People of the Waimakariri

See also Places of the Waimakariri

Tāngata Whenua

European Settlers

Mayors of the District

Women of Waimakariri

Life histories told by five North Canterbury women born around the turn of the century

Written by Margaret Lorraine using original material from interviews

Following are some excerpts:

In 1986 I met five North Canterbury women who spoke to me about their lives. They were all born around the turn of the century. The oldest was born in 1892. It was a wonderful experience for me. I cried and smiled privately at what they described and it gave me some understanding of them.

Annette Hamilton

I was born in 1901 in a nursing home in Sydenham. When I left the nursing home I went to live at Mt Thomas. I really only have memories of Mt Thomas, as I was there for 85 years.

My mother did not want me to be a tomboy but I was allowed to climb trees. I got to know every stone in the creek. As a child I remember pushing myself across the creek on the weeping willow branches. I was not lonely really, as there were always lots of people staying.

Hazel Williams

I was born in 1906 at home in North Loburn. I was called Hazel because that was a pet name of my father’s.

We used to have a horse named Casey and we used to take shortcuts going from Loburn to Rangiora. There was no bridge and I can remember going through the cuttings and up the other side. Casey was a pretty good horse and one time there was a lot of water on the road and Casey jumped the water. Dad and I went up in the air. It was nearly too much for my father.

Alice May Holbrough

I am a North Islander by birth. When I was about 3 or 4 years old my family came down to the South island. At first my father had a shop in Southbrook which is a mile or so out of Rangiora.

I started work at the Kaiapoi Woolen Mills before the first World War about 1908. I started on the winding. There was a long stretch of machinery and there were big bobbins side by side. I had to wind the wool on to the bobbins and go along the row and replace bobbins that had already filled. I had to work quite fast.

Miriam Dodsworth Watson

I originally came from Clarkville.

When I was ready to leave school and decide what to do with my life, there were my parents, who really wanted me to stay home and help them. Really though I felt that I wanted to be a working person and able to earn my own money. There were not many career choices, so I decided to go for something safe. I had been brought up with teachers and I liked the thought of teaching, and I decided to be a teacher.

Ivy Horton Geddis

I was born in Rangiora in 1892 and I left school before I was fourteen.

At last I bought a car. It was a Ford and I was able to take my mother out. If I had paid board I would not have been able to save enough to buy a car. It was very rare for a woman to have a car in those days. I did not have a licence and I did not need one. There was no examination. A friend of my brother in law taught me to drive. Fords were very fashionable at the time.