Newspaper Article 2006 – Memories flood back for Dorothy

Memories flood back for Dorothy

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Ninety-four-year old Dorothy Hollay stepped back in time this week when she visited her old workplace stamping ground in Napier.

Now living in Te Awamutu, Mrs Hollay won the Art Deco Trust’s earthquake recollections competition and has spent the past week as the guest of the trust.

On Wednesday she was taken to see the British American Tobacco building in Bridge Street, Ahuriri, and the memories flooded back.

When she worked there for three years (from 1932) it was called the National Tobacco Company, and she recalled her base wage was two pounds ten shillings a week (allowing for inflation, about $220) . . . although with plenty of overtime it would swell out to £12.

He [her] first job there was to strip the tobacco leaves.

“I still think about the National Tobacco Company days when I strip silverbeet,” she says with a smile.

She also remembers the strong odour of tobacco which permeated the clothing of the workers.

In those days there were no work uniforms as such, so she set aside a set of her own “work” clothes.

And it was while working at the tobacco company she met her future husband, Syd.

He worked at a nearby woolstore and they lunched together during their courtship.

Mrs Hollay was delighted to see the remarkable main entrance exterior, and interior, had been faithfully cared for.

She had enjoyed a busy, often tiring, but thoroughly enjoyable visit back to Napier.

Just marvellous,” she said.

RIGHT: Dorothy Hollay and her daughter Ruth Wilson at Mrs Hollay’s workplace of some 70 years ago.

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Dorothy Hollay died 4 September 2009 at the age of 97


Format of the original

Newspaper article

Date published

18 February 2006

Creator / Author

  • Roger Moroney


Hawke’s Bay Today


Published with permission of Hawke's Bay Today


  • Dorothy Hollay
  • Syd Hollay
  • Ruth Wilson

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