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 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

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

Merville’s Teenage Years

Teenage Years In 1920’s Southland As we have the benefit of hindsight, we see the 1920’s were indeed changing times, as this snippet I found suggests. “The 1920’s was a crucial era in the making of ‘modern’ New Zealand. The word itself was widely used at the time, as in this Ladies? Mirror story from 1926: The modern girl has, during the past dozen years, either acquired or increased her regard for:- Drinking and smoking; Paint and powder; Slang; Pastimes … Continue reading

Life On The Farm 1920’s

Life On The Farm During 1920’s The evening meal at Gap Road would always be late, normally about 7pm. My grandmother would prepare something which could be cooking, but not spoiling, while she was out helping with the cows. Granddad would sit and read the newspaper at night or play the Jews harp so the girls could dance. His mother had been a highland dancer and had taught him to dance as well as all the Scottish tunes. “We would … Continue reading

Life On The Farm 1920’s

Life On The Farm In Southland During the 1920’s life on the farm probably depended on the size of the farm and the number of stock farmed. My grandfather’s farm was small by today’s standards but would have been average for that era. They made their living from dairy, not the hundreds of head apparently needed today to make a living, but about 20-30 head. Of course these were hand milked morning and night initially with Bess, Chum (grandparents), Nessie, … Continue reading

School Memories From 1920’s Southland

School Memories From 1920’s I have mentioned school picnics in previous posts but Mum has added a little more in her description of picnics from Winton. “The school picnic was the high light of the year. Everyone would be up about four in the morning to milk the cows and get to the factory and back home in time to catch the train at 8.30am. We used to go to Colac Bay, Riverton or Bluff different years and just loved … Continue reading