but she attended Hastings Girls’ High and of course stayed at home.
The blossom festival was a big thing in Hastings and people warned us on our arrival at the dairy that we would be so-o-o busy, well, the ﬁrst one was due, we asked both our Mothers to come and give a hand, we arranged the furniture so that no one could get round the back of the counters and waited, – well what a fizzer, it was no where near as busy as we had been at Porangahau on a rugby day, never mind it was another experience we had had!
Well for 7 years plus we continued at the “Willowmarket” as the shop was called and the children grew, John attended Hastings Boys’ High after having had 2 years at the Intermediate, while Andrew attended Hastings Central, they continued their schooling uninterrupted going right through to the 7th form in each case, Neroli ending up as the Science Scholar of her year, then went on to Massey University and received her degree with no trouble.
We worked out a system whereby all three children assisted in the shop over meal times to give Dad a break and this worked well, they were all good with the customers and the customers liked to see them helping, there were always bags of potatoes and things to be bagged up to keep Andrew busy as he was a bit younger.
It was also no trouble for Neroli to take charge of the dairy while we had a break, we had endeavoured all through these years at the Willowmarket to take the family away in the may [May] holidays and we always went to a different part of New Zealand, after awhile of course things changed as they started doing their own thing.
John had said he wanted to leave school and I said when you have your school cert you can leave, he received the results of his school C went straight to the A.N.Z.Bank, organized himself a job, then came home and said I have my school C and I start at the bank on Monday!
Andrew being the youngest had a bit of time yet before he finished his schooling.
They all played sport the boys, rugby and cricket, Neroli netball and hockey (I think)
The boys also took part in all the Scouting activities arranged by Alex as their Scouter, they had interesting bike rides, to Taupo and home over the Gentle Annie, plus there were always camps somewhere. I kept on with my Brownies, becoming a Brownie Trainer to encourage other women along the same trail.
I had been in the Church Choir at Poragahau [Porangahau] and when we shifted to Hastings the Vicar had notified the Vicar in Hastings that we were moving and he called on us the day we moved in, consequently I turned up for choir practice and continued to sing there for a number of years, Andrew was also in the boys choir for a few years.
It was about this time when the children were starting to do their own thing as it were, that there was a notice in the paper about forming a public golf club and we decided it would be a good idea to see what it was all about so Alex attended the meeting and put our names down as being interested and eventually the course was in the process of being built, the members would go out each day and play 9 holes and rake pumice out of the soon to be made greens, remove any boulders that were in the way and the men would dig holes for the preparation of the lakes, everybody enjoyed this, we felt we were really involved in the making of our Golf Course. They put up a big marquee, this was our cloak room and our dining room, everyone pulled their weight and got behind the project until in due course it was officially opened as the Flaxmere Golf Course. Many are the joys and frustrations of the game of golf! However, we both enjoyed quite a success especially compared with a lot of other folk, it took me longer to learn than Alex but I got there eventually.
In later years we were able to go around the Mens’ Veteran Tournaments, I would caddy, and we would mostly enjoy the games, though there were a few burglars as they are called. We realized later that we played better golf when we had hurried prior to going out to the course, for instance, to be fair to each other, we would always try and do the necessary chores before we went, thus avoiding any extra stress on the one remaining to look after the shop, consequently by the time we arrived at the golf course we were ready to go! It worked too believe me.
We carried on here at the “Willowmarket” and saw Neroli marry her choice, then they went off down South and taught in Westport where they had many interesting experiences, and where they produced our first Grand Child a little boy, and he was the living image of his Grandfather.