1971 – the summer I was sixteen. We’d moved from the Waikawa Bay farm to Kapowai Bay on D’Urville Island a couple of years before and my parents ran launch and Land Rover transport, baches for hire and fishing trips.
Category archive: Nostalgia
‘William, your birth mother has approached our department and asked us to try and trace you. How do you feel about that’?
That was the beginning of Bill Paget’s foreshadowed reunion with his mother. This is the second part in which he described how it all went…
‘William David Paget’ began the address on the envelope. Whoever could be addressing me in such a formal way?
Then I noticed the sender’s address the exterior of the envelope – Department of Social Welfare. Surely no-one was alleging that I might be the father of her child.
In the protest decade of the 60s and 1970s, my reporting beat covered Auckland University where, being the Sixties, full-time students were also part-time protesters.
Their activism embraced everything from feminism and environmental issues to the most riveting of the time – the growing protests against the Vietnam War and Apartheid.
A bus strike in Auckland – how strange that was when media reported little in the way of carpooling, the tactic which served locals well in the oil shocks of the 1970s. Another hint of the collapse of community? Aucklanders were warned about the obvious traffic jams ahead – as if there aren’t any most other days. The city’s woeful dependence on cars is its major failure and in Wellington that hasn’t been helped by a lack of vision.
The other night we were sitting on a porch at another 60th birthday. These days the Big One is almost as common as that other rite of passage, funerals. It’s as if we party one minute and exit the next. On this warm night the other hallmark of our age was that we were sitting. In another room ’60s rock beckoned, reminding us that once, it was only the old folks who sat and watched while we danced…
One million baby boomers – and we’re still here…
We boomed when the guns fell silent in World War II. And we’ve been heard and felt ever since. Relatively few countries experienced the phenomenon of the Baby Boom and the countries that did – Australia, the United States, Canada, England and New Zealand, shared a number of social and cultural features.
When Freda Du Faur partied at The Hermitage in 1909, they moved the piano into the dining room, rolled back the rugs and everyone danced. By Christmas that summer, The Hermitage overflowed with mountaineers, adventurers and artists. One year later, Freda was the first woman to reach the summit Aoraki/Mt Cook.)
These days The Hermitage Hotel is more likely to see Asian bus tourists stretched back in chairs, ensconced in a 360 degree cinematic experience – viewing the night sky in its Digital Dome Planetarium: See the night sky like never before. Leave Earth. Fly to the edge of our galaxy and far beyond to the reaches of our known universe. So the promo goes.
My father in law passed away a couple of months ago. Well, it was his time and at 102, he knew it. Always more a good friend than a relative, he was a bundle of bones in his bed in his last weeks but to his delight, was surrounded by the women he loved (the old flirt!).
Laurie had lived at his little Northland beach resort for nearly 50 years and from his deck had watched the rhythms of tides and currents, much as his loved ones watched life finally ebb from him.