Clifford Barry (Barry) Stewart & Carole Ann Stewart Interview

How now brown cow? It is too too true that the bluebird flew. [Chuckle] How nice of you to let me come. [Chuckle] Okay.

Barry: Well there are three or four main points I suppose, which sort of acted as a … very pivotal as to what direction we took in our life. So … better start with the shop that Dad had, because that sort of brought us together in a strange sort of way.

Carole: [Chuckle] How strange is that?

Barry: Well … [Chuckle] But he and Mum had a seed shop in Dalton Street in Napier in 1948, which when you stop and think back is only two or three years after the end of the Second World War, and that was actually influencing a lot of what was happening at the time. He then opened a shop in Marewa, ‘bout 1952 I think it was, and eventually transferred there – had a nursery, and aviary and birds and things like that. But the shop was a seed/grain/produce, as they were in those days. And just a slight diversion for a moment into Dalton Street, reminds me of Anton.

Carole: Oh, yes – I remember Anton.

Barry: Anton was one of the Dutch immigrants that came out at the end of the war, so within about five years of the war. And on this particular day – he was working in Dalton Street to start with – there was a very severe earthquake, and people … a lot of people still had in mind the 1931 … and everybody rushed out onto the street. And my father was looking for Anton and he wasn’t there. And a couple of minutes later he turned up, and he moved over close to my father and said, “I hope you don’t mind, Mr Stewart, but I’ve taken all the money out of the till.” He said “we learnt in the war, if you had money you can survive”, which none of us thought about. [Chuckle]

Carole: That’s amazing – I remember Anton because later, when I came to work with your dad – because there were a lot of Dutch immigrants after the war and they used to tend to come to your shop … our shop … for seedlings and things like that. And Anton taught me how to say, “Vat con ik voor u doen?”, which is “How do you do?” [Correction: “what can I do for you?”] And he taught me to say, Hoe gaat het met u vondaarg?” [“How are you today?”] And I’ve trotted out those two sentences for the rest of my life, whenever I’ve met Dutch people. [Chuckle]

Barry: [Chuckle] Going back to the shop – Mother was an accomplished book keeper, so she was Company Secretary. And Dad also ran a quarter-hour broadcast once a week on gardening with the local 2YZ radio station.

After I finished school, which never really agreed with me anyway – I left without School C [Certificate] and I went to work in the shops in 1953. And although you and I and my family were strong attenders at the Baptist Church, we never really knew each other, did we?

Carole: No. But that changed in 1958. I left high school in mid-1957. I didn’t want to leave school, but my parents felt that I needed to be out working, and so I had to leave school. And my first job was in the wool shop in Emerson Street in Napier, and then they put off staff in 1958 … ‘57 …

Barry: ‘57 probably.

Carole: Yeah. My parents said, “Right.  Well, we’ve arranged for you to start in Rothman’s Tobacco Factory.” And that really was really harsh for me, because I was a dedicated Christian and I didn’t really approve of tobacco smoking, but my parents had said that that was where I was to go, and I didn’t really want to go there. And the weekend before I was to start, I remember going with the bible class group out to Waipatiki Beach, and my leader saying, “Oh, you look pretty sad, Carole – what’s happening?” And I told him, and so he had a little prayer about it. And then I climbed a hill, and fell down and twisted my ankle, so I was never able to start at Rothman’s on Monday.

Barry: That was an answered prayer, probably.

Carole: [Chuckle] And Eric said, “I think I know somebody who might have a job for you.”

Barry: Mmm. And that happened to be my father.

Carole: So that’s how I met Barry. [Speaking together]

Barry: So they were good friends through the Church and everything else, and he said, “Oh – well I think I can find a job”. So he went and saw my father about it. That’s the first sort of connection.

Carole: I didn’t know that … so I started there as a shop girl. Marewa Shops had not been open very long, and I didn’t know anything about Barry’s family really, at all. And afterwards I realised that I had seen you in the distance at Church, but never …

Barry: Yeah.

Carole: Anyway … and I remember the first few days I was there, Mr Stewart sent me down to get something, and it was late in the afternoon. And then I came back into the shop, and he said, “Oh, Carole – you haven’t met my son, have you?” And you were behind the counter and [speaking together] doing something …

Barry: I was doing some stuff way down below the counter, so …

Carole: And I’ll never forget this … this … this beautiful young god rose up from [chuckle] behind the counter, and I … I was just … and said, “Hello”, and I just looked into his eyes, and that was it. I was hopelessly in love. And it was just … I just hoped and hoped that you’d find me attractive, and I used to … I remember going to the back of the shop at about five o’clock when you were due to come and help us with closing up. And I’d put on my Tangee lipstick and make sure my stocking seams were straight, my hair was just right. And I suddenly began to take long walks past your house in Tom Parker Avenue at the weekends, from one side of Marewa to the other. We lived on the State House side and you lived on the posh side. And [chuckle]

Barry: It was all being developed at the same time. [Chuckle]

Carole: And I just … I had no idea whether you had a girlfriend or not; whether you liked me; it was just … I just hoped that you would. And you didn’t ask me out for quite a few weeks.  It was …

Barry: Probably a slow learner in those days; I didn’t get the signals. The reason we didn’t meet earlier in the shop was because I’d – that year I’d gone to Anderson’s Nurseries for extra training, and it was one of the biggest nurseries in the country, in Wellesley Road. And I used to be there all day, and then at about half past four or so I’d come back to the shop to give Dad and Anton a hand to close shop. I’d heard he’d hired a girl to work in the shop, and that’s when this all happened.

Carole: I remember I’d just about given up all hope that you would ask me out, and this particular day I had a cold, and my nose was shiny, and I felt frumpy, and you came into the shop. And I can just see – picture it all just so clearly – I was up a ladder trying to put something away …

Barry: [Chuckle] I was just off work.

Carole: And you helped me. And then you just said, “Oh, would you like to come to the pictures with me?” And I just … I was just over the moon, and that was the beginning of our going together – we were officially going together.

Barry: … together in those days, yeah.

Carole: So our first date was to the State Theatre, which is now the Angkor Wat Bakery in Napier, and you took me to see a naval …

Barry: Naval film. [Speaking together] War films were all the go in those days, war films.

Carole: … war film about a submarine … [Chuckle] And then I remember I think about the second date, you took me on your motor scooter to Dartmoor. And I’d never been to – we didn’t have a car, and I’d never been too much outside Napier. And it’s down this long, long valley, and then there was this beautiful stream at the end, and a bridge. And tantalisingly, over the other side of the bridge there was a little hill, and I just remember looking at that and having this strange, strange feeling that somehow I was lead to there. And anyway, we had our date, and a lovely time at the river, and I didn’t realise then that really, lots of our future lay on that other side of that river …

Barry: Lay on the other side of the river.

Carole: … because that’s where our daughter married a farmer from the other side. It’s where …

Barry: Of the river, yeah.

Carole: … all our grandchildren were born, and it’s where we’ve continued to visit. You know, it’s amazing how that … how that was. So Dartmoor was really special to me from the time I was fifteen, and it’s remained really special to me all …

Barry: Ever since.

Carole: Yeah.

Barry: Spent lots of time out there.

Carole: Yeah.

Barry: But I guess we sort of stayed together for about twelve months until Dad sold the shop. He wanted to go back farming, and in 1959 he sold the business and my family and I all went to Kaikohe, to a farm, and you went off to work in Hastings.

Carole: Yes. I was heartbroken, because you said that – perhaps because you were going away and things looked as if they were taking a different direction, that maybe we should just take a pause on our relationship. And I … I was just … I don’t know, I just felt that … felt very sad, and that I’d lost everything.

And about that time … okay, so the job with your parents had come to an end, so I came to Hastings and I had two jobs in succession. One was at McKenzies as a shop girl, and the other one was working for the Women’s Division of Federated Farmers, with their babies or that … that were boarded out sometimes to them. And on one of my visits back to Napier, my GP said to me, “Now what are you going to do, Carole?” And I said, “Well I’d love to go nursing, but I … ” Well he asked me had I thought about nursing, and I said I didn’t have the minimal … even the minimal educational requirements for it. And he said, “I’ll go and talk to the Matron”, and between them they hatched this plan that if I waited ‘til I was seventeen and a half, which was the earliest I could start, and I passed my prelim exams then I could go ahead and do my training. So it was a little bit illegal, but they both took a risk on me, and I ended up passing all my exams, staff nursing at Greenlane Hospital, staff nursing at National Women’s Hospital with Mr Liggins, and lots of people that’ve become famous … quite famous since.

And then I came back to Napier and did thirty years staff nursing in the Psychiatric Unit here. So thank goodness for people who want to help, and who take chances.

Barry: But going back a step or two, of course you were back in Napier, and we’d sort of – we didn’t lose contact, I think we still wrote one or two letters to each other. And then this particular letter …

Carole: Oh, no – I’m not sure about that – I don’t think I heard anything from you.

Barry: Oh, maybe after that, yeah. Yeah.

Carole: Yeah. So I was …

Barry: But I wrote this time. [Speaking together]

Carole: … I was living in the nursing [Nurses’] Home at Hinepare, ‘cause all nurses lived in there. And I remember I had your photo and it was in my room, but I was kind of … most often when I looked at it I was kind of crying, or very, very sad, and … yeah. And always hoping … always hoping that I might hear from you.

Barry: And which you did, about … towards the end of your first year of training.

Carole: I remember;  I just remember coming down – it’s one of those minutes that stay with you always – and the Home Sister saying “Carole Bennett? There’s a letter here for you”, you know. And it was you. And I was about to take my first holidays that were due. I’d been nursing just over a year, and I’d arranged to go to Auckland to see my aunt, and then to go further north to see another aunt. And so I wrote back to you and said that I would be in Auckland at such-and-such a time, and I’d be staying with my Aunty Maud in Grafton if you wanted to come and see me, and I’d love to see you.

Barry: Mmm.

Carole: And you were a bit non-commital about it, so I went up and just hoped. Your turn. [Chuckle]

Barry: Yeah, because at that time I was studying at the Bible Training Institute …

Carole: At the top of Queen Street in Auckland.

Barry: … which is behind the Tabernacle, which is the Baptist Tabernacle Church, which is right … sort of about a hundred metres from the top of Queens Street, if anybody knows the area there. So I was living out with other friends actually, from Napier, from years before – I was boarding in Mt Albert. So when they [I] came out of Bible Institute I had my motor scooter and I’d turn right up to Queen Street, and then turn right along Karangahape Road back to Mt Albert. However, this particular night – and don’t ask why, I mean I don’t know why you make these decisions, but I – as I drove out onto Queen Street I thought, ‘Hmm.’ The way the lights work you can either turn left or you can turn right, and if the lights turn red on the right-hand turn, they always turn green on the left-hand turn. So my decision was, ‘If the lights are red on the right-hand turn, I’d go left’, which meant I went across Grafton Road and straight into your place to see you.

Carole: And then it would be God’s will. [Chuckles] And the lights turned the right colour.

Barry: Just as I came up they turned red on the right-hand turn, and turned green on the left-hand turn.

Carole: So he got me on the whim of a traffic light. [Chuckle] And I was very glad – it was just so wonderful. I can remember hearing this motor scooter putt-putt-putting up Seafield View Road, and I was kind of … just so amazed, and so happy that you came.

Barry: So I arrived not knowing what sort of reception I might get, but …

Carole: It was a very shy but happy reception. Yeah.

Barry: Mmm. Mmm.

Carole: And so our relationship grew over that next year. I used to spend lots of time inside the phone booth at Hinepare, and we’d have long, long conversations and lots of … And you’d come down for your holidays, and I went up and stayed with your parents on the farm, and it was great. And then we got engaged. We got engaged while we were …

Barry: Well once – yes, you came up for another holiday, or we said you were coming up for a holiday. I was also on holiday … would’ve been on holiday at that time up with my parents. So I think I sent you a telegram to say, “See you at the Whangarei Airport. Bring a coat”, or something to that effect – we’ve got a copy of it there somewhere.

Carole: Yes … yes.

Barry: And so you flew up on the old DC3 as they were in those days, into Auckland and on from Auckland into Whangarei in the old two-wing Domini, which was an old aircraft; met you at Whangarei Airport; we went into town and to a jeweller’s shop who happened to be a friend of my parents, actually. And we decided on a couple of engagement rings.

Carole: Mmm. And then you took me to Whangarei Park by the waterfall, and you got down on one knee and you formally proposed.

Barry: And fortunately, you said “yes”.

Carole: Yeah. And so that was very happy. So I got back to Napier, I finished my nursing training. Barry came down whenever he could on a holiday; sometimes had a job, sometimes didn’t; stayed with friends and they’d lend us perhaps a car to go out to Waipatiki, or something like that. But it was lovely.

And then when I qualified, which was … oh, you came down for my graduation.

Barry: Yes.

Carole: And … yeah, it was great. Then I went up to Auckland and I got a job at Greenlane Hospital and stayed in the Nursing [Nurses’] Home, and you were by that time, finished at BTI and had moved to Baptist College to become … to do four years theological training. So my parents were quite happy; they said, “That’s terrific, we’ve got time to save up and give you a lovely wedding.” And your parents were quite happy, and we put a spanner in the works in a way.

Barry: But … yeah. But in the meantime I was still coming to see you while you were at Greenlane.

Carole: Yeah. I just remember one thing vividly. You didn’t have any money, and I was the only one that was earning, so we bought a little car but you drove it – I didn’t have my driver’s licence. And you used to come from Remuera, pick me up, and One Tree Hill’s very close to Greenlane so we used to go up there to look at the views and …

Barry: Listen to the lambs.

Carole: … and listen to the lambs, that’s right. And I remember one day this terrible, terrible noise outside the Nurses’ Home when I was expecting you, and your radiator was leaking. You’d taken a crate of empty milk bottles from the College, and you’d filled them all up with water, filled the car up, got to the Nurses’ Home, had to re-fill again … [speaking together]

Barry: Re-fill the radiator.

Carole: … so we could get to One Tree Hill.

Barry: Yeah. I filled the radiator – you took the bottles back inside and refilled them and put them in the car. [Chuckles]

Carole: That’s right. So I’ll just never forget that. And you repeated the process when it was time for me to go home.

Barry: Mmm.

Carole: That’s just one of the lovely little things about perhaps safer days, when could sit out on the promontory canoodling and be reasonably safe.

Barry: [Speaking together] Sit in Cornwall Park and be safe. Oh, I thought we went to look at the lights and listen to the lambs. Mmm … ‘course.

Carole: It was to look at the lights, dear. I’m sure you were well lit up. [Laughs] And then … okay …

Barry: Well time went on and for various reasons I began to query whether I’d continue on with theological training. In the finish I … no, I … no. In late ‘63 I left, and of course that gave us … we then decided, “Right – well, we’ll get married”.

Carole: It was really difficult for both sets of parents because they weren’t ready for us to have done this, and Barry’s parents had to deal with the fact that he’d decided to go in a slightly different direction. And my parents just – they weren’t in a position to give me the … they wanted the whole thing. We were just so tired of having been going together for a long time – I wasn’t going to say all this – that we just … all we wanted to do was to get on with our lives, so we proposed that we would get married in a registry office – that was just what we felt like doing. But the church that we were associated with – it took it out of our hands really, and said … you know, on this particular day the church was going to be decorated, so that was the day it would be quite nice for us to get married.

And so things happened – I went to the Farmers and bought a white … a plain white linen dress, and the mother of one of the staff nurses that I was working with put some lace on it. And another nurse took my black shoes and Fasinac’d them white. Fasinac was always used to change the colour of your leatherware if you wanted to. And my sister and my aunt came, but nobody else from the family could come, and they said, “Oh, we’ll have tea and biscuits afterwards.”  But they had arranged quite a banquet …

Barry: Quite a spread, yeah.

Carole: … for us at a private home, so we ended up having a more evolved wedding at very, very short notice than we anticipated.

Barry: Just totally unexpectedly actually, yeah.

Carole: And so it just took a lot for our parents to be … they were happy for us, but just to kind of get their heads around how everything had changed.

Barry: Mmm – round that. However, once we were married you moved off to National Women’s Hospital.

Carole: That’s right – yeah. And that was great – I really enjoyed being there because I was working with people that are still talked about today – Professor Liggins who created the Liggins Institute, and Professor Green who people say …  There was the Sandra Coney Report;  but you know, all these men were great people in their own right.

Barry: Professor Liggins was doing the amniocentesis …

Carole: Yeah.

Barry: … sort of development of the process, wasn’t he?

Carole: That’s right – so you could give transfusions to unborn …

Barry: Unborn children – babies, yeah.

Carole: Rhesus negative babies. It was all very exciting. And then I became pregnant, after about a year of our marriage I think I became pregnant, and so for the next eight months I looked just like the people … [Chuckle]

Barry: All the other women in the … [Chuckle]

Carole: … in the unit.

Barry: But it also gave you very good antenatal care …

Carole: That’s right.

Barry: … with the top professors in the country.

Carole: And when our little girl was born, Barry was allowed into Professor Liggins – or Mr Liggins, he was always Mr Liggins – delivered Helen, and he knew Barry by this time, a little bit, and he allowed him to come into the room for the delivery. And that was 1965, so … it was just becoming okay sometimes, for fathers to be allowed in. Yeah.

Barry: To be allowed in, so that was another one of the firsts in the country we were involved – well, sort of firsts, in the country.

Went to work for Farmers’ Trading as [in] a trainee manager’s role, and was there for – I suppose all of this – twelve months or so. And then we decided … we had holidays coming up and we’d come back to see your parents in Napier. That was all fine;  and tell them they were about due to become grandparents;  you were three months pregnant at that stage. And so that all went fine, and on our way home we decided, ‘Oh, well, instead of going on the Taupo Road, we’ll try this new way.’ It’s called the Gentle Annie;  the Taihape Road, which was a good road, except it was all metal, and deep metal and things like that, and you were …

Carole: So I drove over a cliff. [Laughter]

Barry: Not over a … we drove … off the road into a ditch. [Chuckle]

Carole: But it was … we kind of landed on trees;  the ditch gave way and it was …

Barry: Way into the sort of ti-tree.

Carole: Yes.

Barry: So I was very gallant of course …

Carole: Of course.

Barry: … and straight away put my hand across in front of you so you didn’t hit the steering wheel, because you were three months pregnant;  you couldn’t have that. And you promptly broke my arm. [Chuckle] So …

Carole: I know, darling, but I do love you.

Barry: [Chuckle] Which meant I was in Taumarunui Hospital for the night. [Chuckle] And the car – it wasn’t really a serious accident, it just happened like that;  if I hadn’t put my arm across in front of you I wouldn’t’ve broken my arm … just your weight pushed me into the steering wheel.

Carole: It changed the course of our life again, didn’t it?

Barry: It did actually – that was another turning point for our life because I couldn’t go back to work immediately. So I was reading the paper one day, the Herald, up there and I see this advert. And it’s probably partly your fault, because you were a nurse. And I read this advert from Oakley Psychiatric Hospital looking for trainee nurses to register. And I thought, ‘Well that sounds interesting’. So I did.

Carole: It was really – looking back it was really exciting because it was just …  My mother had always worked in mental health or hospitals, and she had tales of people being in rooms with horsehair-stuffed mattresses, and very, very primitive conditions, and when you went to Oakley it was just when some of the psychotropic drugs had been found …

Barry: Only sort of very brand new, and …

Carole: Yeah.

Barry: … when I started it [was] only perhaps three or four years beforehand, it used to be known as the Avondale Mental Asylum. It was one of the biggest hospitals in the country with two thousand beds. And you imagine two thousand psychiatric patients in one place. There were … just as an aside … there were about ten thousand people in large hospitals around New Zealand, at that time – all these big psychiatric hospitals.

However, our future changed because I went there, got my registration, worked on the toughest wards in the country. And so I had a new job, new profession – remembering I had nothing when I left school, so we were now both professionals as it were. I had nearly qualified, we had a new baby, and life was taking a different course.

Carole: And then we came down to Napier when Helen was about three years old. And she was bitten by a pig at a farm, and from that contracted meningitis. She was about three. I was just so grateful that I had all my training, and got her to hospital in time.

Barry: We sort of picked – the doctor came to see her, and we picked what we thought was happening. And I got home from work that afternoon and he was on the doorstep. I said, “Hospital?” He said, “Yep.” So we just … straight away to Auckland Public, and fortunately she survived and there was no further problem.

Carole: Again that changed the course of our lives, because from the age of three we really thought that whenever we were away from Auckland and its climate, Helen was a lot better. And so we decided to move to the Bay of Islands, to your parents, and just …

Barry: ‘Cause by this stage they’d sold the farm and they had the first official motels in Paihia. At that stage there were no motels in Paihia. Lots of garages were used for accommodation, but there were no actual motels as such. So they opened the first motels, and they used to give us one when we’d go up on holiday. Helen seemed so much better, so we decided, “Right – we’ll come north and live in Paihia”, which we did.

Carole: So we lived there in rented accommodation, and then we bought our own home at a new settlement at Haruru Falls, and Helen started school … well, we loved living in Paihia, and being near your parents was nice, and Helen started school and you had new jobs.

Barry: Yes, I worked for the Northern News, a newspaper in Kaikohe, and I was there as a photographer/reporter/proof reader. I also sold insurance for CML Insurance from Kaitaia to Kaikohe and at all points in between. And when I wasn’t doing that I was working with my father, pruning trees and roses and painting houses, and the latter took both of us actually – well a friend took us over to Zane Grey’s fishing lodge which is at Otehei Bay, where Zane Grey used to come, back in the 1920s or ‘30s or whenever it was [to] do his fishing;  do some maintenance over there, so again, that was another bit of our interesting life.

Carole: And then an ex-nurse … a nursing friend of mine …

Barry: Friend came up, mmm.

Carole: … came to stay, and you were offered a position down in Napier, and …

Barry: Down in Napier, or … [speaking together]

Carole: we decided to go back to Napier when Helen was about six.

Barry: [Speaking together] School of Nursing as a tutor. So again our life took a different turn and we came back to Napier, Hastings, and I was a tutor with the Hawke’s Bay School of Nursing, which was the hospitals in those days. And I would supervise nursing students that went to the Psychiatric Unit, [to] which I managed to get introduced as part of their training programme, and then eventually became the Charge Nurse of the Uni,t and the Nursing Supervisor of the Unit for many years. And that’s when I said to you one day, “Oh look, they’re looking for someone to do a bit of part-time work at the Psych [Psychiatric] Unit – would you be interested?” You said, oh, you might … six months … yep, fine. That’s exactly what happened, and thirty-two years later you retired.

Carole: That’s right. And I loved it. [Chuckle] I absolutely loved my job for all my life, working at the Psychiatric Unit. It was just great, and it’s interesting because that’s where we both met Dr Ballantyne and had quite a lot to do with him.

Barry: He was the Director of Psychiatric Services, and he and I often had lots of long talks. But Dr Ballantyne was well-known to us.

Carole: And I was the Clinical Nurse, and we often had talks about his war-time experiences, and what he was playing on the piano, what he was learning. And he was just a very nice man. And one of the things that I am proud of is that a few years after he died – or sometime after his wife died really – we at the Psych Unit had named one of our buildings ‘Ballantyne House’ and there were moves afoot to have the name changed to something else. And I did a lot of research, came to the house here at Stoneycroft with his family’s permission, found some photographs of him, some details and bits and pieces, made a case and …

Barry: I sat at his desk, which was here in those days.

Carole: Yeah.

Barry: And looked through some of the drawers and the various … there was … I came across a pile of invitations, like to the Queen, and to the Governor-General, and to this and that. And of course he was the Queen’s physician when she came to New Zealand, whenever that was, so it’s just fascinating history.

Carole: It’s strange how things happen, like – when I look at his uniform in the room that we’re recording this from, I remember that when we came, or when you came with me that time, and the caretaker of the property;  and I remember downstairs on the hall stand his cap was still hanging there, and in the bedroom which is now the main administration office, in the wardrobe his uniform was still hanging there.

Anyway, his name was retained and we had a [an] early morning blessing … re-blessing … of the particular Unit, and it was just amazing how many people came from around … oh! Going to cry now … how many people came from around the area, especially Māori, who – many of them just stood up and said what Dr Ballantyne meant to them. So I was very glad about that.

Barry: When we came back here of course, Helen went off to school – she went to Rudolph Steiner for a year or two there. And when she’d finished she’d entered a contest for Miss New Zealand … Miss Universe, and became a finalist.

Carole: [Speaking together] She was a Miss … Miss New Zealand finalist, so [chuckles] we thought that we must’ve got the recipe reasonably right. And she’s a … she is a lovely person. Then she went up to Auckland to work at Kelly Tarleton’s Underwater World before … [Speaking together]

Barry: Tarleton’s Underwater World, which was brand new at that stage. Because we had known him and his wife when they opened a museum in Paihia – first place – on the marae there – they opened a museum in an old sugar barge which they had on the banks there.

Carole: Okay. Then, darling, [chuckle] what else happened in our lives? [Chuckle]

Barry: Well, she married Ken out at Dartmoor.

Carole: Yes.

Barry: Which was the river we went to so many years before, and suddenly our life meant we were crossing the same bridge very regularly to go on through to Mount Cameron. Now she had five children;  we had one, she had five, and she’s now got four grandchildren, so we’ve got four great-grandchildren as well.

And then she again was the next generation from us without a qualification – managed to get into a course at Massey, got a degree in early childhood, went on and did her Masters with Honours in Early Childhood Education, and now she runs a programme in the EIT …

Carole: Of Human Development.

Barry: … Human Development.

Carole: And she’s just a magnificent …

Barry: And she’s looked after …

Carole: … person.

Barry: … all her children from whenever they were born, and they’re now between twenty and thirty years of age – twenty-two and thirty years of age.

Carole: I think I’d really like if there’s time in this, to mention that our life took an amazing course about – I’m not sure, twenty or thirty years ago I suppose, when you met Pare Nia Nia. Pare has died now, but she’s from Ngāti Hine Hika. The marae is Te Reinga, just outside Wairoa. And her associate and friend, Ma’a Samuelu, who is from Apia … Salamumu … in Western Samoa … and these two people became our extended family, or we became part of their extended family. And Barry started with them, teaching mental health modules on marae all over the North Island really – well from …

Barry: Well, from Ruatoki out to Mahia and down to Carterton.

Carole: And over to the …

Barry: And eventually to the Chatham Islands.

Carole: Chatham Islands … Wharekauri. I always went along on these weekends. The advantage for me was that I was married to the person [chuckle] who made the rosters, so [chuckle] I was always able to get away. But it’s just brought such a blessing into our lives of knowing … of being made safe to walk in a different culture from the one that we were brought up in. And it continues to mean a great deal to us, and continues to deliver blessings in associates that we have, and things that happen.  And we were invited, and it’s great.

Barry: So now we’ve links through to whanau in Wharekauri, or Chatham Islands, and our own cultures.

Carole: So I married you, darling, and you … you know, I suppose you being the person you are, which is pretty nice … I fell in love with a pretty nice person, and you know, that has brought lots of joy and blessings into our lives too.

Barry: We met up with Pare and Ma’a purely because there was a bit of a change in management structure systems in 1990, and hospitals suddenly took on business management approaches, so I moved out into the community team and looked after an assessment team which gave accommodation to patients from the Psychiatric Services. And then in 1992 …

Carole: The beginning of WIT … you were the beginning of WIT.

Barry: Of WIT, which is now ‘Whatever It Takes’, who’ve just received a three or four hundred thousand dollar contract to help with the homeless in Napier. But in 1992 the Government brought in a new Mental Health Act, having revised the 1905 Act, and the Manager of the Service said, “Oh – would you like to introduce the staff to how it works?” So it meant I suddenly had to take on a whole new thing on law which I’d never done before, because you’re dealing with an Act of Parliament. So I learnt all that and taught the Police and the staff and the doctors and various other … and some lawyers.

Carole: It was a Government appointment.

Barry: It was a Government appointment for the Ministry of Mental Health;  and eventually became the Director of Area Mental Health Services under the Act. And because of all that experience, that’s when Pare said, “Oh, you better come and help us with marae teaching and things like that”. So that …

Carole: So that just about brings our life up to here.

Barry: … was that. We retired, and …

Carole: We retired – we’re getting older and slower. We’re still in love, I have to report that. I would like to also have written;  I do write stories, articles that have been published for a number of years, and …

Barry: Well I think – we didn’t say that you’re one of the founding members of the Hawke’s Bay …

Both: Live Poets.

Carole: And currently today, I’m very, very happy because I’ve just been told by Pukemokimoki Marae that a poem that I wrote ages ago, ten years ago, they want me to read at their celebrations, and …

Barry: Ten-year celebration, mm.

Carole: … at the moment also I have some poems on – it happens to be New Zealand Poetry Day this coming Friday – ‘Poems in the Cathedral’. But all those things, it’s just … they’re words, they’re how you feel, and this is … I just wanted to read this one about our five grandchildren:


‘There are five points of light

That keep my future bright

I wear them like a diadem

Or a five-pointed star pinned near my heart

My life is mine alone to shape and shift

The haphazard five drift in and out

A pleasing tide of random encounter

A pool of genes that seems to me

My heart, my joy, my legacy

I am but a fraction of five rays of hope

Five points of light in my horoscope

I wear them like a daisy chain

Linked with love and close to my heart’

Carole Stewart

11 September 2006

Original digital file


Format of the original



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