Saturday, 1 April 2017

#52Stories, Week 10, Do you know the story of how your parents met and fell in love ? What about your grandparents ?

I know that Dad met Mum when he was working at Whakamaru or Maraetai and living in the single men's quarters, Mum was still at high school in Mangakino. Before she left home to study nursing and while he was still studying engineering - working in construction of hydro stations on the Waikato river.

What about the next generation back ? Why didn't I ask this question years ago ?? 

My maternal grandparents must have met in Christchurch somewhere. My Uncle thought they had met at Coleridge hydro power station when it was under going a construction expansion; that Nana was working at the hostel and Grandad was living in the single men's quarters. Mum thought that Nana had worked at a dentist surgery in Christchurch before she married.

Their wedding certificate gives their addresses as Merivale and Riccarton. Grandad's parents lived in Middleton Road Riccarton, so I know that part is right.

Nana had only arrived in New Zealand on November 1st, 1929. She arrived in Auckland and travelled by train then ferry and another train to Greymouth on the West Coast where her sister and husband had settled after arriving in New Zealand in 1926, and where there was a now baby niece to get acquainted with.

So at some point before December 1931 she must have moved back to Christchurch for employment. Grandad was a Fitter, he had completed his apprenticeship with P & D Duncan Ltd in Christchurch. Did they simply meet on the tram ? Merivale and Riccarton aren't that far apart. At a dance ? at church ? or at the dentist ? or did Nana know someone who knew the family ? Mum says he was in a band and played xylophone and maybe sax too, all his siblings played instruments as well...I guess we will just have to keep supposing now though.

As for my paternal grandparents - same thing. 

Nana worked for a time as a waitress in Auckland while she studied shorthand typing at night school. She later worked for Ellis & Burnand in Hamilton. Her sister Maude worked at the Central Waikato Electric Power Board. So did Pop. Did Maude introduce them ? Or again did they meet at a dance, or church ? 

Both of their families lived in Hamilton East. There were also lots of people in the timber trade in both families; builders and saw-millers. Did they meet by chance that way through relatives doing business together ? or through Nana's work at Ellis & Burnand ? More supposing to do.

Some people keep diaries. I used to, now I blog intermittently. Nana Davys did, but I don't think we will find anything in any of them to solve this question. But wouldn't it be grand if we could uncover these facts 

"April 1, met someone today. He seems kind and thoughtful, just the sort of person I hope I will marry one day."

But no.

For generations further back there are stories about how some met, others can be pieced together through census locations and social times. But we will never know for sure.

The lesson here is to ask while you still can. Record the answers and tell others your own story and theirs to pass on and enrich the history of your family for the next generations.

History is not just in the distant past, it is yesterday. What you do today will be history tomorrow. Somebody some time in the future will be interested in our lives too, and what we did, and how we interacted with each other. How the global or local events impacted our lives.

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