Dad

Dad was born in a private maternity home in Wanganui, he was the third oldest child of eleven (7 boys & 4 girls).He lived in Rahotu (Taranaki) for the first 8 years of his life.His mother was part maori.

In 1928 Dad spent time in Wanganui Hospital with scarlet fever from which he was lucky to recover as it was generally a fatal illness at that time.

When he was 12 years old Dad left school and went bush felling with his father at Hunterville.He did that for several years and then spent time doing milking on various properties at Aramoho, Maxwell and Westmere respectively.

At the age of 19 Dad joined the army, having lied about his age in order to be with his two older brothers.He was in the Queen Alexander Mounted Rifles Brigade.

In 1940 Dad married for the first time just before he was called up for war.He was then sent to Waiouru, where he trained as a medic with the 21st Light Field Ambulance.From there he was called over to Egypt.

When Dad arrived by boat in Egypt his brigade was informed that the wrong personnel had been sent for, and he had to retrain as a transporter.

While Dad was in Egypt he had a lucky escape.When the platoon for which Dad was driving was 2 hours late reaching their destination, they were informed that had they been on time they would have been bombed by the Germans.

When Dad returned home from the war he was to discover that his wife had not remained faithful to him and he decided to end this marriage.Unknown to him he had already met his future wife; she was his younger brother's girlfriend at the time.

Mum and Dad were married on 27th September 1947.

Just before they were married Dad entered a ballot for a Rehabilitation farm at Rongotea, just outside Palmerston North, which he won.Dad worked this land as a dairy farm for 18 years.During this time Mum and Dad had 5 children (3 boys & 2 girls)

In 1964 the farm was sold at auction and the family moved to Wanganui, to the historic Hatrick homestead on St Johns Hill, which had been built for Mr Hatrick to watch his ships coming up the Wanganui River.

At this time Dad worked for a few months at the Meat Packers, but left this job to work at the Milk Treatment Plant, where he worked until his retirement in 1979.

We shifted house twice more before settling in to the house (in 1969) where Dad lived until his last days.This house is around 100 years old and was originally built for the Whitlock family.

In 1969 Dad took on a second part time job, at a biscuit factory, which he held until his retirement.

In 1984 Dad had prostate surgery, he also had arthritis in his knee and ankle, hypertension, and hearing loss in one ear.He retained his driving license and drove until shortly before his death and tended his 1/4 acre section and 5 bedroom home until this time also.

Dad valued honesty and loyalty.He believed in God ('everyone has to believe in something' he told me), UFO's ('they're already here' he told me).

Dad felt he had a broadminded, relaxed attitude and felt that we should face tomorrow when it comes, although he did get rather frustrated when he felt misunderstood by Mum.He also identified with his maori ancestry and culture.

Dad's interests included lawn bowls, gardening,reading, cooking and knitting.He was also an active member of the Arthritis Foundation and was a volunteer driver for Meals-on-wheels until about a year before his death.

This information was gathered by me (his daughter Olwynne in 1996 when he was in hospital for a hand infection)

Dad's hopes for the future at this time were to remain healthy and independant for as long as possible. he managed this until September 2008.

Dad's thoughts on society were that the health system needed looking at, and that there should be more education and support to keep young people off the streets and out of trouble rather than cleaning things up after they've happened.

My lovely Dad became ill in June 2008, he passed away on September 6th 2008.