Audio Content & Oral Histories

Back to all Collections

 
Oral Interview - Grant Smith

Oral Interview - Grant Smith

Grant Smith was elected mayor of Palmerston North in 2015. This interview covers his early years living in Palmerston North and Masterton. Interview of Grant Smith, Mayor of Palmerston North, conducted by Maria Shiva on 28 February 2018. Interview length: 33 minutes and 50 seconds.

Creator
Date
February 28, 2018
 
Oral Interview - Alan Crews

Oral Interview - Alan Crews

Oral interview regarding the life and experiences of Alan Crews as a boy in the family's grocery on Featherston Street, Palmerston North in the 1950's.

Place
Palmerston North
 
Oral Interview - Brian Elwood

Oral Interview - Brian Elwood

Sir Brian George Conway Elwood, CBE, JP, (born 5 April 1933) is a former New Zealand lawyer, politician, and public servant. He served as mayor of Palmerston North from 1971 to 1985, and was the Chief Ombudsman of New Zealand from December 1994 to June 2003. In the latter role, he was responsible for investigating complaints against central and local government agencies, including Ministers of the Crown. Interview of Brian Elwood as Mayor of Palmerston North, conducted by Ian Matheson on 2 May 1985. Interview length: 1 hour, 36 minutes and 55 seconds.

 
Oral Interview - Ray Carter

Oral Interview - Ray Carter

Ray Martin Carter, QSM, retired from the New Zealand Police force as a Senior Constable. Born in Napier in 1928, he received his education in Palmerston North, and spent his thirty year career in the police force there. In his retirement he managed the police archives of Palmerston North, and wrote the book 'Beyond the Call of Duty: a history of the Palmerston North police district', published in 1988. Interview includes life story, family history, Napier Earthquake, police career. Interviewer is Ian Johnston. Interview originally recorded on three cassette tapes. 212 minutes.

 
Tony Evans and Savage Crescent - oral interview

Tony Evans and Savage Crescent - oral interview

Margaret Tate interviews Tony Evans. Tony's parents, Jack and Betty, were married in 1936 and had a family of four boys. They were early and long term residents of the Savage Crescent state housing precinct, living at 5 Mansford Place. The interview talks about the Evans family and life in the Savage Crescent area.

Creator
Date
June 9, 2010
 
Alison Quigan - oral interview

Alison Quigan - oral interview

Interview with Alison Quigan. Interviewer Ian Johnston, in Palmerston North. Alison Marie Quigan is a New Zealand actor, director and playwright. Quigan was the artistic director of Centrepoint Theatre in Palmerston North for 18 years from 1986 to 2004 where she directed over 60 plays.  In the 2001 Birthday Honours, Quigan received a Queens Service Medal for "public services to theatre".

Creator
Date
2004
 
Pataka Ipurangi Launch Night speakers: Dr Jock Phillips, Lesley Courtney, Philippa Elphick – Talk part 2/2

Pataka Ipurangi Launch Night speakers: Dr Jock Phillips, Lesley Courtney, Philippa Elphick – Talk part 2/2

To launch Pataka Ipurangi (Digital Library) the Palmerston North City Library held an evening event in the Sound and Vision Zone. The guest speaker was Dr Jock Phillips the General Editor of Te Ara the 'Online Encyclopedia of New Zealand'. In the second part of the evening Lesley Courtney and Philippa Elphick both from the City Library introduce Pataka Ipurangi and give a brief overview of it's features and content. Duration 42 minute mp3 file. Part 2/2 of the recording.

 
Teen years - oral interview

Teen years - oral interview

Interview with Vallis Peet and Dennis Quinn about their teenage years, including dances at the Newbury Hall near Palmerston North in the 1950s. Summary of interview  0.00 - Recording details and introductions 0.18 – Vallis dressed to be different 0.35 – Bodgies and Widgies 1.57 – Newbury Hall 2.18 - mention of Centrepoint production (Alison Quigan’s play “The Newbury Hall dances” set in 1965) 2.30 – musicians 3.37 – drinking and smoking? 4.10 – beer in the boot of the car 4.35 – Red Band beer 4.51 – drink driving 5.27 – asking girls to dance (and being turned down) 5.55 – the supper dance 6.32 – the last dance 6.48 – what the girls wore (dresses with hoops!)

Creator
Date
February 13, 2012
 
Local Musical Duet - Josephine and Mary Newman

Local Musical Duet - Josephine and Mary Newman

This audio recording was made in Palmerston North in the 1960s by Josephine (Nina) and Mary (Meg) Newman, who were both living in the city at the time. Josephine was Nina's mother. Mary is her daughter whom we called Meg. The Newman family was a very musical one - Josephine’s mother Margot Hibbard was a singer in Auckland around 1910 and her sister Violet Sumerset tutored tenors at the Academy of Music in Melbourne. Music and singing were well ingrained into their upbringing. Meg was studying piano at the time of this recording and Nina was also talented in singing they decided it would be great to record them singing and playing the piano together to send to their mother in Melbourne for Christmas. The date of this recording is not exact, but it would have been around 1960 as it was just before Meg left Palmerston North moving to Melbourne to teach and continue studying piano. Meg did so well at piano she became one of Australia’s acclaimed teachers. Meg is now retired. This record consists of four tracks: Greetings, The Muses Gift, Arioso Primo Duet and Arise of Sun.

 
Country Dances - oral interview

Country Dances - oral interview

Interview with Vallis Peet, Dennis Quinn and Bruce Withell, about dances at Newbury Hall near Palmerston North, in the 1950s. Summary of interview 0.00 - Recording details and introductions 0.35 – What sort of dances did they have? (Bruce, then Dennis) 2.37 – Vallis describing who went, who ran them, refreshments, etc., how many attended. 4.44 – Bruce on behaviour of boys and girls, the “supper waltz” 7.45 – “courting in those days” 9.13 – paying for entry 9.44 - alcohol, none within 3 miles of a dance, but… 12.12 – smoking 12.37 – clothes 13.57 – hairstyles 15.00 – type of dances and music 16.32 – Johnny Devlin 18.52 – waltzes, etc., learning in primary school 20.07 – “Ladies’ choice”, “excuse me” dances 20.38 – difference between country and city dances 21.35 – religious sensitivities 22.18 – lighting 23.35 – were they chaperoned?

Creator
Date
February 21, 2012
 
Pataka Ipurangi Launch Night speakers: Dr Jock Phillips, Lesley Courtney, Philippa Elphick – Talk part 1/2

Pataka Ipurangi Launch Night speakers: Dr Jock Phillips, Lesley Courtney, Philippa Elphick – Talk part 1/2

To launch Pataka Ipurangi (Digital Library) the Palmerston North City Library held an evening event in the Sound and Vision Zone. The guest speaker was Dr Jock Phillips the General Editor of Te Ara the 'Online Encyclopedia of New Zealand'. Dr Phillips gives an overview of Te Ara and explored in detail some of the features of the new theme 'The Bush'. Duration 47 minute mp3 file. (part 1/2 of the recording)

 
The City and the River 1941-2006 – Talk

The City and the River 1941-2006 – Talk

In this talk Jill White discusses the Manawatu River and how its relationship with Palmerston North and its people is changing. Duration 1 hour mp3 file. At the speakers request users of this talk are asked to please note the following CORRECTIONS. [minutes:seconds] 8:45 Mention of 'Waikato' should be Hamilton. 14:30 Mention of 'May 27th' should be May 4th. 15:10 mention of 'World War I' should be World War II. 30:50 mention of the 'Marine Division of the Department of Labour' should be Marine Division of the Ministry of Transport. 37:20 mention of Manawatu Ashphalts in early 1990's should be 1989.

 
'Ten Pound Pom' - oral interview

'Ten Pound Pom' - oral interview

Interview with Goff Ashwell and Alan Caddick about their experiences of being part of the Ten Pound Pom migrant scheme from the United Kingdom in the 1950s. 'Ten Pound Poms is a colloquial term used in New Zealand to describe the British subjects who  migrated to New Zealand after World War II. The Government of New Zealand initiated the scheme in July 1947. Summary of interview 0.00 - Recording details and introductions 1.33 – Start of first block (general discussion) Preference for married migrants? 4.09 - Why choose to migrate? 10.00 - conditions of the ten pound scheme 12.39 - The process for coming out 15.26 – sailed from Glasgow on the Captain Cook, outline of the route and trip 16.49 – Alan and wife lucky to have a cabin to themselves 18.14 – Goff’s voyage as single male 19.05 – not knowing where going in NZ until arrived in Wellington 20.31 – gender mix of migrants 21.39 – crowded on ship? Crew 22.38 - catering 23.24 – fixed table for meals for the voyage 24.08 – tipping 25.21 – military service in NZ? 26.02 – migrants taking out NZ citizenship? 26.53 – not needing UK passport to come out 30.07 – NZ citizenship and oath of allegiance to the queen 31.08 – first impressions of NZ 33.12 – information on NZ for migrants? 33.55 – don’t join migrant organizations, become New Zealanders 35.32 – boat arrived in Wellington, wait for next morning because dockers gone home 36.34 – allocation of jobs, 38.17 - Alan’s background as a fireman in UK 40.35 – no culture shock 42.27 – luggage?? 43.54 – differences between Birmingham and Wellington fire brigades 47.22 – fire brigade flat, plus why Alan became a farm hand 49.35 – Start of second block 49.41 – reunions 50.28 – Goff’s ongoing contact with family on first farm, then driving tankers 51.56 – Goff’s first return visit to UK 53.20 – Alan on family in UK, siblings in the war, losing contact since 59.05 –why Alan didn’t stay on the farm, experience in shoe retailing 1.05.33 – migrants similar to Kiwis? 1.08.03 – Alan taking up singing in a choir 1.12.58 – impressions of schools compared to England 1.21.12 – The Captain Cook club

Creator
Date
February 11, 2012
 
Living in Feilding - oral interview

Living in Feilding - oral interview

Oral interview with Margaret Bailey and Brian Hunter about family life, growing up and living in the Feilding area. Interviewed at the Coach House Museum in Feilding. Summary of interview: 0.00 Introduction 0.43 Born in Feilding, moved to 20 acre block, there for 7 years. Father worked in town, but needed extra income in the depression. Had a few cows. Several neighbours doing similar things. 4.24 Father went to work by car. When at school (1937-1940), he would drive her home and back at lunch (‘dinner’) time. Returned to town in 1940 after father died. 5.56 Large family? 2 brothers, one older, one younger. Memory of biking home, dive bombed by a magpie. 7.02 did not like riding down Kimbolton Road because of a swagger’s hut. 8.56 Comparison of town versus farmlet living? Memories vague, including of her father. When married, husband Graham 7 years older, so more memories of her father. 10.25 back in town was still very rural, uncle’s farm across the road. Neighbour’s horse trough outside her bedroom. 11.20 Outdoor life? Yes, but quite organized. Mother protective. Not allowed to river unsupervised. No father, so lots of chores. Conscious of lack of father. 13.07 Heard teacher saying, “But they haven’t got a dad at home”. 13.56 Uncle gave goose at Christmas, children had to pluck it. Many other chores. 14.56 gender division in chores? No. Wanted to do the same as the boys. 15.54 Mr Bryant over the back fence, wicker worker, made baskets, grew own willows. 17.03 Animals? Not many. Horse? No, not an option, and no friends with horses. 18.28 Memories of local hospital. Grandstand at Johnson Park (engineers housed there in the war, mother had telephone, unusual, soldiers used her phone, also ran Bedand breakfast for men’s wives and children. 20.25 How broad was your world, Palmerston North a big trip? Yes, although had car. Parents had 7 year courtship while saved to buy a house. Also had washing machine (described, Canadian, tub and wringer). 21.43 Mother had married sister in Palmerston North, the couple would go to Feilding at weekends to help them. 22.16 Did not travel far. Holidays with friends at Foxton Beach (very common for local families, but they only went for a couple of weeks). Other holidays with friends at Waitarere Beach, once to Tauranga. No overseas travel (even for her school riends, South Island was far). 25.21 Tramping holidays? Never, was a minority interest then, partly because few cars. Not much use of horses, even for school children. Lytton Street School had large catchment. 26.58 When at high school, Halcombe children came by train, always late. Boarders at her home, so she shared a bedroom with her mother until married. Mother on widow’s benefit, did not work (“not many mothers did at that stage”). Money was tight, so strange that, unlike most, they had car, phone, washing machine. 29.21 Memories of school? Good. Only 1 teacher she didn’t like, no difficulty with lessons. Academic ambitions? Enjoyed manual training classes (cooking and sewing), so wanted to teach these. University not an option. 4 years at high school, then worked in office of Hodder and Tolley’s mill for 2 years to save enough for teacher’s college. 31.49 Course offered in Dunedin. Accepted, with friend Colleen Smith. Went by train, overnight ferry, and all next day by train to Dunedin (a day and a half). Boarded at YWCA hostel, then second year in Christchurch, third year a preparationary year at 3 institutions in her area, 1 term in each. Actually got early registration, then to job in Hawkes Bay. Engaged just before left for Hawkes Bay and returned after a year. 36.03 What sort of cooking did you teach? Basic, things that could be done in a short time (scones, no time for meat). Trying to give enjoyment of cooking, different methods of cooking. Meals were boiled vegetables plus meat, followed by pudding. 39.28 Sewing? Basic, using sewing machines, following a pattern. Normal for women to make their own and children’s clothes. 41.28 His mother made his clothes. 41.33 Margaret’s 4 children did not have a bought garment until intermediate school. She made everything, sometimes by cutting down other clothing. It is what people did. Brian’s wife does that with woolens, using the wool to knit something else. 42.53 Needlework? Samplers. Covered in training, but did not teach. 43.31 No zips, so buttons. Early zips and elastic, quality not so good at first. Button holes made by hand. Treadle sewing machines, so no fancy stitches. 45.11 Made button holes when boarding in Dunedin. 46.11 Only teaching after first year was in night classes (Feilding High School, about 1955-60). Night school very active then. 47.16 What subjects taught at night school? She taught young mothers to make clothes for their children (could not afford to buy). 49.04 Brian – mother at home and taught them to cook, etc.. Later girls did not learn these things at home or at school. 49.50 Was adult education active then? Yes, very active, but functional, not career focused. 50.47 Brian – L J Wild and his wife pioneers of “learning for life”, Feilding a leader in this. Also literature, debating, etc., and Feilding Little Theatre. Union activity in learning (as in UK)? Not in Feilding, little union activity. 54.23 Perception of capitalist-worker distinction? Perhaps in the freezing works, but otherwise not. 55.31 Back to women’s experiences, different from men’s? Most women stayed at home once married. Men and women met through families or church. 57.01 Suggested to join Country Women’s Institute, but not welcome because lived near a town, but was allowed to be a judge for them. Few women joined sports clubs. Now with cars easier to do more things. Men also had limited range of opportunities. Generally a close knit community. 1.02.21 Many outsiders moving to the district? Nothing comes to mind. Attitude to Maori, Australians, England? 1.03.39 First contact with Maori children, just accepted, no difference, but came and went by bus, so less contact out of school. 1.05.07 Ancestry? Scottish links, maternal grandfather came out in 1879. Paternal grandfather born in Australia, parents from north of England. Parents referred to England as home. She has been to UK and met family there. Youngest son working there for 15 years, so several trips. Seen as “exceptionally” strange relative from other side of the world. Saw them as stuck in traditions, more varied experiences in NZ. 1 relative in farming, but very different there (tenant farmer). 1.13.20 Are your children nearby? 3 stayed in the Manawatu. Youngest in Wellington. 1.15.30 On the farm, growing own food? After marriage, grew everything except bananas. Overseas visitors amazed that everything in the meal was home-grown. 1.18.15 Advent of home freezer had big impact. Also did lots of preserving. Pantry shelves designed for preserving jars, jam jars. 1.20.27 Entertainment? Radio? When young, played cards and board games. Singing and music through church. Music lessons as a child, piano, very common then. Record players came in when a teenager. Sundays for sitting quietly. When young, Sunday afternoons visiting grandparents, but mainly adults talking to each other, children to be “seen and not heard”. By high school, family could take a drive into the country with boyfriend. 1.27.46 On Wednesdays boy borders allowed into town, so girls would go too and go to milk bar for milk shakes. All very innocent, but enjoyable. One occasion of teenage pregnancy, the girl went away for a while. 1.28.58 Began high school in 1945. At end of war everyone celebrated, school closed. Conga line went through a hotel, first time inside one, but just in and out. 1.30.34 Troops returning. An aunt had been a nurse overseas. Continued to work after marriage, but no children. An uncle came back, marriage failed. Was 13 when war ended, so not particularly significant for her. 1.33.29 Television? They got it in 1967, but Graham’s parents lived over the road and had a set, so their children could see it there. That generation of grandparents closer than earlier generation, but his parents did no babysitting, her mother came out from town for that. Used to go to country dances (through the Masonic Lodge) on a Saturday night when children were small. 1.37.49 Brian on Savage Club concerts and the origin of the Savage Club. 1.39.04 Margaret remembering Savage Club in a parade. 1.39.20 Types of dancing? Waltz, Foxtrot, etc., not Rock and Roll. 1.41.04 Brian on Masons, men only, low profile. Records now with the museum. Different views in the community on the value of the Masons. Roman Catholics not members and not in favour if Masons. 1.43.08 Attitude to alcohol then (6 o’clock swill)? As a Methodist, not in favour. Women would rarely drink. First time dined in a hotel was on her honeymoon. Tobacco very common, nearly all men smoked, but not women. 1.45.57 Friend’s father smoked a pipe while riding a bike. Fell off and damaged his mouth. 1.47.21 Was cinema important? Yes. Saturday night in Feilding. National anthem, newsreels, interval and then film. 1.48.58 Brian – before television, cinemas used to show rugby tests in the lunch hour a week or two after the game. 1.50.22 Any takeaway shops? Fish and chips. Department stores in Palmerston North had tea rooms, lace table cloths. 1.52.01 Cashier in Cobbs store in Feilding – spring-loaded mechanism taking money to cashier and change sent back. 1.53.07 Brian was a delivery boy at Cobbs when someone put spider in container sent to cashier. Description of other after-school jobs he’d had. 1.55.26 Margaret’s first job at Hodder and Tolley’s paid 35 shillings a week (about $240 in 2015 prices). Needed shoes, but 32 shillings and 6 pence. Mother would not let her get them until had more money. 1.57.26 Changed attitudes to saving and debt then and now. 1.59.05 New Zealand went from pounds to dollars and numerically prices doubled. Description of change and preparation for changes. Had to show both prices for some time. Easier after decimalization, also for other measures. 2.01.49 significance of mental arithmetic. Grandchildren and calculators. 2.06.22 Margaret wanted to buy 10 items, shop assistant could not work out cost of 10. 2.08.10 Discipline in schools? In standard 5 and 6, problem with boys, so put in one class and strapping was used. In her teaching, not such a problem because teaching practical skills. 2.11.04 Winding down, Brian describing conversations at Thursday morning smokos at the museum.

Creator
Date
October 17, 2015
Load More Items