|1950's childhood at Te Pahu with extended family for company|
HAMILTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
ORAL HISTORY PROGRAMME
YOUTH ORAL HISTORY PROJECT
INTERVIEW WITH : Murray Sanders
DATE : 23 November 1995
INTERVIEWED BY : Joan Keiller
ABSTRACT BY : Joan Keiller
|Social Life, Fads, Trends||Local Issues|
|Relations with local Maori||1950's [cont]|
Click on a speaker icon to hear the interview.
|Tape 1 Side 1 ||Tape 2 Side 1 |
Born 15.4.1935. Parents - Tom & Maud Sanders, farmers at Te Pahu. Grandfather lived with them. Two sisters. Extended family, relations in district - did alot together and social life around this group.
Went to local primary school, teacher school.
"The roll varied from 8-9 and 16, at the most!" Five of us about the same age, which was to my advantage"
Interschool sport, joined with other school groups regularly.
"We were carted around on a truck owned by the Father of a player ; that's how we got around"
1 year at Hamilton Tech.
"It used to take 1½ hours to get there and 1½ hours to get home at night"
New to New Plymouth for rest of Secondary Schooling - 2 years. Enjoyed it - and the variety of sport options it provided.
Left School at 15, to work on family farm. Bought some more land.
Non-sealed country roads meant longer travelling time.
Bought a 1938 Morris 8 when 19 years old.
"Mini-skirts were a nine day wonder"
Listened to radio, clear memories of the Archers, Life with Dexter, Dad and Dave. Family played the piano. Strong young peoples Club in the district. 25-30 membership. Local dances and outings, frequent sports days - some played piano, others piano accordion - made own music and fun. Annual Sports Day a feature - chopping, sports competitions, Pirongia Races on Boxing Day.
Grader River and his wife taught us all to dance. "Recalls the music of Glen Miller".
Recalls extra houses built for Returned Servicemen, rehabilitated on farms. Soldiers easily "absorbed" into district life. Father a product of the depression.
"You didn't borrow money. If you didn't have it you didn't spend it"
Family (and friends) worked their own farms, no contractors as such.
Built a new house, a lot of wider family input, helped build new house, and the farm generally.
"We were all on the same side"
Some internal disagreements, but "very inhouse".
Most of the local consensus were for better, improved roads. Recalls Lance Adams Sneider. Saw him at local political meetings.
"He was a politician, as far as we were concerned, was a man of his word, and who got things done"
Sir Leslie Munro was known, but looked on it as a country jaunt when he came out to a meeting.
"He didn't set the world a fire!"
Te Pahu very much a back water district. Few people moved in or out.
"Isolated. Rural mail delivered 6 days and local storekeeper delivered bread and groceries"
Read the Exporter and The New Zealand Farmer. Read Hammond Innes books.
Football heroes were the Clark Bros. Describes successful Waikato Ranfurly Shield era. Recalls the 1956 Springbok visit - describes the thrill of seeing them defeated.
"Didn't think anyone could kick so far as Clark. One of the most magnificent kicks I have seen in rugby"
Recalls others - McLaren, McKenzie, George Nolan. Waikato people were more concerned with the fact that Ponty Reid and Don Clark weren't in the All Blacks than who was in the All Blacks.
Father had an old Model T Ford ½ ton truck; bought sisters Volkswagen. Roads were being tarsealed during this time. Loose metal on unsealed roads a problem. A lot of local antagonism to people who travelled too fast. Stock moved by trucks contributed to the problem, plus the advent of more cars in the district, during the 50's.
First holiday was compulsory Military Training when 19 years.
Staunch National Party district. Many were sceptical of Keith Holyoake with the "plum in his mouth". Discussed Holyoake at length.
Sir Sydney Holland, connected with the Waterfront Strike in 1951. A very discussed issue. "The Labour Party Candidate locally unashamedly supported the Strike - as a result he got only one vote from the district".
A local chap Dick Kemp, went to the Korean War. Returned a decorated solider. Recounts the story. Widened horizons. Learnt more about the war through compulsory Military Training, required an awareness of international relations as a result.
Went to school with Maori children. Recalls how 4 out of 7 children in one Maori family died of TB. Describes good relationships. Recounts how Maori found those eels, when fishing.
Milk tankers made their appearance altered farming for many people. Improved roads meant more social life, further outward. Tempo of life changed. Haybailing came in at this stage; as did change in the way bales were made and collected, - replacing manual production of hay.
Moving from horses into tractor revolutionary. Steep farm made it quite a dangerous transition. Aerial top-dressing brought change also. Sister travelled overseas, 6 week passage - each way.