The naming of this cul-de-sac in Westown provided the opportunity to acknowledge both a long-established Taranaki family and a well-respected educator.

Richard and Elizabeth Julian arrived in New Plymouth aboard the Blenheim in November 1842. Onboard with them were nine of their 12 children - one of whom was already married, with three children of her own.

As one would expect from a large family, there are many Taranaki residents with a 'Julian' connection.

One member of the family wrote to the New Plymouth City Council in 1971 requesting that the family name be added to the list of possible street names. The council had sufficient names on the list at the time but agreed to consider Julian as a street name once the list was exhausted.

That hurdle was sidestepped soon after when a small piece of land belonging to Francis Douglas Memorial College was subdivided. The city council decided to recognise both the contribution of generations of the Julian family and the most recent principal of the school.

Brother Julian Watson had joined the staff of the college in 1962. He was a highly competent administrator and was appointed principal in 1965. Brother Julian led the school for six years before returning to Australia. In 2018 he celebrated both his 96th birthday and 80 years as a De La Salle Brother.

No doubt he would also be pleased a walkway tucked at the end of Julian Place leads students through to the grounds of his old college.

This story was originally published in the Taranaki Daily News.

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