Prior to the establishment of the Veterans Home (as it was first known) in 1903, the land was owned by Alfred Buckland, a prominent Auckland businessman and land-owner (Buckland’s Beach was named after him). The 223 hectares operated as a farm and was known as “Three Kings Farm”.
The establishment of the Veterans Home came about at the suggestion of the Governor of New Zealand at the time, Lord Ranfurly, when peace was declared after the Boer War in South Africa in 1902.
“His Excellency laid the foundation stone of the Veterans Home at the Three Kings Farm. The selection of the date was happy, being that chosen for the celebration of Empire Day, more particularly because also the home is intended to serve a second purpose in becoming a national memorial to those New Zealand heroes who, to the number of more than 200, laid down their lives for the Empire in South Africa.”
Lord Ranfurly 1902
By this time in New Zealand there was an aging veteran population. The first occupants of the Ranfurly Veterans Home when it opened in 1903 included veterans of the Crimean War (1854-1856) and New Zealand Wars (1845-1872).
Over time Ranfurly House was added to, particularly after World War II. In recent years, as Veteran numbers dwindled, the property gradually fell into disrepair. The development now underway is a partnership between Ranfurly Trust, the owner of the land, and Retirement Assets, an experienced boutique retirement village developer and operator. Under the partnership, the village is being developed for all Auckland retirees to have access to and enjoy, and Ranfurly House is being renovated and restored to its original glory.
Ranfurly House is a National War Monument and we can think of no better use than as the village centrepiece, and we will take great pride in maintaining this piece of heritage in the years to come.
In 2013, Retirement Assets supported by the Ranfurly Trust and Auckland RSA, completed a restoration of Lord Ranfurly's derelict grave situated in Lansdowne Cemetery, Bath, England. A rededication ceremony was conducted onsite by the Archdeacon of Bath, and attendees included the New Zealand High Commissoner, the Chairman of the New Zealand Rugby Union, Ranfurly House representatives and members of Lord Ranfurly's family, as a mark of respect for the contribution this great man made to our country.