Settled At Colac Bay

Settled At Colac Bay We soon settled at Colac Bay and became a part of the small community. Those early years seemed idyllic, I never understood how much Mum must have worried about us all, and how we would survive financially. But in her stoic way, she never showed any sign of concern. Not that as a child I could appreciate, anyway. “We joined in everything at Colac as everyone else did and used to have great Christmas parties for … Continue reading

New Beginning At Colac Bay

Our New Beginning At Colac Bay Obviously our lives changed at the end of 1955. I was 2 years old, Kevin 7 and Janet had just turned 9. Mum had three little kids, and a bunch of sheep and hens to deal with. Thankfully she had an enormous support network of Dad’s family rallying around her. “I continued to look after the sheep but found I needed a lot of help from the neighbours. When someone asked me if I’d … Continue reading

First Visit To Colac Bay

My First Visit To Colac Bay I was almost six when we shifted from Mataura to Colac Bay. It will always be “home”. I loved growing up in such a quiet, picturesque area. I explored and experienced a carefree childhood. I don’t remember visits to Colac Bay until our new house was being built during the summer of 1959/60. But Mum’s journal suggests we made numerous visits. “When Anne was ten months old I decided I would like a holiday … Continue reading

Merville’s Life

Further Musings Of Merville’s Life It’s going to feel strange copying Mum’s writing now that she has left us, but I undertook to share her words way back when I asked her to write them. My intention was always to write a book about her. Whether I ever succeed in doing that or not, I feel I am honouring Merville’s life now by continuing her story here at least until the end of her musings. I’m hoping with the help … Continue reading

Merville’s Life-Cont’d

Soon Came The Next Phase Of Merville’s Life It was now 1945 and Merville and Iris continued happily working in Dunedin’s George Street. Mum thinks the place was called The Red Cafe but wasn’t sure. It was a big restaurant open five days a week. Iris was a cook and Mum the kitchen maid, waitressing if required. “Olive Hicks used to work one day a week in the kitchen so Iris and I became good friends with her. She used … Continue reading

Merville & The Crown Range

Merville & The Crown Range For as long as I can remember, we’ve heard stories about Mum’s bike ride across the Crown Range in Central Otago. Encouraged to tell the story many times and with a different emphasis with almost every telling, I think the three of us were always in awe of our mother for doing such an amazing thing. It was always great to hear her laughing at the memory. “In 1944 we didn’t go back to Motueka … Continue reading

Merville’s Story

Continuing Merville’s Story My grandfather James (Chum) Robertson died 30 July 1940. He was only 62. Merville’s words continue – “We went south to the funeral but I don’t remember much about it as I had to go back to Dunedin to my job. That was in the July and about November our mother had the shingles. Ina had her in bed at her home but I left my job and went south to look after her. She came back … Continue reading

Photos Of Family Farm

The Family Farm Has Changed On a recent visit to Winton and my mother, I decided I wanted a photo of the farm where she grew up. Three or four times I drove up and down Gap Road looking for something that looked vaguely familiar. I knew the original house had long gone and been replaced – I assumed – with a modern building but I expected to be able to identify the lie of the land and know, yep, … Continue reading

Merville Mentioned

Finally Found Merville Mentioned It feels like I have searched forever for some newspaper report with Merville mentioned, but always to no avail. This small French town had yet to appear in any WWI report I’d managed to track down. Have you ever done something that is quite outside your normal actions and wondered why on earth you did? That happened to me last week. I never thought about it being something unusual for me until my husband commented on … Continue reading

Time To Leave The Farm

It Was Soon Time To Leave The Farm Although I’ve always thought my mother’s early life was interesting in comparison to my own, I acknowledge it was also filled with far more work and hardship than I ever faced. But her varied experiences then made her into the strong person I have been so fortunate have as a mother. Even at an early age Mum loved to read, devouring any books she might be able to get her hands on … Continue reading