I Remember When …
“I was born on 14 May 1899 in what was formerly the Presbyterian Manse and which is where the Borough Council Offices are now”.
“My father brought [bought] the church property and for a few years after I was born the church was still there but my father used it to store hay”.
At nearly 92, Sid Joll can rattle off the names of the original Villagers, with a clarity and memory better than many people one third of his age. Their names read like a street map of Havelock North: the Rickards, Lileys, Vaughans, Coopers, McLeans, Lowrys, Tanners, Jolls, Douglas’, Chambers, Ellisons, Richs, Hallets [Halletts], Lileys, Mossmans, Reynolds, McHardys and the Fulfords. The list seems endless and not only can Sid remember their names, he also remembers their occupations and exactly where in the Village they lived.
He remembers the blacksmith’s shop, where Rustlers now stands, as well as the boot maker next door. Where the Happy Tav now stands was the original Exchange Hotel, run by Mrs McLean, the mother of one of his childhood playmates, Alastair, who later went on to become the Presbyterian Minister of the Village.cP
One of Sid’s old photographs of a cottage in a paddock is unrecognisable as the site where a block of shops, including the Joll Road Dairy, now stands.
Sid’s great-Grandfather, Alfred Harrison came to Hawke’s Bay around 1863. Alfred’s daughter then married John Joll in 1865.
“I went to Havelock [North] School on Te Mata Road. There were two big rooms and there was a lean-to at the back. I remember the first time I went to school – I thought I was Christmas! They gave me a slate and a pencil and I really thought I was wonderful”.
“Our favourite games as children were cowboys and indians. When I was young the heroes were Australian Bush Rangers and Nee [Ned] Kelly. We had nothing to worry about. We were never short of anything”.
“One of the things which we enjoyed as young boys was eeling in the Mangarau Creek which flowed across Middle Road under Nimon’s Bridge. We also caught crayfish occasionally”.
Later, Sid rode his push bike into Hastings to attend the Boy’s High School.
“I was turned down for the First World War because I was only 19 so I went to work at Tauroa Station. I went school teaching for a year but didn’t like it and then I went into a law firm, Logan Williams and White”.
“I later went to Victoria University where I qualified as a lawyer and I was admitted as a solicitor in 1924. I practised in Wellington and Wanganui. I married in 1929 and was in legal practice for about twenty years. When the Second World War came on I was in a government job at State Advances Legal Branch. I enlisted and went away to Egypt for four years and when I came back I was appointed a legal Staff Officer, finishing up as a Captain”.
Sid is reluctant to talk about himself, preferring
Photo caption – Jim [Sid] Joll, longtime resident of Havelock North
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