Saturday, 19 November 2011

Unknown Family History.

I have been busy most days out in Geoff and Eileen’s garden making the grounds more manageable. Today Geoff organised the trailer and the first trip was to Koputaroa on the north side of Levin for a load of sheep manure. I had become aware of a sheep farmer who wanted the manure removed from under his shearing shed and I could take as much as I wanted. Say no more!  By 1pm we had this trailer load unloaded ready for the next job which was a trip to the tip with garden cuttings. We travelled down to Paraparaumu tip where we could buy a load of bark chip to tidy up a couple of flower beds, one load in and one load out, no dead running.

What playing again?Working or playing?

During the week Dot had arranged a luncheon with her Uncle Bill and Aunty Gretta who both recently turned 80. While in the Hutt Valley we did a few other chores just to save time. Talking to Bill it transpired that his ancestors came from Ireland and when he was in his early 20’s he travelled over there and worked on their farm along with another ancestors farm in America.

Boys and their toysBoys and their toys!

He feels that he is lucky to be alive because he along with 4 friends had been booked to travel on the ill fated train that crashed in the Tangiwai disaster. (New Zealand’s worst railway disaster with a death toll of 151 on Christmas Eve 1953). This was where a lahar from the collapse of a natural volcanic ash dam blocking the outlet of Mount Ruapehu’s crater lake ran down the Whangaehu glacier and washed away the Tangiwai railway bridge. It was only at the last minute that Bill and his friends had to cancel their travel arrangements but their names still appeared on the passenger list after the disaster, so who were the 5 passengers that replaced them?

IMG_5075Gretta and Bill celebrated their 80th birthdays together recently.

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