A Childhood During the Great Depression
Margaret Baylis tells a delightful story which begins at Lakeside, a small rural Canterbury community. Her vivid descriptions of childhood memories transport us to another era.
“Often we were late for school and I hated it because we would have to go to the Headmistress. Robert would gather bird eggs on the way (Ellesmere Council paid children threepence a dozen) and often I’d see the 9.30am plane going over on its way to Dunedin! My heart would sink – we were late again!
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Alex Wood - I am Satisfied
Born into a farming community in Canada and raised on farms in Scotland, Alex knew that his new future in New Zealand would be tied to the land. Grit and determination helped him move from farm labourer to farm owner as he worked tirelessly to build a future for his family in the South Island. Alex reminisces about his origins, life in Scotland and achieving his own farming dreams in Canterbury in this moving memoir.
… dogged does it…
During years of back-breaking work clearing the bush in order to carve out a farm for his family, my great grandfather had a saying - “Dogged does it!”
The sentiment summed up his determination, his persistence and his willpower to complete the tasks at hand no matter the obstacles – which in turn inspired me to record the story of my immigrant settler family. It has been an enjoyable and rewarding journey. I have discovered beautifully hand-written family letters dating back to the 1890s, enjoyed revisiting boxes of old photos and re-establishing relationships with cousins and other family members.
Naqera – My Little Corner of the World – the Life Story of Rosalind Ovisa
When Rosalind Ovisa travelled to Fiji, little did she suspect that it would be thirty years before she would return to New Zealand.
In an alien culture and with no inkling of the language, Rosalind built a new life from scratch. In doing so, she fell in love with an island nation with its different peoples, and above all, with her husband to be, Joe.
The Pioneer Story of the Roose Family
– Early Settlers in Pukekohe
John Bawden Roose took up his roots from the family heritage at Cornwall and followed a dream of a new life in a new colony – a place where he believed his family could grow strong and proud, free men and independent farmers. The Roose family lives on seven generations since and have inherited a strong sense of their legacy.
This is a story of one man’s dream to build a new future for his children and all their descendants. It tells of the Roose family and their pioneer spirit that continues to live on through the values, traditions and character that has carefully been passed from generation to generation.
The Legacy - Norm and Inez Andrew
Norm and Inez Andrew’s story is an amazing record of Auckland’s early public transport. Their ancestors were the founders of John Andrew Ford which, in the early days, included the 24 passenger horse drawn omnibus ‘The Ophir’, which was described as the latest thing in elegance and comfort. It provided a twice-a-week service from the Central Hotel in Auckland to Otahuhu and then continued on to Papatoetoe and East Tamaki.
Four Life Sentences by Tom O’Connor
Four Life Sentences
provides an insight into the life of a New Zealand prison officer. Tom describes his 41 years of service as one of our longest serving officers in several of the country’s prisons. His stories range from descriptions of the day to day running of the prisons through to the unexpected and extraordinary incidents that prison officers deal with on a regular basis. Four Life Sentences
outlines the difficulties of dealing with opposing gang members in the same institution, the emergence of the drug culture, escapes, violence and the importance of the prison work ethic in order to keep inmates occupied and stimulated.
A Tribute to Silvio De Pra from Time of Your Life
Recently I had the privilege of working on a special story. Silvio De Pra spent two years writing his life story – a unique tale that began in Italy and ended in New Zealand. The story was written in long hand and in English; Silvio’s second language. Silvio’s daughter, Chiara, undertook the task of typing the manuscript before Time of your Life was asked to help with the organisation and editing of the material. The task was not a simple one; the flavour of Silvio’s writing needed to be retained but at the same time the information required organisation and structure in order for the story to be an easy and pleasurable read.
We worked together. Photos were scanned and placed, captions written, more photos and additional material were included and the story grew. There were long phone calls with Silvio and many, many emails between Chiara, Jolie and myself. Finally Silvio’s story, I’ve Come A Long Way was published in April 2012.
We had made it; but only just in time as Silvio passed away on the 1st of May 2012. Lesley, Silvio’s wife, feels sure he waited until he had his book in his hand.
Working with Silvio’s story was a fresh challenge - a unique and pleasurable experience that I will treasure always.
By Alison Harrington
I’ve Come a Long Way
The title of Silvio story is suggestive of the journey he made from a small rural community in Northern Italy to a new life in New Zealand. His much-loved Italian family and village survived the German occupation during WWII, however work was difficult to find during the years that followed. As a young man, Silvio’s ingenuity helped him find work in many parts of Europe while his musical talent and beloved accordion brought him friendship and access to communities wherever he lived.
As we Remember it – Our Family, Our Faith, Our Farm
As their parents grew older, the family of Bryan and Beryl Wills realised their special story would be lost unless measures were taken to preserve it. Bryan and Beryl arrived in the Reporoa Valley on the Central Plateau during the 1950’s to begin life on a block of land that had until recently, been covered in scrub.
From Water Comes Life - The Life of T.T. McMillan
Trevor McMillan, a lad from Leeston, found school days agony. “The teachers were good but there was nothing I was good at and the homework was tough.
From these unlikely beginnings an astute businessman was to emerge. Upon leaving school Trevor trained and worked as a blacksmith before a surprise proposal saw Trevor purchase the blacksmith business at Southbridge, something he had never considered doing. With much hard work, carefully considered business decisions and the unwavering support of wife Nancy, Trevor diversified into well-drilling laying the foundations for a Southbridge business which remains an important local employer. From Water Comes Life
is a humble account of life growing up in Leeston and the forging of a future built upon persistence and effort.
Rakaia Community History
At the beginning of 2011, the task of gathering, preserving, recording and researching the history of the town of Rakaia began. TOYL was approached by the Rakaia History Group to help them work through years of documents and photographs they had collected over the last few years and try to work them into a legacy manuscript for the community. A project plan was prepared, including research projects and list of personal interviews to be conducted, and we dove in.
The project is now nearing the final stages of research and information gathering and we are starting to look forward to writing the manuscript and make the history we have uncovered, come to life.
“Janine is very passionate about this project and has learned to love this wee town of Rakaia and is thoroughly enjoying writing and researching the book.
This book will be historic and will be enjoyed not just by us but our children's children.
Janine made it quite clear they are working for the community not themselves, the book is for Rakaia and so are the stories. They want to preserve your history for future generations. So far they have history as far back as 1850, and the area they are covering is from Barrhill to Dorie to Bankside then Te Pirita and Overdale.”
Rakaia News, 21st March 2012, Issue 361
The Beat of the Rotors by Mike Alexander
People who know Mike Alexander have been asking for his story for several years. His yarns concerning aviation adventures have been around for some time and have finally come together in his book, The Beat of the Rotors.
Alison heard of the potential of Mike’s stories, the two met and so began six months of work involving editing, scanning and the placing of photographs. Eventually the draft was handed over to Jolie to continue with the process of design and printing. Mike plans to make his book available to the public at some time in the future – his stories will have wide appeal.
The Tale of the Tockers
The life story of Jack and Mary Tocker begins in the Wairarapa and captures the spirit of the hard working families that form the backbone of New Zealand rural communities. Despite setbacks during his early years Jack’s ability to work hard, plan ahead and overcome obstacles saw the newly married couple purchase a challenging block of land near the Wairarapa east coast - the first of their farming ventures. During many years of hard work, Mary supported Jack on the farm while caring for their three sons and contributing to various community organisations. The Tale of the Tockers
is a story of Kiwi grit and determination.
Deserved Accolades for our Favourite Archaeologist
In 2007 TIME OF YOUR LIFE was involved in the recording, writing and publishing of Trevor Hosking’s remarkable life story; A Museum Underfoot, commissioned by the Friends of the Taupo Museum. Trevor’s book was an outstanding success with a sizeable book launch and the auction of the first numbered book for $1000 with proceeds returning to the museum.