Merville’s Memories “Our Robertson grandmother (Janet nee Sutherland, born Clyth c 1853) died 9 August 1923 and in November we shifted to Winton to live on the farm at Gap Road. Our father was given a half share in the farm so it must have had something to do with Grandma. “I remember going on the dray and draught horse and stopping by the Makarewa river near Sprlnghills to have lunch. Jim, John and I were left at our grandfather’s … Continue reading

Memories Of Boer War

My Grandfather’s Letter Riffling through all the boxes and note books I have filled with memories from my mother, as well as items I’ve managed to collect over the years, I’ve come upon the transcript of a letter written by my grandfather. This was published in the Southland Times on 21 October 1999 under the headline “More an adventure than a war” – My grandfather’s letter was part of the article and I thought it might be of interest. I … Continue reading


Memories Of A Hard Working Mother Today I’m taking the memories my mother wrote about her mother. As with my grandfather, I’m sure I will be adding extra snippets about Bessina as my blog about Merville and her life continues. However these are her thoughts from many years ago when I asked her to write something down. Bessina Robertson (nee Moffatt) 20.2.1881 – 12.8.1958 “My mother was born in Mosgiel and had two sisters and one brother. “She was a … Continue reading


Merville’s Memories Of A Beloved Father: James Robertson 26.8.1879 – 30.7.1940 This post is taken directly from my mother’s written memories. While I will add more about my grandfather as these posts continue, these are her thoughts. “He was 6 foot tall and had brown hair and hazel eyes. He was born at Sharks Tooth hill by the Makarewa river. Apparently his parents had crossed the flooded river and lost a lot of their stuff, but she still had a … Continue reading


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. … Continue reading

Memories From Southland

Merville’s Memories I can already see selecting how to commence my posts is going to be an issue for me. I guess the easiest way is just to copy what Mum has written herself and hope it makes sense and is of interest. These memories are from around 1919. “We had an old white horse called Snowy and she was driven three and a half miles to school each day. The only memory I have of my eldest brother Allan … Continue reading


Tackling Those Memories I got word from my brother this week suggesting that while he’ll enjoy reading whatever I write about our mother, he’s wondering if I’m going to be able to sustain this part of my blog over a long period of time. After my initial reaction of – you gotta be kidding, of course I’m going to keep it up – came the realisation he probably knows me too well. He definitely knows how much of a procrastinator … Continue reading

Memories – A Daughter’s Perspective

Merville’s Memories Now I have come up with this plan to share my mother’s memories, I’m dead keen to get on with it. I feel ready to burst into print every day, and am hoping that enthusiasm doesn’t wane. When Mum was born, her family lived on a 120 acre farm in Dacre, which is sixteen miles outside Invercargill. “The land was covered with silver tussocks and the boundary on one side was the Te Tipua creek.” (I’ve spelt this … Continue reading

Memories – A Daughter’s Prospective

Merville’s Memories This week my amazing mother celebrated her 101st birthday. For over twenty years I have dreaded having to say farewell to Mum after a visit. Living so far away from her I have always been afraid each goodbye could be the last. That hug, that kiss, they could be my permanent farewell to someone I have tried (and probably failed in most part) to emulate my whole life. We are so blessed to still have her with us. … Continue reading