Newspaper Article 1939 – Three Charming Small Inseparables

Three Charming Small Inseparables

Three-in-One Birthday of Coronation Triplets

By the Hawke’s Bay Correspondent of the “New Zealand Free Lance”

ONE feels that even the British Royalties after whom our New Zealand “Coronation Triplets” are named may be amused and interested to hear of the progress of these three fine girlies, Mary, Elizabeth and Rose, who were born on Coronation Day, 1937, and celebrate their second birthday on May 12.

In a quiet country home in Havelock North capable, plucky Mrs. Anderson, Mr. Anderson and a family are bringing up, feeding, doctoring, clothing and enjoying sturdy triplet daughters, with no financial aid of any kind, and no publicity except when the children are brought to town. Then they are nearly mobbed, both in Napier and Hastings, and men, women and children flock to see Mary, Elizabeth and Rose, with their brown curls, rosy complexions and violet-blue eyes, who are so unconscious of their charm.


First there is Mary: “A real scamp and full of mischief,” says her mother. Mary “simply floods her bath water over” and is very lively. She has somewhat of a “paddy” too, and can fly into a temper which soon is forgotten.

Elizabeth is a happy-natured child, just a little mischievous and yet very good-tempered. She has the happy and bright characteristics of her two sisters.

Rose is the leader. She is a real comedian and loves to make up funny antics which will set the other two in fits of laughter. She is sweet-natured and will never take anything unless she can give the same to Mary and Elizabeth. “Up to every trick imaginable” is what her mother says of her. Rose leads the way to adventure – but always the others must come too. She will be the first to wriggle her small person underneath a farm gate which is locked against her. Then she will stand on the other side and wait for her sisters and will not go on till they follow.


They are inseparable and when one is taken away the other two children will not settle down till again the trio is complete. They will cuddle one another and say “Darling, darling.” But as a rule their language is their own. They will not talk properly for they understand each other and jabber a weird lingo which is entirely their own and most amusing to hear.

They have simple food. Vegetables, gravy, milk puddings, fruit raw and stewed, a crust and glass of milk at waking. Like good Scotswomen they dearly love a good big plate of oatmeal porridge for breakfast. They have never had an illness, just colds occasionally with their mother as nurse and doctor.


Mrs. Anderson it is who makes their new winter coats, who saves the pennies to buy three pairs of shoes, three hats, and three of everything that they must have. And she it is who made them favourite stuffed rag dolls which, with their buckets (which they play with all day filling them with stones), are their main toys. Now there are gumboots for their birthday – braw gumboots for Scots farm lassies. One pair of red, one of blue, one of green.

“I have no help from outside – I’ve been a long time on my own,” their mother said when asked just how she managed. And one came away feeling a great admiration and yet something of indignation that some should have gifts showered where little needed and others must shoulder an exceptional load in keeping three cradles full at the same time.

Original digital file




  • Mary, Elizabeth and Rose Anderson

Date published

May 1939

Format of the original

Newspaper article


New Zealand Free Lance

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