There must be lots of Oriental rugs in Oriental Bay! If you have one that needs repairing then the name Anna Williams probably springs to mind.
For many years she lived in Grafton Road between Oriental Bay and the Iranian Embassy. This was a convenient location as she regularly went to the Embassy to get a visa to travel to Iran. Oriental rugs, Persian particularly, have been her passion — she has worked at the art of repairing them for 24 years.
"Iran is one of the world's best-kept secrets. I feel safer there than in many places in New Zealand," she says. "The hospitality is astounding. I can be in a teashop and have invitations from the people, on both sides of where I am sitting, to go to their homes. They are often disappointed if I refuse!" She knows many New Zealand Iranians which helps a little to ease her urge to go back to Iran as soon as possible, she says. "Some have gorgeous family rugs which I have been privileged to see."
ut there's one disadvantage to her career as a repairer of Oriental rugs. "Not having other repairers here is professionally lonely and I miss comparing techniques and seeing what finishes they are now using."
She's moved from Grafton Road now, but still lives close enough to the Iranian Embassy to apply for a visa in person which she hopes to do again very soon.
JCD, Bay View newsletter 67, May 2016