Francis Turner Logan (Tim) Hull Interview

Today is the 2nd of April 2015. I’m interviewing Mr Tim Hull who is godson of the Ballantynes. Tim would you like to tell me something about where the family started and came from?

Our family are – I know the details fairly well from my grandparents on my father’s side. His father’s father, my great grandfather, came from County Down and they landed in Auckland in about 1862 and his father was about one of nine siblings and he went into the banking industry and was the manager of the Bank of New South Wales in Hastings during the earthquake. And I remember him, he lived in Southland Street, my grandfather. And I believe my father was born in Bulls when he was banking there.

And my paternal grandmother – her name was Logan. And their parents came from Scotland via Adelaide, and he settled in Southland – on a run in Southland, and my grandfather and Emma Logan got married in Dunedin. I’m not sure of the date but it would be about 1900 or something like that, or just after that date.

And my father’s brother was given a horse for a birthday and he fell off, and then was dragged, and died from that incident …

[Speaking together] Oh, good Lord.

so it was a tragedy. And then my grandfather married again and their eldest son was killed in World War II in the Air Force in England – I think training. And their daughter Molly is now dead but she married Mr Howton and lived up in Auckland.

And I’ve got a sister, Margaret Anne, and my brother, Allan, and I was born in Hastings at one of the hospitals down by the railway line – it was a private hospital.

Sister Cooper’s?

I’m not sure what the name was.

Yes, yes, St Aubyn … my auntie.

Anyway it was round there. And my mother, June – her name was June Turner – and her side of the family, the Turners, came from England, and I think some of them settled in Australia but they came over to New Zealand about the 1880s. And one of the Turners married a Skerman and they lived round about Palmerston North area there.

And my grandfather, Wilfred Turner – I’ve just been told by a cousin of mine that he was on the Hawke’s Bay County Council for some years on the Board or something like that. He married a Miss Bolton, Frances Bolton. Bolton’s quite a big family with relatives all around the Wairarapa and Hawke’s Bay. I think my mother had ninety first cousins. And the Boltons, they had a family reunion in Woodville some years ago.

And the original Bolton apparently was a midshipman in the Merchant Service, and he fractured his leg and was discharged from the boat injured like this in Manila in about 1810 or thereabouts, and got a job with a Scottish firm called Kerr & Company and rose to become the manager of that firm. And then he apparently bought the firm out in Scotland and went back to Scotland and prospered in business, and was a Member of Parliament for Scotland actually – for one of the areas. And his son, Sam – Samuel – he married a Miss Hindmarsh who was, I think the daughter or granddaughter I think, of the Rear Admiral Hindmarsh that was the first Governor of South Australia in Adelaide. And they – he had a property just out of Woodville. And I think there’s quite a few descendants of that name around in that area.

There are.

Yeah, so that’s my background.

So you obviously went to school in Hastings?

Yes, I went to Mahora School, that’s the first school I went to. Actually before that I went to a school called Queenswood. I think I was the only boy at that school and it was a bit embarrassing and – but I was a couple of terms there then I went to Mahora and then I went to Hereworth, then I went to Wanganui Collegiate School after that.

Oh, tick all the right boxes for Hawke’s Bay …


Yes, well that’s fascinating. And what was it like at school, at Mahora School growing up in Mahora those days?

Yeah, well I only have pleasant memories – the only two memories I have of that was they had a milk scheme and they had these milk bottles that inevitably seemed to be left in the sun and you had the curdled cream at the top of the milk bottles, and it really just about put me off drinking milk for life. I can remember the school dental nurse was drilling my teeth, which – they had a very slow drill I remember that. And the headmaster was called Mr Engelbretsen. I don’t know whether you … American.

Yes, I’ve heard of Mr Engelbretsen.

And they used to play … oh, and you had to march in assembly in those days to – I think it was Colonel Bogey was the song – I guess it was part of the war effort or whatever.

Yes that’s interesting isn’t it, when you look back on that. Did you play any sports at all?

Yes, I did at Hereworth. I was quite good at swimming and I was the swimming champ at Hereworth in my final year and I was in the rugby team, the cricket team and the hockey team.

And can you remember many names from those days – Newbigin or ..?

The headmaster was Buchanan, Mr Buchanan and there was Mr Grant, Mr Syd Grant, who’s written books on Havelock North.

Yes, we all knew Sid.

And there was a Mr Collins, Mr Cooper, Mr McKay, those were the sort of names that I remember as teachers, and there was quite … I can remember some of the pupils that were there. There was – I’ve just met Staf Galati who was a contemporary of mine, and his brother – I think he’s a GP in Sydney, but his brother I think is a lawyer in Napier.

So then you moved on to Wanganui?

Yes. About four years there.

And then off to university.


So, where did you go then … which university?

Oh, I went to Otago University, went down there and did what they call medical intermediate, and the rumour then was that after World War II it was very difficult to get into medical school. I think there was a hundred and twenty places when I was there, when I got into medical school, and it was the only medical school in New Zealand and the competition has always been quite tough. I think the post people that came … Returned Servicemen after World War II had preference, but that had petered out by the time I was there and they had people sitting medical intermediate in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin and I know there was a hundred and fifty people in Dunedin alone competing for the hundred and twenty places.

And I remember going down the first time I met one of my grandmother Logan’s nieces, and I met a guy there who said that … he said “what are you doing?” I said “I’m planning to do medicine” and he said “you haven’t got a show – there’s a hundred and fifty of us that missed out last year, doing it again – you haven’t got a show.” [Chuckle] So that was the sort of welcome one had to doing that sort of course, yeah. But I managed to scrape into the Medical School.

And so you completed your time and then did you come out as a GP, as a specialist or ..?

Well I – after I graduated I did house surgeon medical registrar’s job in Christchurch and then spent three years in America in Milwaukee, Wisconsin doing cardiology. And that was a good time to do cardiology ’cause they’d just invented bypass surgery in Milwaukee and Cleveland at the Cleveland Clinic, and so this technology was at its infancy. And of course that has developed dramatically since then, and following on from those sort of technological changes was the stenting, angioplasty, interventions with valves, on catheters. And of course you’ll probably know about the pharmacology that … the hypertension medications, the statins that have come along. And of course in the last forty years it’s been the fastest decline in the mortality of any age has ever been in our species’ history, most of it has been in the decline in cardiological deaths.

As we get older we become more familiar with some of these terms and problems, Tim.

Yeah, yeah.

So you obviously spent your time, when you came back from the States, you obviously were specialised in cardiology.

Yes, yes, that’s right.

Did you carry on as a specialist?

Yes, I’m still working, yeah.

Are you really? Right, well when I say that, I don’t think I’m being cheeky saying are you still working? So that … how long have you been a cardiologist then?

I guess since about 1970.

Gosh – oh, that’s amazing. Yes, some of us are very grateful for the fact that some of you people have become so proficient. Yes, so during that period then you would have married?

Yes, yes.

And so did you marry locally or …?

No, I married my wife Edith Manning, she was a Dunedin resident. She was doing food science and we got married just a year before I graduated,. And we had one daughter in Christchurch before we went to America, and then our son was born in Milwaukee, that’s Jonathon … you met him today. And another daughter, Melissa and another daughter, Christine. And two of them have become doctors, my eldest daughter Louise, she’s Associate Professor of R & G at Adelaide University. She did a PhD at Cambridge University, endometriosis, and she’s developed the animal model for endometriosis at Cambridge, at the Addenbrook Hospital, and she’s, I think she’s been an editor of some of the journals in Europe. She does research in micro RNA which is a new area of development in that area which is a little beyond me, but she gets invited to conferences two or three times a year to give talks on her research. And that’s … the Ballantyne Trust has – some of that Trust money is going to support her endeavours, and so far I think there’s about seven high quality papers come out of that.

Well, that’s wonderful isn’t it, the fact that, you know, it just keeps on going on. OK well that sort of gives us a background into yourself and your family. Now, would you just like to talk about the Ballantyne ..?

Yes. Well I first met Joyce and Allan out at Te Awanga. We had a cottage there and I think it would be about 1947 there was excitement that the Ballantynes were returning from England, you see. I’m not sure which year Joyce went over to England, but she and my mother were great friends when they were nursing at Napier Hospital. And that’s where I think Allan was doing his house surgeon years, you know pre-war, and they got married and that type of thing. And so this was quite exciting when they came back, and they … when they first got back they rented a house in Te Awanga and I presume he commuted into the Memorial Hospital at that time.

And I can remember talking to him and … we had some sort of encyclopaedia where they made some device or other and he said he would make one of those for me, I remember that. I can’t remember now what it was. And then over the years we’ve met them from time to time and they became obviously my … when I was christened, which would be in 1939 I think, they became my godparents. So that sort of led to an ongoing relationship and unfortunately they never had any children of their own, and so I think our family was sort of substitute for children sort of speak.

So I can remember, they then bought a house in St Aubyn’s and I can remember going over there as a ch… probably I must have been about six or seven or eight or something like that, staying for the whole day with Joyce. And she had one of her … I’m not sure if it was grandfathers or relatives was there that they were looking after him at the time, so I had a whole day with Joyce and I found that she was very nice to me, so I always found Joyce very friendly.

And she had interesting taste in paintings and things like that and she’d toured London and that type of thing before Allan came back. Allan talked about his time at Hammersmith where … which is the post graduate School of Medicine. And he had done his fellowship of the … membership I think in those days … Member of the Royal College of Physicians – MRCP, and that’s where he did his training in Hammersmith. And there’s another place called Taplow where they were specialised in rheumatology, which was one of his main medical interests. And Taplow as I recall was on the northern side of the Thames, but west of London – I think near the place called Clivedon where the scandal was about the … one of the Ministers of Defence or something like that – pretty close to that. So he’d trained in rheumatology and he was very interested in autoimmune diseases in particular.

And the next thing I can remember was … I must have been older, maybe about ten, eleven, twelve – something like that … one of his colleagues who was at the Brompton Hospital came out for a visit, and he was looking after this gentleman whose name was Scadding, Dr Scadding – he was on the Brompton Hospital. And he took Scadding from Hastings up to Taupo in his car and somehow or other I was in the back of the car there and they were talking away. This was the time when the epidemiology for smoking – and Scadding was a respiratory physician and he talked about how they had linked cancer to smoking you know, in those days you see. So that was one of the topics of conversation that I can recall.

So Tim during your younger life were the Ballantynes living in this place?


No, they had left here or had not moved here?

Had not moved here. They were living in St Aubyn … St Aubyn’s Road in the house there.

We need to follow through …

Yes. It’s on the west side of St Aubyn’s – if you go towards Havelock it’s on the north side of the road, and I remember it had a limestone drive in those days. And you crossed the railway line and you went about three blocks and it was on the left.

Sure, sure. It’s probably in the commercial area now.

No, I think it was further east. It was before where the Winery is, you know.

Yes, Vidal’s.

Yeah, Vidal’s. It was sort of between the railway lines and Vidal’s, somewhere along there.

Yes, okay. So Joyce lived there until …

Until they bought Stoneycroft. I think – I’m not sure how old I was when they bought Stoneycroft, but I know one of my friends, Jasper Nowell-Usticke, he – I believe his father was wanting to purchase this as well and there was probably a bit of competition between the two.

Yes, I know Jasper. I know all the Nowell-Ustickes well.

Yes, anyway they bought Stoneycroft at that time and pretty much devoted their life to Stoneycroft. And after that … they had quite a lot more land than is on this current site …

That’s right, yes.

and my father was growing asparagus and they put most of that land in asparagus. And so Joyce used to run the asparagus contract for Wattie’s and so on, and she did all that.

So at that stage of course the motorway wasn’t there. This place fronted on and the asparagus was behind the house?

That’s right, it was down there, yeah.

Yes, I … actually I remember it, yes.

And they sold it later for … they put an orchard, the asparagus was pulled up and they put in … I don’t know quite what time. And from the earliest time Joyce was very interested in heritage. She knew the names of all the trees and how long they’d … she’d registered them with the Heritage people and that type of thing, yeah.

And so during the period that they lived here, did you ..?

Yes we visited quite a lot. And I remember Allan was … he used to tell me a little bit about the … not much, so … about his life in the … when he was taken prisoner of war. And my understanding was that he was in the Third Field Ambulance in Greece, and they were you know, retired, and just got out of Greece in time and landed on Crete – from the frying pan into the fire so to speak. And there was a fight in Maleme Airport, and the Germans had managed to get enough paratroopers in there to overwhelm the mainly New Zealand Army that was surrounding that. And a lot of people were injured and so on, and he elected to stay behind and treat the wounded soldiers in prisoner of war. And he told one or two stories about … he used to correspond with a Polish and a Russian prisoner for quite some years. His taste in music went very much away from Wagner because he said they played Wagner on the loud speakers in the prison camps all day. He said when he bought his grand piano, which he did, and played – he used to play a lot. He liked Debussy and I think the chords of the descending Fifth or something, he kind of liked that. But he was keen on music.

Did any of you play the piano?

No we didn’t unfortunately, no. But he was very keen on that, it was one of his … he also liked to, you know, on the weekends he would go and drive a tractor round. And Joyce had a little green Morris Minor truck. I don’t know whether it’s still in the estate or not. Anyway she had this for many years and was a great – used to service her truck with Greer Motors is it?

Yes, Stewart Greer.

Stewart Greer Motors. And she said one time that because it was the oldest Morris Minor truck and thing, they wanted to buy it, but she would never part with it. So she kept … must have kept that truck for about thirty years. Little green truck and you’d always know when Joyce was on the road in this truck.

Oh, it’s fascinating when you start talking about family isn’t it?

And the other thing that they did with Stoneycroft for a while, they became stud breeders and …

Stud – meaning horses?

No, sheep. Yep, so they bought a flock – I think it was Romneys, I think, and would go down to stud sales and it was too small to be a viable – but they had sheep pens, and I think they became another pet like the house, that they had.

Oh, one thing I remember about Joyce, she never had any alarms on the house. So she never seemed to be afraid when Allan had passed away. One time some burglar broke in, and she addressed this burglar saying he was a naughty boy, and she gave him a cup of tea and told him never to do it again. And she [chuckle] dealt with it that way.

It’s another world isn’t it? Because I know my folks in Havelock didn’t have locks, I don’t think there was ever a key for the farmhouse, never took the keys out of the cars, it’s a different world.

That’s right, yeah. Yes.

She was … they were ardent Royalists you know, and I think when Allan was appointed the Queen’s Physician – I think that’s the medals and things up there – and he enjoyed that. And he also told me that one of the doctors – leading physicians in Wellington – had asked him whether he would join his practice in Wellington and he could quite easily have done, but he wanted to stay in Hawke’s Bay, so he turned that offer down.

Yes. That’s fascinating. So the memories, obviously there came a time when the doctor passed away?


And then Joyce?


I get – is she also known as Sybil?

No, never. I never heard anyone address her as Sybil. She was always Joyce.

So during that period obviously she had a great love for the property and it came a time when it was to be either sold or disposed of or something, and how fortunate we are in Hawke’s Bay that what has happened has happened.

Yes, I was – I don’t know whether it was fortunate or unfortunate but I was the executor of Joyce’s estate. And she had said that she … one of her greatest wishes, and Allan’s as well, was that this house could be left as a Heritage House for Hawke’s Bay because it was … she believed it was the oldest house in Hawke’s Bay from the kauri wood, which is certainly long lasting wood, its lasted well. She believed it was built somewhere about 1870-odd I believe – I’m not quite sure about the date.

Yes, I think that’s probably very close to where it is.

Yeah. And so, she as you know, was the first councillor, and she was also, she was chairman of the Girl Guides and she … Save the Children Fund, she was in charge of that. And I know that Allan and Joyce went to … a trip round Palestine with the Save the Children Fund … one of their overseas holidays. And she used to organise the sale of cards, to raise money for Save the Children Fund.

Oh, yes, yes. Yes.

And one of them had a picture of my aunt – well, my grandfather’s sister, Dorothy Turner who was one of the painters in Hawke’s Bay – on the front, I remember that. A picture of Mt Cook actually, on one of the cards that I remember.

What do you do as a leisure activity then? Are you … trout fishing or ..?

No, no I’ve been skiing and – but, you know, passed that now obviously, but I tend to like music and reading. I read a lot of books – in fact one of the books that I got from Allan when I was about, probably about 17, he had a book called ‘The History of Western Philosophy.’ I don’t know whether you’ve heard of that book – it’s by a philosopher called Bertrand Russell. Started from the beginning to the end, and when I asked if I could borrow this book – and I remember one holidays starting that book from the beginning and trying to understand my way through to the end. [Chuckle] But Allan was – had that sort of book in his library, yeah.

The sort of book if you put it down for more than a few hours you’ve got to go back to pick the story up again.

Yes, that’s right. All the different philosophers.

Yes. The fascinating thing about this whole story you know, it’s just wonderful that your family are part of it. We’re unlocking so much history that’s just been in cupboards and sheds, in the minds of people, with my interviewing people. Some of the stories of course going back a hundred years or ninety five years … all of those people knew one another – why? Because the community was so much smaller.

That’s right.

And I never cease to be amazed of the link between all of these people.

Joyce certainly had lots of links with people in Hawke’s Bay as a councillor. I can remember going with her one time during some election and visiting the Mayor at the time, Ron Giorgi? He was the Mayor at the time. and, what else can I remember?

Well you’re a real Hawke’s Bay boy aren’t you Tim, because you know all the people that were …

So, I think I was asked to say something about Joyce. Joyce was very reticent about her family and so on, because I think – she was born, I know in one of the … her name was … I think her maiden name was Clinnock I think. And she was born on one of the high country stations in Canterbury, and then something happened to the family – I’m not sure – but she then was brought up as a boarder at a school in Christchurch that was run by Anglican nuns. And I think she was a very diligent pupil and everything like that, but she seemed to have lost a lot of contact with her family. Then I know she worked as a radiographer at St George’s Hospital, I think prior to going – I’m not sure whether it was prior to going nursing in Napier where she was a great friend of my mother’s. And it’s always attributed that they didn’t have any family because of her exposure to radiation. Yeah, but … whether that’s apocryphal or a fact …

She obviously was a very caring person being a nurse … she was obviously very self-sufficient living on her own.

Yes, she was very self-contained – she was quite austere I think would be a good word, yeah. But she also … there were very few people who could joke and laugh with Joyce – we happened to be one of them that we could say things to Joyce and get her to smile and crack jokes and so on, and if you got that side of Joyce she unwound, and she was really quite amusing. But I’m not sure that everybody had that … perceived that side of her.

And what about the doctor, what was he like as a …

He was very easy going. And I actually had a job at Memorial Hospital when I was a – I think a sixth year student – and you could do a sort of preliminary medical job. I even got a job when I was going through Medical School in the laboratory at the Hospital, before that. And Allan used to give talks and do clinical teaching on how to do this in medicine and he was, as I say, very … he used to keep up very well with the literature and was pretty much on top of things, and I can recall quite a number of the doctors who were there at that time.

Yes, he must have been a fairly strong personality from the time he spent in prison, and you know came back and carried on his career.

Yes, well I think that he looked at the prisoner of war … you know, he said that they were terrible … obviously they were very handicapped with no drugs, no … to sort of get sick people through the problem in the war time was … he regarded that as probably the most important part of his career really. He used to tell the odd funny story. He did tell a story about one of the German physicians who … I think he might have been invited to go on a ward round with, you see, and it was very formal. They had a senior sister who would carry the stethoscope on a cushion, and as they went to a patient the German physician would pick this stethoscope up, put it in his ears and listen to the patient, then put it back again you see. He said after two or three weeks of this they stuffed the stethoscope full with cotton wool, and he said the routine never changed.

[Chuckle] Isn’t that amazing? Are there any other directions within the family that we need to explore? Your role – what’s your current role with the Trust here?

The Trust – I’ve resigned – I was the Chairman but the Board elected my son as the Chairman now. And they’re having a meeting downstairs of course, and …

Oh, that was your son that brought you here was it?

Jonathon was my son, yes. He came with me, and then my brother Allan, his son’s there too, Logan.

Oh OK. But that’s fascinating. As trustees of the Ballantyne Trust – that’s the Trust we’re talking about isn’t it?


Do they have a continuing role?

Oh, well the Ballantyne Trust was set up by Joyce and Allan with a Medical Trust. And they in fact set that up probably about thirty years ago, and they had one of Allan’s colleagues, a haematologist from Auckland – I think it was Tessa Duder’s father, I think … I just forget his name now, he was … I think he was knighted, but he was in the war with Allan and he was a trustee. But there was never enough money in it to really do useful research and he wanted to go into research from a graduate of the Otago University. So it only was funded to do that really when this place was bought by the City Council.

It’s quite interesting. I used to live in Ballantyne Street …

Ballantyne Road, yeah …

Over here, and we used to look across to here and see this standing here and I never thought one day I’d be sitting in here interviewing people about the very people …

About the property – oh yes. And I should say that you probably knew that Joyce’s ashes were scattered in one of the trees out there. And my mother’s was also scattered on a nearby one.

Oh, that’s wonderful, so you have a very strong link.

That’s right.

Now there’s one other question here: Who are the six godchildren? Where are they now?

Well I only met some of them. I was one and Tessa was one, and – a Holden from Gisborne, and I’m not sure who the other three were. And I know Holden from Gisborne was farming up there, but I haven’t had a lot of contact with him. I know he’s interested in old machines. Tessa of course has done writing and things like that and their father was the haematologist that was one of the trustees, and the others I’m not certain about.

It’s a very strong medical family isn’t it? Running right through the godchildren and your children.

My uncle, my mother’s brother, was Dr Turner – Sam Turner in Napier and I have … his son – two of his sons – are doctors, cousins of mine obviously, and another cousin, David Benson-Cooper, is a radiologist in Auckland and my brother Allan‘s a doctor, and my oldest daughter is a Professor of O&G in Adelaide. My second daughter has done paediatrics and my third daughter is an orthodontist.

Now is there anything else you can think of that … because at some stage your family will open this website up when it gets on our website – how fascinating to hear these words about the family and your voice.

Yes. Well the memories get lost but you know I can remember my mother – she used to live up in Puketitiri and she told me she used to ride a pony to Puketitiri School every day – it was about ten miles or something like that. And I can remember the Napier-Taupo Road – instead of being, you know, a two hour drive it was a … you know we used to go up and down three hills on the way – things like that.

I know, I know. You made a comment about the doctor and the bath that was in the bathroom. Would you like to just develop on that?

Yes, well this is something that I can never do because I always … never liked the cold, but he used to go to that room and have a bath every morning. That was his way that he got up in the morning and have a cold bath. Joyce would never do that of course.

No. You’d have to be strong. [Chuckle]

Original digital file


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Interviewer:  Frank Cooper

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