Basque Park served as a recreation area for the suburbs of Arch Hill and Newton. It was left in a bequest to Auckland City Council to be used as a recreation area for those working class families that were crowded in the gully between the Symonds Street and Great North Road ridges during the Depression where Eden Terrace, Arch Hill and Newton suburbs were found.

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Timespanner – 12/7/2012 . Nueva Zelanda

Basque Park

Un mapa de la zona, en la parte derecha del mismo se peude ver la calle Basque Road
A reader named Philip Kirk emailed me back in early May, asking the question: why was Basque Park established?
Short answer: because, at the time, it was felt that there were too many dingy houses in the neighbourhood, and the rest of the neighbourhood (of less dingy houses) needed a kiddie’s playground.
But – here’s the long answer.
In April 1938, the City Treasurer informed the Council Town Clerk that there were three sections in Basque Road, owned by executors of George Holdship, Auckland timber dealer in the last half of the 19th century, where the rates had remained unpaid since 1932. These sections were in a gully between part of Basque Street (now closed and part of the park) and Newton Street (now Norwich Street). The executors were open to the idea that, in lieu of the overdue rates, the Council could have title to the land. The Council thought this was an opportunity to set up a children’s playground there, and the Parks Committee considered a report by the City Engineer in October 1938, which supported the proposal and urged that work proceed quickly “so that advantage may be taken of subsidised labour.”
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Wikipedia

Basque Roads

Basque Roads is a sheltered bay on the Biscay shore of the Charente-Maritime département of France , bounded by the Île d’Oléron to the west and the Île de Ré to the north. The port of La Rochelle stands at the northeast corner of the roads, and the town of Rochefort is near the mouth of the Charente River to the south.

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Wikipedia

Battle of the Basque Roads

Carta náutica de la zona donde se produjo la batalla

The Battle of the Basque Roads, also Battle of Aix Roads (French: Bataille de l’île d’Aix, also Affaire des brûlots, rarely Bataille de la rade des Basques) was a naval battle during the Napoleonic Wars off the Island of Aix. On the night of 11 April 1809 Captain Lord Cochrane led a British fireship attack against a powerful squadron of French ships anchored in the Basque Roads. In the attack all but two of the French ships were driven ashore. The subsequent engagement lasted three days but failed to destroy the entire French fleet.

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