Anything Is Possible by Alan Stanton
1979 Alan Stanton was "just a kid with a crazy dream". Today, through the
inspirational restoration project he initiated, Fairfield House in Nelson has
been transformed from a demolition ready wreck, to a beautiful, publicly
owned, heritage venue.
to save Fairfield from being pulled down, armed with just a primus stove and
sleeping bag, a young Alan moved in and squatted. He soon became honorary
caretaker and rapidly ignited in countless others the seemingly impossible idea
of restoring to its former glory this one time home of the influential
years ago in 2007, Alan suffered a major stroke. This prompted a second major project: the writing of Fairfield's restoration
journey. The completion of this book has been at the top of Alan's ‘bucket
list' since he was diagnosed with motor neuron disease in June this year.
as the renovation itself became a collaborative community effort, getting the
book Anything is Possible to press
in time for Alan to see it in print, has turned into a group affair, with
support from local designer Galen King and publisher Robbie Burton of Craig
manager Rachael Ennor says Anything is
Possible is an inspirational story:
describes the many challenges they faced - lack of money, blocked drains, bees
in the roof, dry rot in the walls, no glass in the windows and bureaucracy all
around," she says. "He describes how a small, tenacious group of committed people
with a common vision can make a lasting difference."
the book touches on the story of Fairfield House, from its early days as a
workman's cottage to the grandeur of the Atkinson years, through to its time as
a college boarding house and its abandonment - the book focuses on the 1980's
resurrection, the building of community, and the appreciation of heritage.
Alan≠s message is that with inspiration, determination, love and hard work,
anything really is possible.
Anything is Possible chronicles the adventures of Fairfield's
glorious resurrection: Major house parts are mysteriously returned; a vibrant
committee, Friends of Old Fairfield, (FOOF) is brought to life and kiwi practical
ingenuity, born of financial necessity, is beautifully portrayed. Along the way
there are reflections and anecdotes about life, sport, employment and politics,
which Rachael says are all written in Alan≠s easy, humorous and approachable
Stanton was born in Dunedin in 1945, brought up in Auckland and has spent most
of his adult life in Nelson. After training in accounting and a period
teaching, Alan successfully ran a small business making Tree Toys from native
woods. He and his wife Christine live at Silkwood, near Mapua.
is Possible will be launched at Fairfield at 5pm on Thursday November 21, all
welcome. The event will include theatre from Body in Space, inspired by Alan's
Copies of Alan's book can be bought directly from this site for $35 (normal retail price is $39.99)
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100% of the proceeds of sales through this site go directly to Fairfield House.
Many thanks to the generosity of donors who have paid for the book's production costs.
We would like to acknowledge the Kereru Trust for their generous support.