Rose, Kevin John Interview

10th February [2020], and I’m talking with Kevin Rose from Longlands, past committee man with the Regional Council, farmer, fruitgrower, real estate agent, man of many parts. Righto, good afternoon, Kevin.

[Microphone interference] Good afternoon, Jim. Nice to see you.

Now I’d just like you to give me your life story; I think it’s very interesting from what I’ve picked up.

Well, I’m happy to do that Jim, happy to share it with you. I guess we should start with my forebears who were some of the first settlers of this country.

My original ancestor was a person by the name of James Rose, who arrived in New Zealand on the 31st of December in 1842 on the ‘Prince of Wales’. Also on that shipment of new settlers there were the Holyoakes and the Rowlings; descendants of both became Prime Ministers of this country. James Rose brought his wife, Deborah, with him, and they had a family of five children. They settled in the Motueka district and were farmers and land-clearers, and generally involved in agricultural work. Deborah died at an early age, and strangely, on her death certificate the cause of death is given as a ‘Visitation from God’. We think she probably had some sort of heart problem and perhaps died of a heart attack, but we’ve always found it rather unusual to be described as a ‘Visitation from God’.

James remarried, a woman by the name of Sarah Maria Thomas, who was a widow with a family of five children. John [James] and Sarah went on to have another five children, the second being my grandfather, John Rose. Sarah Maria was a very strong and independent woman who was a descendant from the Newport family, whose line goes right back to the court of Charles I. She had an aristocratic background; her great grandfather was a Viscount in the English aristocracy. He was the Viscount of Tavistock – his name was Samuel Newport. The succession always named their eldest child Samuel, who also inherited the title. Anyway, one of the Samuel Newports developed a social conscience, or was inflicted with a dose of socialism, and decided to drop the title; and he emigrated to New Zealand simply as Mr Samuel Newport.

Anyway, Sarah Maria was a daughter of Samuel Newport, and as I say, a very strong, independent woman; and her [she] and John [James] went into a number of entrepreneurial exercises around running boarding houses, general stores, mail runs, that type of thing; but Sarah Maria was the brains and the energy behind James.

In 1900 John, who had then married my grandmother, Sarah Euphemia Mickell, emigrated to the North Island. Sarah Euphemia was the daughter of James Mickell, who was the first flour miller in the South Island … or in fact, I think the first flour miller in New Zealand. And just outside Motueka there’s a cairn built, and on the cairn is [are] the stones of the flour mill which came from the first Mickell enterprise. The Mickells are a well-known family in the Motueka area, and Sarah Euphemia was also a strong, independent woman who was a great encouragement and a great asset to the marriage with John Rose. In 1900 they decided to strike out on their own, so they both left their families in the Nelson area, crossed the Strait, and originally went to Marton where there were some other Rose families. They farmed in Marton for a while, and then John and Euphemia went to Dannevirke. They purchased a farm on the Weber road known as ‘Toe Flat’. For those days it was quite a big property; seven hundred and fifty or sixty acres. And interesting[ly] enough, just down the road from ‘Toe Flat’ there is an area where they discovered oil in the early 1900s, and my father, who was born while they farmed at ‘Toe Flat’, said he could well remember the methane gas bubbling up along the roadside as he rode his horse to school. And there was actually an oil derrick built not too far away from ‘Toe Flat’.

My grandfather, John Rose, although coming from a farming background and being a farmer himself, by all accounts was not a very enthusiastic farmer and was more interested in buying and selling land rather than farming it; so after a period of time he moved to Dannevirke and enconced [ensconced] his wife, Sarah Euphemia … well they by then had a family of five daughters; she lived in Dannevirke, and he toured the North Island for a period of time looking for farms to buy. He found a property between Waipawa and Waipukurau known as ‘Olympus Flat’. It was a small but highly productive property, and … think in about 1912 they purchased that property. They farmed there for four or five years and then John again got itchy feet, and he moved to a property known as ‘Hillview’, just outside Waipawa on the Onga Onga road. He settled there; by then their family had grown from five daughters to seven children, the two youngest being boys. The youngest of the seven was my father, Donald George. After he [John] settled at ‘Hillview’ just outside Waipawa, again his intention was to sell that property and move on to a bigger and better place, but land prices actually depreciated after the First World War, and John was caught and was unable to sell and move on; so the family settled there permanently.

John retired to Waipukurau, and in 1936 he went to the Waipukurau Hospital for what was a fairly mundane operation; but unfortunately, he contacted [contracted] an infection and passed away. These days of course, penicillin or antibiotics would have cured the infection, and he probably would have had a number of years of life ahead of him; but in those days that medication wasn’t available.

In 1936 my father married a woman from Waipukurau named Isabella Jean Cochrane. She was the eldest of a family of six, comprising of five daughters and one boy, the boy being the youngest. The Cochrane family were originally from Glasgow in Scotland, and my great grandfather was Robert Cochrane, who emigrated from Glasgow and eventually ended up in Waipawa and became a builder. He took into partnership his son, Robert William, who was my grandfather; and together they had a small building business. There was another son called James who was unfortunately killed in the First World War; and my mother told me that she could remember quite clearly her Uncle Jim getting on the train in Waipukurau and waving goodbye as he was taken to Trentham Camp; and of course they never saw him again after waving goodbye to him at the railway station. That had a huge effect on her, and she spoke about it to me often; seeing her favourite uncle being taken away never to return. It was … huge effect the war had on people that we don’t really comprehend these days.

My mother’s grandmother was a McLean, and her father – my mother’s grandfather, my great grandfather – was Peter McLean, who came from Urquhart in Scotland. Peter was a bit of a mystery man; he came from a family of considerable means and considerable social standing, but he was sent to the colonies at the age of seventeen, and I think it was about 1865. We believe that he was either an illegitimate child or his mother had perhaps remarried. But there was some sort of cloud around his birth that the family in Scotland, who were proud Highlanders and as I say, of considerable social standing, felt that they needed to remove Peter from their immediate family. So he was sent to New Zealand, and he was known as a ‘remittance man’ and every month funding would come from Scotland to maintain him and I guess [chuckle] to make sure that he didn’t go back to Scotland.

Peter bought a farm at Hatuma just outside Waipukurau, and was quite what we could call today, a ‘gentleman farmer’. I don’t think Peter actually did an awful lot of work, but he employed a number of men on his farm. And he had a family … females predominate right through our family line … he had a family of nine daughters; one died in childhood. But Peter married Eliza Colin from Otane, who was a daughter of the local Member of Parliament, a Mr Dillon, and they farmed at Patangata. So Peter and Eliza were, for those days, people of some standing in the community and of some social importance. Peter thought it beneath him to send his daughters to a public school, so he hired tutors or governesses who came and educated his daughters at the farm in Hatuma, which I guess was fine for those days but it meant that they led a life which was extremely narrow and extremely, [chuckle] probably, very boring. However, Peter passed away in 1935; by then their farm in Hatuma had been sold and he’d purchased a small holding just outside Waipukurau, [in] which he and his wife and daughters that [who] were unmarried lived together. So the McLeans were a very, very proud family, and very, very Scottish. And the Scottish influence from the McLeans permeated through my mother’s family, and through my mother to our family.

We think the Rose who I carry the name of was probably of English descent. It is possible that they were of the Scottish Rose family who came down from Inverness into England looking for work; that’s a possibility, but I haven’t actually been able to prove it. Certainly if he was an English Rose, the Cochranes and the Mickells and the McLeans who are the other three of my immediate descendants [ancestors], were very, very Scottish; and so the Scottish influence was very, very strong in our family, but particularly as I say, for the McLean side.

Peter McLean was obviously a very dominant man, although he passed away quite some time before I was born. And I suppose for those days … today he would be seen as quite a severe man, but I think he did what he thought was necessary to bring up a family of daughters and give them as good a life as he thought was appropriate for his social standing.

My mother and father, Donald George Rose and Isabella Jean Cochrane, were married at St Andrew’s Church in Waipukurau in 1936. By then my paternal grandfather, John Rose, was retired, and living in Waipukurau as I say, before he died a year later. So Donald, who was the second son … seventh child and second son … took over the family farm while the eldest son, James Gordon Rose, took a farm in Onga Onga which the family financed for him. My father was a hard worker and a very, very honourable man. He was completely honest, and quite strict in his demeanour and the way that he brought up his children – myself as the second child, and my elder sister, Judith Anne; she was born in 1937 and I was born in 1944. Possibly my father would have preferred to’ve been a carpenter or a builder rather than a farmer. He was never an enthusiastic farmer although he farmed well, but he loved building, and he enjoyed building sheds and anything with timber. And he often said to me that had he had the opportunity he would’ve preferred to’ve entered the building trade rather than being a farmer on the land. However, that was the way it was, and he farmed successfully at ‘Hillview’ through ‘til the time that I was married in 1966. In the war time, because of the necessity he used to do a lot of shearing, and he shore at a number of properties around the district of Ruataniwha where we lived.

My paternal grandmother was Euphemia Sarah Rose, [Sarah Euphemia Rose] née Mickell.

Perhaps we can move back now to where we were; the farm I was born on, ‘Hillview’, was located at Ruataniwha. We were about three miles up the Onga Onga road. The Ruataniwha district was five miles from Waipawa and five miles from Onga Onga, and it consisted of a hall and a school, and years ago there’d’ve been a Post Office there. It was a close-knit community comprising of farmers who settled that area in 1905 at the time of the land reforms of McKenzie when parts of Mt Vernon Station were cut up; and this was known as the Lindsay Block. So the people who settled in that area were generally small farmers or immigrant farmers with limited means. The properties weren’t … on today’s standards were not large; but it was a very warm and close-knit community where farmers helped one another, and generally families grew up with a [an] interacting social connection that you don’t see today.

I went to the Ruataniwha School along with my sister. We used to ride our bikes along the shingle road, and I started riding a bike when I was six years of age or seven years of age. Today it would probably be classified as some sort of child abuse, but however, we went along. And the school was a sole-charge school staffed by … well, in my day it was always a male teacher. And the roll varied from perhaps a low of thirteen or fourteen to a high of about twenty-five or twenty-six depending on who was living in the district, and whether there was [were] many people being employed in the district. So it had a variation of roll. It was typical, I suppose, of a school in that era, the 1950s, where I received my primary education.

Farming of course was on a real boom; the country was growing rapidly, so our conditions at home I saw change, from being difficult – where farming was not as profitable as it could’ve been – to where the wool boom and the meat prices in the early 1950s made [had] a considerable effect on the families of the Ruataniwha district. Our property, which was a limestone block in mainly hilly country, received tremendous benefit from the advent of aerial topdressing, and I can well remember the building of an air strip on our property, which was done communally with three or four neighbours, and horses pulling grader blades. I think we got a mechanical grader in the end to finish building the air strip, and we built a shed to store fertiliser. And I can well recall the adapted Tiger Moths arriving, which of course landed on the air strip. They had no brakes, and my father had to run out as the plane landed and grab the wing so the plane wouldn’t fall off the end of the air strip, and swing it around. So we benefitted hugely from the advent of aerial topdressing and the spreading of subterranean clover, which was applied on our property. I saw the property move from being, as I say, a farm which was really subsistent to a reasonably profitable enterprise. Such was the advent of the 1950s.

Most of the children in the Ruataniwha district went away to boarding school for their secondary education. My parents decided that they didn’t want the children to go to boarding school, so my sister and I were educated firstly at Waipawa District High School, and when that closed I was a foundation pupil at the Central Hawke’s Bay College. It was good sound education from teachers that I think valued education and valued standards, because we had certainly very good standards of behaviour and morality instigated [instilled] into us through the education system.

Much to everybody’s surprise, including myself, I got School Certificate. I never really thought I had the ability to get School Certificate in three years, but I did achieve that. And my father then said to me, “Well, perhaps now that you’ve got your School Certificate, would you like to go to Lindisfarne for a couple of years to finish your education?” But by then I had good mates at school and was involved in a number of local activities in the district, so I preferred to stay where I was. My father indicated to me quite strongly that he wanted to retire from farming at a reasonably early age, and he indicated it would be in my interests and it would be his pleasure if I stayed at home on the farm with him and took it over as soon as I was able to do so. So I never really thought of being anything else other than a farmer, although my parents had tried to encourage me to do other things. My father often said that he would like to see me as an accountant, and my mother, bless her soul, always wanted me to be a Presbyterian minister. But I never really considered any other option than farming, and I was pleased with my choice.

At the age of just twenty-two I married my wife, Jillian, and we were married in St Andrew’s Church in Hastings on the 9th of July 1966, the Reverend Alec Mitchell officiating at the service. I met Jill at the Top Hat Dance which was run by Bernie Meredith, and Bernie of course, lived just down the road … or the Meredith family lived just down the road from us at Ruataniwha. And we met at the Top Hat Dance, which was known as the Happy Hunting Ground in those days; and we went together for a couple of years before we decided that we would get married. Seemed to be generally approved by both families; and my father was, as I say, keen to retire, and he built a house in Waipawa and we took over the property. This was in 1967.

By then things weren’t quite so good in the farming scene. Our property was not large, and now it had to support two families and a mortgage for a new home. And Britain decided the time was right for them to join the European Common Market, and that put a huge cloud over farming returns. And then surprisingly, the price of wool collapsed in 1967. Things became quite difficult. By then our first child; Sally Jean was born. And my father came to me and he said, “I think we may’ve reached the end of the road, and it might be a good idea if we sold and you look for some other form of employment, or another occupation.” I thought, ‘Well here I am, I’ve been married two years, I’ve got a young baby; I’ve got my life ahead of me.’ I said, “No way [chuckle] do I want to sell.” I said, “There must be another way through it.” And he said, “Well, think about it.” And we had an old cowshed on the property and it wasn’t in too bad a condition, and we had some quite fertile flats which were alongside the Waipawa River; it got dry in the summer but they were reasonably fertile. So I said to my dad, “What say I do up the old cowshed and buy a small dairy herd and see if we can get enough added revenue to keep the property and ourselves going?” He said, “Well if you’re silly enough to do that, and you find somebody willing to lend you the money to buy the cows”, he said, [chuckle] “good luck to you.”

So that was a challenge to me, so I phoned the National Dairy Company in Palmerston North, and I said [asked] did they have any old milking machines for sale. And the salesman said to me, “Well strangely enough, we’ve got a set of machines up in the loft”, he said, “they’ve been there for about ten years and nobody wants to buy them.” He said, “I can sell them to you for a £100.” I said, “Well that’s all right, as long as you fit them too.” So they agreed to do that. I then went to the National Bank in Waipukurau, which were not our bankers, and I introduced myself to the manager, Keith Hall; a delightful character and a delightful man. And I said to Keith, “I want to borrow some money to buy some cows.” I said, “I’m not a National Bank customer, but” I said, “if you’ll lend me the money I’ll bank with the National Bank, and hopefully in the years to come we can do quite a bit of business through the bank.” He said, “Come back and see me in a few days.” So I went back to see him and he said, “How much money do you think you need to buy some cows?” And I said, “Well probably £500”, which in those days was not an inconsiderable amount of money. “Well”, he said, “I like your style; I like your forthrightness”; so he said, “we’ll go with you … you’ve got an overdraft of £500.” I had £100 to pay for the machines, and they’ll be installed. So we shook hands, and I went out with a National Bank chequebook and bought myself a herd of cows. It wasn’t a lot of cows, but there was enough there to certainly provide us with the added income that we needed.

I went to Charlie Jackson at the Heretaunga Dairy Company in Hastings, and I said [asked] would he take us on as a new supplier; and he was delighted to do so. So we started a small dairying enterprise. I loved the cows; I just really enjoyed the cows, and I enjoyed milking them. I perhaps might’ve been better if I’d gone full-time dairy farming, but however, our enterprise was successful. We managed to get enough income from the cream from the cows, the sale of surplus calves and a number of pigs which we fattened from the skim milk, to provide Jill and I with sufficient income for our household and the needs for our growing family; while the original farm, or the sheep and the cattle side of it, provided the income for my parents and the various mortgages that we had to pay. I’ve always felt I owed a huge debt to the dairy industry, because if it hadn’t been for those cows and the support that I received from Charlie Jackson at the Heretaunga Dairy Company and Keith Hall at the National Bank, we probably would’ve never ever had the financial success in life which we’ve been fortunate enough to do so [have]. It was hard work, there was no question about it; but Jill was very supportive and it actually brought us together I think, very much as a couple, and a family too. We milked the cows as long as it was feasible to do so, and in the mid-1970s we were financially viable enough to go back to the original farming business that we had. So we sold the herd and went back to sheep and cattle farming on a full-time basis.

All my life I had had … some might say an unhealthy interest in politics. I had been an enthusiastic supporter of the National Party from really, I guess about the age of about five or six, or as early as I had learnt to read newspapers. My father’s family were National people; not terribly right wing, probably very much middle-of-the-road people. And my dad’s often said to me that their political background was from the Liberal Party, not the Reform Party. People will remember that the Liberal Party and Reform Party joined to form the National Party. My mother’s family were Labour, and quite strong Labour. Although my mother never talked party political politics to me much I think that she always maintained her support of the Labour Party. But I was National, there was no question about it, and I was quite right wing in my political views. At the age of sixteen I approached the National Party Branch in Waipawa and I said, “Could I join?” I think it was quite unusual for someone to come and actually ask if they could join a political party, because most time they sort of had to go out and canvass people to get their subscriptions and get their membership. Anyhow, they were pleased that I had offered to become a member, and immediately I was given various jobs within the National Party. So at about the age … I guess eighteen or nineteen … I became instrumental in forming the Central Hawke’s Bay Young Nationals, which was the youth section of the National Party. And we had quite a strong Youth National Party Branch in Central Hawke’s Bay, and from there I was appointed to the Executive of the Hawke’s Bay National Party; and I graduated from that to be Chairman of the Onga Onga Branch, and eventually appointed to the Wellington Division. So the National Party became a very strong influence in my life. My mother said to me she can remember me at the age of about eight or nine sitting on the floor listening to Parliament on the radio, and saying to her that one day I’m going to be a Member of Parliament. So I guess always hankering in the back of my mind was a desire to enter politics on a more committed basis.

In the mid-1970s I was Chairman of the Onga Onga Branch of the National Party and I was on the Pahiatua Executive. Pahiatua of course … Sir Keith Holyoake was the Prime Minister, and the Member of Parliament for Pahiatua. I got to know Keith quite well, and I had huge respect for Keith Holyoake and huge respect for his wife, Norma. They were delightful people, and I felt that Keith was in politics for the right reason. They certainly never became wealthy being Members of Parliament in those days, but Keith did serve his constituents and country well. So I was very much influenced by Keith. When he retired and was appointed Governor General, the Pahiatua seat became available, so I put my name up as one of many who were seeking the National Party nomination for Pahiatua. I knew in my heart that probably I was too young, too inexperienced, but I thought it was a good chance to break the ice and perhaps get my name known in wider political circles. I was quite right, I wasn’t selected; John Falloon was, and became a very effective and good Member of Parliament as Keith’s successor.

But by then my political appetite had whetted considerably, and I was enthusiastic about a political career. I was at a National Party Conference in Wellington in the mid-1970s and I was talking to the Chairman and some of the members of the party in Napier, and they said to me that they were looking for a candidate to stand in 1978; someone who was young and enthusiastic, and thought may appeal to the electors of Napier, which of course traditionally was a hard Labour seat. I was interested, and I thought, ‘Well if I want to be involved in politics, this probably was a good opportunity.’ Not that I expected to win the seat, but I thought, ‘If I do well, it may open the doors in times ahead.’ Jill again was supportive; by then we had a family of three children, and she was pregnant with our fourth. And I’m just eternally grateful to her for the support that she gave me. She never deviated from supporting me in what I wanted to do, or thought I could do.

Anyway, I was selected to contest the Napier seat. By then we of course owned the farm, and I put a manager on; and we rented a house in Napier and I campaigned full-time for the Napier seat. I loved every minute of it. It was exciting, it was enthralling, interesting; and it was just really … I felt it was something that I really wanted to do. The people of Napier seemed to like me; you know, I had a few who perhaps didn’t, but the National Party people were pleased with my efforts; and when the election came around in 1978, although I never won the seat I performed creditably; and in the swing against National I actually held the tide in Napier, and we actually pulled the majority back just a little bit. So the end result, although not a victory, was good.

The National Party people in Napier said because we’d done quite well in ‘78 and I was well-known, and seemed to be reasonably well accepted, would I stand again in 1981 with the hope that we would actually win the seat. Napier being a hard labour seat, it was felt that it was probably winnable on the second time around. By then farming had again gone, and was heading into difficult times. Financially we were starting to … perhaps not struggle, but the prospects weren’t looking too good. We had a family then of four children who were girls, and we felt the prospects on a small farm in Central Hawke’s Bay going forward, weren’t particularly good for us as a family. We thought, ‘Well, we could do several things; we could look to buy a bigger farm, or we could look into entering into a new career.’ So we decided to sell the farm; we had the opportunity of realising a good price, and we purchased a nice home in a new subdivision in Taradale. Although politics featured in our decision, it wasn’t totally about politics; I wouldn’t want people to think so, because that would’ve been selfish of me. We really felt in our hearts that we could do much better for our children and their prospects if we lived in the Napier-Hastings area, where access to education and jobs were a lot better than they were in Central Hawke’s Bay. So we did sell the farm, and in hindsight it was the right decision we made. The children went to school in Taradale and we became immersed in the Taradale community. I joined Rotary, and I had joined the Masonic Lodge in Waipawa but I transferred my membership to a Lodge in Napier City.

I did contest the 1991 [1981] election for National in Napier. By then the tide had turned against National … Robert Muldoon was not popular as a Prime Minister; where in 1978 there was ‘Rob’s Mob’ and a popular swing still behind the Prime Minister, by 1981 that was running out, and the whole scene had changed considerably in three years. Although I had no personal acrimony against me, there was a lot of acrimony against National and particularly against the current Prime Minister; so it was a battle. Labour had put up a new candidate in Geoff Braybrooke, who was a seasoned politician; he’d stood three times before for Labour without success. And Geoff was a determined and competent opponent. It wasn’t an easy campaign, and I felt that I personally probably didn’t sparkle as I sparkled in 1978. But however, when the results came in, we again [were] unsuccessful, but again had polled quite well. We certainly produced one of the better results for National in that election. But it was obvious to me that I wasn’t going to win the Napier seat. If it was likely in 1984 that there would be a change of government, there didn’t seem to be any sensible prospect in pursuing a political career at that point of time, certainly in Napier. I had an idea that the Hawke’s Bay seat which was then held by Sir Richard Harrison, the Speaker of the House, would likely become available after the 1984 election and it might be better to wait and see if it was possible to get the nomination for that. So I [de]parted from the National scene in Napier, parted on very good terms, and I said to them I felt it would be better for them and certainly better for me, if they found a new candidate for 1984. And as I say we parted on very amicable terms, wishing each other well.

When we shifted to Taradale I wasn’t quite sure what I would do for a career but I saw an advertisement for a rural real estate agent, and I said to myself, ‘I could do that, and I think I’d enjoy it.’ So the company that advertised, I went to see them; and they said, “Yes”, you know, “we’ll be happy to take you on. There’s certain qualifications one has to gain, but … you’ve got to do some study and sit some exams and they’re not too onerous; you shouldn’t have any problem passing them. And should you pass them we’ll be happy for you to take this position.” So I duly did the study and passed the exams, and started work as a rural real estate agent.


For John Leggett & Company. John was a very dynamic real estate man, and in a way I owe John quite a bit. He taught me real estate and he taught me how to work in real estate. Although we didn’t get on terribly well as people, professionally I owe that company quite a bit.

So I took to real estate, and I did very well. I suppose to be fair we worked hard, and the results were forthcoming; and it provided a very lucrative return. After I’d been operating in Napier with Leggett & Company for a year, I was approached by the then manager of de Pelichet McLeod Real Estate, Hugh Cameron. I knew Hugh, had met him off and on a few times, and he said [asked] would I consider joining him at de Pelichet McLeod. The thought of working for a stock and station agency based in Hastings who had good access to the rural community certainly was very appealing, and I also thought that Hugh and I would get on very well together. So I resigned from Leggett’s and joined de Pelichet McLeod in Hastings; again a very, very good move. This was in 1982.

I did very well at de Pelichet McLeod – part of the Crown Corporation at that time, owned by Rod Weir – and I was the Crown Corporation’s top real estate person for two or three years. Hugh Cameron resigned to set up his own business, and Owen Mudgway who was the General Manager of de Pelichet, approached me and said [asked] would I take on the management of the real estate business, which I agreed to do. I’d barely been managing the real estate side of the business for a matter of a few months, and the manager of their travel division also retired, so I was given the position of managing both real estate and travel. So that was a busy time for me. I had a staff of … I think we had a staff of about four or five in Hastings, and I opened a branch in Waipukurau with a staff of another three or four. Management really wasn’t my thing; although I don’t regret doing the management side, really my skills and ability was in the field in a hands-on position. After a period of time I felt that I [it] would probably be better for me if I relinquished the management side and went back simply operating in the field as an independent contractor. I found it difficult adhering to a nine to five working week, or a Monday to Friday working week, and writing reports and attending staff meetings, and doing those things that being a middle manager at a stock and station agency required; so it was probably the right move to go back.

I went back to a company called McLoughlin’s – Eddie McLoughlin, who I had worked with in Leggett’s and had set up his own agency – and I worked with Eddie for a couple of years. Then I was approached to join Farmlands in Hastings who were opening a real estate division, and I moved there for a period of time. I must be honest; I did extremely well in real estate, and I was for a while the top rural agent in Hawke’s Bay as far as sales were concerned; and being commission based the reward was good.

After I’d been at Farmlands I was approached to go to Stewart Realty which was a Hastings business, and they offered me a very, very good deal to go there. Shortly after joining Stewart Realty the proprietor of the firm passed away suddenly, and so three or four of us who worked for Stewart’s bought the company and renamed it Hawke’s Bay Realties, and we ran that business until I retired from real estate in 1995. By 1995 I was well and truly burnt out; the energy required and the commitment to real estate was taking its toll, and I thought that it was probably better that I did something else for the remainder of my working life.

In 1982 we sold our home in Taradale, and had purchased a property in Longlands Road, between Hastings and Havelock North. It was known as ‘Riverbank Orchard’; I came across this property through a real estate transaction. It appealed to me; I thought it was a nice property, it was a nice place to live; it was well situated, and an area that I felt that we would be happy living in. It was close to schools and close to my work. The property needed a considerable amount of redevelopment, so it was not something that we could go into and farm as a full-time enterprise from day one. I went back home and I said to Jill, “I think I’ve found a property we like”; and she said, “Oh, I didn’t know we were looking for one.” But anyway, as always she’s been my rock and my mate and my support; and so we sold our house in Taradale and shifted to where we now live, in Hastings – again the right move at the right time.

The property when we purchased it was in Golden Queen peaches and asparagus. We arrived here on the 1st September, and we started picking asparagus on the 10th September, which is something we’d never done before in our lives. Anyway we were fortunate that some of the pickers who’d worked for the previous owner stayed on and worked for us that season, and we began our harvest of asparagus and then of Golden Queen peaches. It was a steep learning curve, but after being off the land for four years the thrill of being back on the land overcame any difficulties that otherwise were in my head. I am a man of the land and I just love being back here.

The girls were educated at Woodford House, so it was in a convenient place for them to go to school, and it was an ideal base for my work which was then still in real estate, while we redeveloped this property. After a few years of growing asparagus and Golden Queens we realised that the property would be better in apples, because in the late 1980s apples were becoming popular, and quite lucrative. I did some calculations with my accountant and again with the support of a bank. We stripped the property and laid it bare, and redeveloped it into a modern apple orchard. Obviously, while we were stripping the property and redeveloping, I was solely dependent on my real estate returns to keep us viable as a family, and as I say, I was fortunate in my work that I was able to secure a good income, and not only maintain our lifestyle and educate the children, and [but also] redevelop the property. So by the end of the 1980s we had a nice, efficient apple orchard.

Again, we enjoyed what we were doing; we enjoyed very much growing fruit, something we’d never done before. Jill was a very keen and a very good gardener, and I think her skills in gardening spilled over into horticulture; and although I’d never been a particularly enthusiastic gardener, I loved the land and enjoyed my years as [at] farming; so it wasn’t a difficult transition, and we really fell into orcharding without any great difficulty. The orchard became self-sufficient in the early 1990s … 1993 … and we looked forward to 1994 with some anticipation that I would then be able to give up real estate, and we would be orchardists in our own right.

We didn’t know what nature had in store for us, because on the 4th July 1994, the devastating hailstorm came across Hawke’s Bay and took out four hundred growers; we being one of the four hundred. We had started to harvest our first crop of export Royal Gala, and they just magnificently beautiful apples. We were so proud of them, and I think we’d picked three bins. I had to go to Wellington to a meeting that was actually in Parliament; nothing to do with the National Party. But I came out of Wellington, and it was the very early days of cell phones, and I had one installed in the car. Anyway, I called Jill, I think from Levin, to say I was on the way home, and was everything okay; she said, “Oh, we’ve had a little bit of a storm.” And I said, “Was it too bad?” And she said, “Oh, we had a bit of hail, but”, she said, “nothing to worry about.” Anyway, I thought, ‘Well if she told me that it was probably something to be of concern’. So I rang a friend of mine who was an orchardist in St Georges Road, and I got his wife; and I said, “I hear you’ve had a little bit of hail.” I said, “Is your husband available? I can have a talk to him.” She said, “Oh … he’s in the sitting room, crying.” So I knew then that it was more than just a little bit of hail.

So when I got home I realised the devastation; our orchard had been completely wiped – we lost all our fruit – as I say, along with a number of other growers. I think it was the first time in my life I’d encountered sort of devastation, and total loss … very sobering experience. And the next day we gathered at our local packhouse, and it was a little bit like a funeral. We just had about twenty or thirty of us local orchardists milling around, none of us knowing quite what to do.

Anyway, our community kicked in – we had a tremendous amount of community support. We’ve always been active in our church, the Presbyterian church in Havelock North … Church of St Columba. And they were just absolutely superb; not only did they supply us with a lot of food and a lot of material needs; they also organised a group of the congregation, and they came out and they actually helped us strip the orchard. We had no other fruit salvageable for sale as such, but it was able to be juiced – I think we got .04 cents a kilo in those days for juice fruit. And so the church actually came out and spent days here helping us strip the orchard. You can’t repay debt like that; it’s just practical Christianity at its best, and they were just really, really wonderful people. The day after the storm the minister rang us up and said to us, “How bad’s your loss?” And I said, “Well it’s as bad as it can be.” And he said, “What can we do?” And I said, “Well, I don’t really know at the moment.” He said, “Let me ring you back”, and he phoned back the next day, and he said, “People want to help.” He said, “Can we bring you food?” And I said, “Well, we’ve actually got plenty of food.” He said, “People want to help”, he said, “let me bring you things”, and so they carried us through.

The girls at that stage were at Woodford, and the school fees had to be paid; Woodford were equally supportive – they rang me up and said, “How are things?” And I said, “Well, they actually probably couldn’t be worse.” I said, “I think we’ll have to take the girls out of school.” They said, “Your children’s education is the most important thing at the moment – don’t even worry about the school fees. Don’t even think about it; just continue to send your children here, and we’ll talk about it later.” And so they came back to us a few weeks later, and said, “Look, there is a Trust fund available which will meet your daughters’ school costs until you’re back on your feet – not only yours, but some other parents who were equally affected. So again, you know, the debt we owe to the trustees of Woodford House, which is a magnificent school and gave our children just the very best of education – we owe them a huge amount, too. So they carried us through that year as far as education’s concerned; and the school, and the community, and the Lodge also, made sure that we were physically and financially okay.

You take a bit of a beating in your head, but I’ve always been a glass half-full rather than a glass half-empty person; and the prospects of the next season being okay, and we were still healthy and we could still go to work … the negative thoughts soon disappeared. And of course, you know, in 1995 we did grow a good crop of apples, and were back on the – perhaps not financially terribly sound, [chuckle] but we were certainly a lot better than we were the year before. I suppose when you look back over your life, having suffered a loss like that makes you understand life just that bit better, and it makes you understand and appreciate people a heck of a lot more than if you hadn’t suffered a loss. The thing was that although we lost all our year’s income, and all our work was destroyed, literally in seconds, our health was fine; our relationship was strong; and the support we had from those who were near and dear to us was very, very strong. And so it really teaches you a lesson about living.

Perhaps I should just remind you that my wife was Jillian Gay [?Golds?] … well-known Hastings family and long-time residents. Her grandfather was Syd Morrison, who was the founder of Morrison Motor Mowers and Morrison Industries. Syd and Jill’s grandmother Olive were divorced later in life, and Jill’s mother, Coral, the daughter of Olive and Syd, died at a younger age.  She was brought up mainly by her grandmother.

In 1996 I retired from real estate, again with no regrets, but I was pleased to finish that part of my life. And the apple orchard was our main sustenance [if you] like, for our income.

In probably the 1984 election when Richard Harrison lost his seat to Labour’s Bill Sutton, the National Party of course were looking for candidates to contest the 1997 [1987] election. Along with a number of other Hawke’s Bay people I put my name forward for selection for the Hawke’s Bay seat. I think there were probably about nine or ten original candidates, and after a pre-selection process it was whittled down to five to contest the selection. The selection was held at the Town Hall in Taradale; it was probably 1986, and I was up against some formidable opponents; and my good friend Ewan McGregor was one of my opponents at that stage and of course Ewan and I served together for a number of years on the Regional Council later on. The selection was won by Michael Laws, who went on to stand against Bill Sutton in 1997 [1987] – Bill again won that election, but in 1990 Laws against stood for National and this time toppled Bill from the seat.

I more or less stepped aside from politics at that stage, but in 1995 the ACT Party was born, founded by Sir Roger Douglas, and I became very interested in what the ACT Party were doing. So along with a number of ex-National and ex-Labour people we formed the Hawke’s Bay branch of the ACT Party. It was a very interesting time, and for a couple or three years I was on the national board of ACT and I was the List candidate for the first MMP election in 1996. I said to the ACT people I was happy to go on the List as long as they put me in a position where I didn’t get elected; I had no desire to be a List Member of Parliament for anybody or any Party. But they were looking for name candidates, and I think I was probably Number 23 or 24 on the list.

But it was an interesting time, those two or three years involved with ACT; and I managed the election campaign for John Ormond who was the ACT candidate in Tukituk [Tukituki] in 1996. John of course, from a very well-known family and well connected, was a strong campaigner; very strong-minded individual, but he did extremely well. He didn’t quite poll ahead of National, but he polled about four and a half thousand votes for ACT, which for those days was a very good result. But of course following 1996 the ACT Party went into a series of ups and downs, and virtually disappeared out of Hawke’s Bay.

So, if we could pick it up again where I was in 1996 … so in 1996 we were full-time orcharding, and although I’d had some involvement with ACT, I’d pretty much let my interest with National disappear, although at heart I was probably more of a National Party person than anybody else. I felt that the time had passed when I was likely to be elected as a Member of Parliament for any particular party.

In 1998 one of the sitting Regional Councillors came to me and said that he wasn’t going to contest the election in 1998, and his seat would be vacant; and I might like to consider whether I’d like to offer myself for it. The Regional Council had always interested me, and although I thought at times I might like to stand for the Hastings District Council, the District Council really didn’t ring too many bells, but the Regional Council … I was quite interested, so I went along and had a talk with the then general manager, Andrew Caseley and found out what the Council did. I came home, and I thought, ‘Yes … I think this is for me, and I think I could do the job.’ So Jill [was] again supportive of what I wanted to do, so I put out a notice in the newspaper that I was going to stand for the Hastings constituency at the next Regional Council election. The Regional Council in those days was not something that was [at] the forefront of everybody’s thinking, so it didn’t really attract a lot of interest. But the odd person picked it up, and wished me well.

So when the time for nominations came I submitted my nomination; and of course, back in the late nineties it was an individual thing. Local government was something that you did, you didn’t have party support. You might have the odd person who perhaps gave a small donation to your campaign funds, but generally it was something that you did by yourself, and you used your own expertise and your own funding to do it with, and it never really occurred to me to call anybody to assist, either financially or materially. So we went out and … I hired a photographer to do a photo shoot for my campaign material, and he came to do the photo shoot and … oh, he just could get a picture that was any good. I wasn’t relaxed, and the photos just didn’t happen. At that time I had a little fox terrier; he was a lovely little dog, he was a great friend of ours; and he was running around and I picked up the terrier and sort of gave him a cuddle; and the photographer picked up his camera and snapped a couple of pictures, and he said, “I’ve got the ideal campaign photo for you.” And we looked at it, and there was me holding Toby, the dog, and relaxed and … yeah, even if I say it myself, I thought it was a pretty good picture. So, then we put our campaign material out with the pictures of me and Toby the dog. Well, the number of people that contacted me or asked me about this dog was phenomenal! It caught the public imagination, [chuckle] and I had people saying to me, “Oh, I don’t know who he is, but that guy with the dog [chuckle] … I’ll vote for him, he’s got such a cute-looking dog.” So I think I owe Toby quite a bit in that election. So I put out some advertising material … little bit of a blurb sheet about myself, and I was fortunate enough to get elected to the Regional Council.

I think the election to the Regional Council opened up an aspect of my life which is something that I was meant to have done. I just so enjoyed being a Regional Councillor; I loved every minute of it. Certainly we had our problems and our arguments, and our down days, but overall, being involved with the Regional Council was something that I greatly enjoyed; and I think I was able to make a real contribution for the good of the region, which I was meant to do. That election saw a career of five terms of Council; after a settling down period, and after a period of learning the ropes and learning what it was all about, I turned my activities on Council, or my main interest, to that of the flood and drainage control, and pest management. I used to call it the gritty and gutsy work of Council; the dams and the stopbanks, and the forests, and the rabbit control and the possum control and that type of thing; the infrastructure and the outdoorsy things – that was really [where] my skills and ability lay. And I worked extremely well with the engineer of Council, chap by the name of Mike Adie who became a very good friend of mine, and together Mike and I did a tremendous amount of the work that Council did, I think with a huge amount of success, through to the election in 2012.

I never sought the chairmanship of Council. There were opportunities; I didn’t really want to be the Chairman. I thought probably the stress of the job would be taxing, but I thought that I could probably contribute more with what I was doing, and enjoy what I was doing much more if I stayed at the level and the interests which I had. So we went through a series … one term I was returned unopposed, or the Hastings Councillors were returned unopposed, which was a huge compliment I suppose, that nobody saw fit to want to challenge us. But in the other years we had a number of candidates who offered themselves to compete against us at election time; but I was successful in being re-elected at every election. I enjoyed very much the companionship of Ewan McGregor and Eileen von Dadelszen who were my Council comrades in Hastings. Both Ewan and Eileen were very committed people, and they did a lot of hard work for their community; and I think Hastings has been very fortunate in having both Ewan and Eileen as their representatives for such a long time. I think we owe them quite a lot.  In hindsight, I was just so pleased that I hadn’t managed to get myself elected to Parliament. I felt that the Regional Council was where I was able to make a real contribution, and have a tremendous amount of enjoyment and pleasure from the job.

I saw things and met people and did things that I would’ve never ever been able to do. I saw Hawke’s Bay from the sea to the mountains, and every back road and every crook and nannie [nook and cranny] from Nuhaka to Norsewood. And Mike Adie and I travelled the road, and visited just so many places where the Council was involved in their activities. We did some good things during my time; we did the Soil Fire Remediation Planting; we rebuilt the Makara Dam at Elsthorpe; strengthened the stopbanks; we had no major flooding events during my time at Council. But the thing that I’m most proud of at all, and it was under my leadership of the Asset Management and Biosecurity Committee of Council, where I led the attack on the possum pest in Hawke’s Bay. We reduced possums almost … we never eliminated them, but we certainly had them almost to the point of them being a very, very rare animal indeed. And I saw the bush and the vegetation in Hawke’s Bay change in that period of time, from where it was … the rata trees, for example – you never saw rata blooms. By the time I left Council and our possum control work was really then going at full tilt; well, we saw the rata blooming again. We were releasing kiwi up in the foothills; we had TB [tuberculosis] almost totally eradicated, and when I first went on Council bovine tuberculosis was a major problem. So the work that we did on eradicating possums and the control of bovine tuberculosis was really quite remarkable. And we had rabbits pretty much under control; and of course today rabbits are rampant again in Hawke’s Bay – we’ve got some major, major problems.  We had plant pests … we had Hawke’s Bay pretty good; there were certainly areas where plant pests were prevalent, but generally we had the region under control as far as that is concerned.

In late 2009 Council embarked on the scheme to develop a water storage scheme in Central Hawke’s Bay which became known as the Ruataniwha Water Storage Project. Water storage had been on the radar in Hawke’s Bay probably for ten years before that, and a number of engineers and come and spoken to Council, and I remember Mr Stewart in particular … eminent engineer, talking to us about the need for water storage. By 2008 / 2009 it was clear and obvious that we had water problems looming in the region, and particularly in Central Hawke’s Bay where there were signs that water storage was both needed, and water shortages were imminent. After due consideration and considerable planning – and a lot of persuasion was needed – it was decided to embark on a project to build a water storage dam in Central Hawke’s Bay. I was elected by Council to be on the leadership committee which was establishing the project for building the dam. I believe there was [were] huge benefits to Hawke’s Bay by having a large centralised water storage scheme based in the foothills of the Ruahine Ranges, which would feed throughout all of Central Hawke’s Bay into lower parts of the Hastings area, and that the economic boost that would’ve occurred through irrigation and security of water to the rural community would’ve had huge economic benefits both to Hastings and Napier – Hastings in particular, because of the added production which would’ve gone through firms like McCains and Wattie’s; through the Silver Farm [Fern] freezing works in Takapau, and the exports which would’ve gone through the Port of Napier.

Sadly and regrettably, that process became politicised. And there are people who have caused immeasurable damage to Hawke’s Bay by killing that scheme. It is an unmitigated tragedy that saw well in excess of $20 million expended; the scheme was never ever culminated. It could well have been done; it was killed for political reasons, not for economical, sensible reasons. If [there’s] anything I regret in life, and I regret very little, I greatly regret that that scheme never came into fruition.  It is my strong belief that it will happen, because simply, it has to happen. We need the water, and we need storage, and we need irrigation, not just for the farming community, but for the towns of Waipawa and Waipukurau, and the economic growth of Hastings and Napier and the development of this region. We need some strong politicians and sensible politicians to again pick up the baton and see that that scheme is developed. I believe that the work that we did will be delayed, but I believe it will not be lost.

But unfortunately it was politicised, and in the 2012 Local Government election – which where I stood, it would’ve been my last term of Council – I was subjected to a deeply personal and frankly, a disgusting and ghastly campaign to change the Regional Council. It was really too horrible to describe; some things that were said and done were nothing better than despicable. And I will say that one of the worst things that happened was the day that there was a … what was generally known as a ‘tractor march’ in Hawke’s Bay, where a certain number of large commercial growers activated their staff to drive tractors to a meeting place at my gate, [and] dumped a whole lot of used sanitary napkins, I guess to intimidate or frighten me. But that was the level that that campaign went to – it went to the depth and dirtiness of politics which I would’ve never ever thought possible in local government in Hawke’s Bay. Rumours and lies were told; the city Councillors were accused of doing things that we never did.  We were accused of never attending meetings we were never invited to go to, and we were expected to do things that were well beyond the capabilities or possibilities of a city Councillor. That nearly destroyed me, that campaign – I was … I was shattered by it. At the end I lost by sixty-one votes, and I just hope that those who were successful in achieving that result realise what they have actually done. We saw big money and big commercial interests, and we saw the work of political operatives, which … I believe those three have no place in local government in a place like Hawke’s Bay, and I think it’s degraded politics and it’s degraded local government to a level which is simply despicable and deplorable.

So it was a very sad end to my career on the Regional Council, and indeed my political career; no good was done by it. We’ve had people elected who are there for the wrong reasons, and quite frankly are quite incompetent [and] should not be there. So I’m sure we will be on the right side of history, and in time people will understand what was done; but myself, and Ewan McGregor and Murray Douglas who took that hit – I think very few people perhaps understood the depths of depravity that took part in that campaign.

Anyway, leaving that aside, my career on the Regional Council was one that I’m extremely proud of; I enjoyed very much. We made tremendous friends, and I think that Hawke’s Bay is a better place because of the stability, the common sense and the safe pair of hands that we provided over those years that I was privileged to be part of that Council.

During the period of time from 1996 to the present day, Jill and I have been fortunate enough to do a lot of travelling. We’ve seen a lot of the world, and for a period of time … once a year or occasionally even twice a year, we were lucky enough to have an overseas holiday, or overseas vacation or overseas experience – whatever you like to call it. But we’ve seen most of Europe; we’ve seen most of America. There’s one or two highlights that people may be interested in – three highlights, I think, of our travels. One was in Africa where we were fortunate enough to visit South Africa, and I was able to see the All Blacks play South Africa in Durban, which was exciting on its own. And we went through Namibia; but we spent time on a safari farm in the north of South Africa, place called [?Tshimbolada?]; think it’s one of the most pleasurable experiences that we ever had, where we were able to see the big five as far as the game animals were concerned, and see the African jungle in all its majestic splendour; and see the animals as nature intended them to be. We were right up close to elephants and rhinoceros’ and lions, and it was just a magnificent experience – something that you can’t put a monetary value on, it was just so enriching. And to see the majesty of those animals and the way that they’ve created this island to be was just something I was just so, so grateful to experience.

On a different sphere we did a trip up the Mississippi on a paddle steamer from Memphis to New Orleans. That was totally different to being in Africa of course, but that was a great experience. We met some wonderful American people, saw much of the deep South, and meandering down the beautiful Mississippi in the summer time is something that can only be savoured.

I think the third experience was 2012 – we followed the All Blacks through Great Britain. I’m an enthusiastic rugby supporter, I love the All Blacks and I love international rugby, and I spend a lot of time these days watching and reading about it. And in 2012 we had the opportunity to fly into Cardiff and watch the All Blacks play Wales in Cardiff, England at Twickenham and Scotland at Murrayfield, and we also spent time in Ireland. Although I’d been to Great Britain a number of times, to go there and actually be part of it – join up with a touring party at these rugby matches – to have the excitement and thrill of being amongst seventy or eighty thousand rugby supporters and watching the All Blacks play teams like Wales in that magnificent Principality Stadium, again, was a joy to behold. Wasn’t so much fun at Twickenham, because that was one day that the All Blacks lost – one of the very few matches they’ve lost – but again, to experience Twickenham, and to also experience Murrayfield, was just something that I’m forever grateful for.

Switzerland was another country that we enjoyed our visitation to very much. When we went through Switzerland we said at night time, “Well, it can’t be any better – this must be the best day of our lives.” And we found that the next day was even better, and so it went on. We just have been so fortunate to’ve been able to travel and experience so much of this world. Probably that brings us up to date to where we are today.

In 2006 we had the opportunity to subdivide this property, and to sell some of it for lifestyle purposes. Orcharding was going through rapid change and it was becoming dominated by corporates; and most family orcharding properties were either being leased or purchased by corporate or large growers … something that I don’t think serves us or the community or the country at all well. I think individual properties in family hands are by far the best way socially and morally to run inside an agricultural country. However, I saw this was coming, and we were made some very good offers, so we took the opportunity to subdivide. And as I was very much by then a senior Councillor and it had become really a full-time job for me, apart from sort of a feeling of sadness of losing your orchard – something that you’d planted and grown and nurtured – it wasn’t a hard decision to make. So we retained the property where we are, and nowadays we grow some plum trees, and we sell plums as a little job in the summer time for us. We’ve developed the skills and the ability to grow good plums, and we have people literally from right around the North Island who will come and buy our plums.

Brand? [Variety]

We grow Black Doris and Omega plums; we sell every plum that we grow, and to be honest we could probably sell twice as many if we had the energy to and the desire to grow more plums. But its been a good way to end our farming career[s], and how much longer we’ll continue to do that remains to be seen. We’re probably at the stage now where the body aches just a little bit more, and the crates are sort of heavier than they used to be; and getting up and down ladders and hydraladas is not quite as easy as it was two or three years ago, so maybe we’re at the stage where we might retire to a house on the hill in Havelock. [North] How’re we going, Jim? Is that …

That’s very good. Tell me, were you a JP?

Oh, yes, I was, yes. 1998 I was appointed to Justice of the Peace; I enjoyed my work as a JP, it’s a way of serving your community, and when I was a Councillor a number of people used my services. I decided last year that it was probably time to let somebody else take up that type of work, so I retired as a JP. I now have the title ‘JP, Retired’, which I’m quite proud to have.

Well, that’s one of the most interesting talks I’ve heard.

There’s one other thing that I did that I should mention; it’ll only be very brief. In 2006 when we subdivided the property and ceased to be apple orchardists, I was approached to see if I’d be interested in doing some work as the regional coordinator for the East Coast Rural Support Trust. This is work that is done for alleviation of difficulties in rural families, be they through climatic conditions, or financial conditions, or spiritual conditions. And again, we’d sold the orchard and we’d sold the livestock properties, and although I was still on Council I did have available time. So I did that work for four years. It was interesting work, and you dealt with people that … probably some of them were at the end of their tether. Strangely enough, a lot of it wasn’t financial pressure; a lot of it was pressure from difficult situations through marriage breakups or family concerns; and some of them had problems with addiction, and others had problems with depression. And then of course you had people who were financially stretched. So it was highly confidential work, and you never ever disclosed who your clients were, or what you did to assist them in alleviating their problems. But usually it was a matter of listening to them and then directing them to the appropriate professional or spiritual person who could assist them in their needs. It was a rewarding period of time, and I’m again pleased I did it, but quite frankly four years was long enough to do that type of work. I found it to be quite emotionally draining. But again, you know, one is privileged to think that one was invited to perform that work for your community.

Well Kevin, the Knowledge Bank appreciate[s] your time you’ve given …

Oh, it’s a pleasure.

and thank you very much.

Well thank you, Jim.

Real pleasure.

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Interviewer:  Jim Newbigin


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