Merville’s Memories

After spending the last couple of weeks with my mother – hospitalised after a fall – I had plenty of time to dig around in her memories for little snippets I might have missed. Of course I found quite a few pieces that deserve to be in my previous posts so if you are following my blog about her, perhaps you’d like to also slip back and reread my previous posts as I have added some small extras.

I loved this little memory. “When I was about 5 or 6 I went to stay for a night where Minnie (older sister) was working to help a pregnant woman. I think her name was Baird but I can’t be sure. I’ll never forget waking up the next morning and there were two babies there.” I guess my mother must have been a heavy sleeper, or this lady made little noise whilst delivering.

“When my eldest sister Ivy was fifteen (1917) she went to work for a couple at Rakauhauka and worked there until she went nursing at 21 at Dunedin Hospital. I sometimes had holidays at their place and their daughter completely ignored me, but the next one was a boy, Ken and he was a good play mate. Of course Helen was being brought up to be a lady and I liked being outside playing with the boys.” The lady of the house “…thought she was a real lady and that was where Ivy got her ideas she was someone special as she got along very well with her and didn’t have very much contact with her own family.”

“I remember the first time I saw an aeroplane. We all ran outside when we heard a loud noise. The plane was flying just a little above the trees. We could see the pilot clearly, the top half of his body was outside the plane, like he was sitting on a chair. He waved to us as he flew over our house.” Mum couldn’t remember whether the plane was a single wing or bi-plane and my research is confusing me. Apparently there were a number of Avro 504K’s flying around in Southland since the end of World War I but as I look for a photo to add to this post, I can see the pilots of these aircraft were seated deep within the aircraft. Mum was quite specific about being able to see the top half of the pilot’s body. Could her first view of an aeroplane have been a much earlier model? There is no way I can determine this, but as you see by this photo, we can definitely see most of the pilot’s body. However I’m doubtful such an early model plane would have been flying around Dacre.plane


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