SCOTS
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Document 1673

Interview with Mary A Ronnie, Part 1, for Scottish Readers Remember Project

Author(s): N/A

Copyright holder(s): SAPPHIRE, SCOTS Project

Audio transcription

F1189 It's the tenth of February, two thousand and nine, and I'm in Dunedin in Otago in New Zealand, a long way from home, and at the home of Mary Ronnie, erm in Musselburgh. //That's Otago, Musselburgh. [laugh]//
F1190 //That's right. [laugh]//
F1189 Erm, and it's a pleasure to be here, Mary, can I thank you very much first of all for agreeing to speak with me today.
F1190 Oh I'm I've enjoyed every minute so far //so, I hope we carry on enjoying it. [laugh]//
F1189 //[laugh]// I know, it's marvellous, and I'm here in this house, which is al- almost a hundred and fifty years old, //is that correct?//
F1190 //That's right.// One of //the early ones that was built//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and I don't think that, that it was a Scot that built it, //but he was a brewer and apparently//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 he brewed //beer in the basement at one stage. [laugh]//
F1189 //Oh he could have been a Scot then. [laugh]// Right, can I ask you first of all a very easy question erm which is er to tell me when you were born?
F1190 I was born on the twelfth of June in nineteen twenty-six,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 in Glasgow, in Dennistoun, number [CENSORED: address] Aberdour Street.
F1189 Oh now Dennistoun I know, //erm//
F1190 //Uh-huh.//
F1189 and I think I know Aberdour //Street as well.//
F1190 //It's fairly nearly// //opposite the gateway into Alexandra Park.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.// Yes, and I know that one //too, I had a//
F1190 //Yes.//
F1189 friend who lived there. So, nineteen twenty-six, erm right, well that's the interwar period then //an-an- and quite a difficult//
F1190 //Yes, yes.//
F1189 time in Scotland.
F1190 Well, I think it became very //difficult//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and it was probably part of the reason we came here.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 But my father was working in Blochairn Steelworks. //He was the//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 electrical f-f-foreman, electrical engineer and of course that's gone.
F1189 Mmhm, mmhm, //mmhm.//
F1190 //Went back and,// all the steelworks practically //had disappeared, it's another world now.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// Aw all that manufacturing, yes, //uh-huh, has gone from Glasgow, uh-huh.//
F1190 //Yes, just not there, yes.//
F1189 So, wh- what was your house like in Dennistoun? //Dennistoun's a lot of tenements, mmhm mmhm.//
F1190 //It was a ground floor flat in a, in a// in a tenement, and it was, it was a room, kitchen, spare room, bathroom, all //self-contained,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 um, but not large.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 And I think my father really wanted to have a change of occupation, he had a sort of genius with motorcars. What he really wanted to do was go off and set up business,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 f-fixing up motorcars because that's what he really enjoyed. Of course it was very early days of motorcars. But of course he died after my parents had only been married about eight years, so he never realised this, he was still working at Blochairn //when he died.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
F1190 //And he was only// forty-four, it was just, you know, so sad //for my mother too, yes.//
F1189 //Aye that's sad, uh-huh, uh-huh.// Er, and you have brothers and //sisters, then?//
F1190 //I had one brother,// //yes,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and she was left - I was six, Jim was seven,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 and she was left really to bring us up and find a way to earn a living and
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 cause, there weren't, pensions didn't exist.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 So it was g-, it was a very hard time for her. And her family had been coming out to New Zealand since the eighteen sixties, and her sisters were here, and after about three or four years she decided she'd come too, and //that's why we came to New Zealand.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 So that was nineteen thirty-seven.
F1189 I see. So, nineteen thirty-seven, that would make you thirteen? //[?]Twelve[/?]?//
F1190 //I was eleven.//
F1189 Eleven. //Mmhm.//
F1190 //I was eleven.// And
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 when we got here I just - I didn't want to //go to school//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 at all, because I'd been to //five primary schools//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 in Scotland. Because my father had died, my mother was looking around to see places to live. So when we arrived here I just didn't want to go back to school, //so she//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 let me not go to school for nearly five months, as long as I read.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 And we were living round the corner from the children's library in the city, in //Dunedin.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And I just spent a blissful five //months reading books.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Then she said, 'The day after your birthday you're going to school'. So I went. //[laugh]//
F1189 //[laugh]// Now, you went to five different //schools, did you say, in Scotland?//
F1190 //That's right, yes.//
F1189 How did that come about?
F1190 Well, there was //the first one//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 where, you know, when my father //was alive,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 then we moved soon after that, and I went to a sch-, um, Napiershall Street School. Then we moved to Edinburgh and I was there for about six //months, and I//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 hated it, hated it. Then we came back to to Glasgow and I went to Dowanhill School, and then I went briefly to a little school out here, outside of Dunedin //where my aunt lived.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 So that'd been five of them and that was all too much for me.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 I didn't want to get to know //anybody//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 new. So, there were books round //the corner.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And school was just a waste of time, it spoiled my reading. //[laugh]//
F1189 //[laugh]// That is, that must have been difficult actually, you-your-your moving around //like that, was your//
F1190 //Aw it was.//
F1189 father moving, erm, because of work? //Mmhm.//
F1190 //Well he didn't move at all,// it was my mother who got //restless.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And, you know, sh-she just couldn't decide what to do //I think.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And then in the end of course we came out here.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 And I had about a year at primary school, and then I went to Otago Girls' High //School,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 which I loved. //I mean, oh once I got to school I was perfectly happy,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 but, erm, er, once I went to high school, once again I was by myself, because nobody from my class at Arthur Street School //went into the form that I was in,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 so I had to start all over again.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 But I did make a lot of friends there //and it was a great school, I really enjoyed it.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.// And all those different homes that you lived in, //in in Glasgow, 'cause,//
F1190 //Yes.//
F1189 I think you must have lived in the West End //at one point too, mmhm.//
F1190 //Yes we did, we lived in two or three// places in the West End.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 Cecil Street, which is quite close to the university.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 Erm Napiershall Street, which is right opposite the Anglican Cathedral. //And the house was up th-,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 that was a lovely house,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 it really was, but that's gone, //it's been demolished//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and there's a modern brick place //there.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And then we lived in oh what was the name, it was off Atholl Gardens? And that was very nice, now, w-, that was when I went to Dowanhill //School, and we walked, you had to walk down there.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, uh-huh.//
F1190 And my brother by that time was going to high school //so he went to Hyndland.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.// Well I know all these landmarks very well //indeed, uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 //Do you? [giggle] Yes, yes,// //yes.//
F1189 //Now how,// in your houses - these are all quite nice areas //in Glasgow,//
F1190 //Yes.//
F1189 erm, uh, traditional //tenement housing,//
F1190 //Right,// //yes.//
F1189 //Erm,//
F1190 Well the one in, ah, in Napiershall Street was probably the nicest //because we had//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 a totally separate entry, //it wasn't,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 there were, there was a staircase, apart from ours,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 and our house occupied quite th- - 'cause my mother ran a boarding house, that's why we //got this bigger house - and it had a big basement.//
F1189 //Ah, right, uh-huh, uh-huh, mmhm.//
F1190 And then the one we were in in Bowmont Terrace, //that's the last one, um,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 she worked there actually as //caretaker,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and that was in flats and service, //service rooms, and had kitchens on every floor level.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 That was a very //nice house too.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 I went to look at it the last time I was in Glasgow which was not in this last year but the one before, and I ended up in a bed and breakfast just round the corner, //by pure chance.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But I walked round the corner, and that particular house was busy being fitted out, it looked as though it had f-, rather fallen //into hard times.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But they were, it's still a lovely //area.//
F1189 //Yeah,// //yes it is, it is,//
F1190 //Yeah.// //But the university's crept up there,//
F1189 //I know it well, mmhm.// //Yes.//
F1190 //because I noticed// there were university department //places at the top of Bowmont Terrace, which had all been residential when we were children.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, yes, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But it's quite interesting to see the //changes.//
F1189 //Mm.// Now in all those houses, can you remember books? Can you remember //books in your home?//
F1190 //Well there were always some books// in the house //and//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 when we were little, the biggest pleasure you ever got was when somebody sent you a book for //Christmas.//
F1189 //Mmhm?//
F1190 And they were, th- the books I remember best that we read over and over and over again were Robert Louis Stevenson's 'Child's Garden of Verses' and I still have the copy, which is absolutely falling //apart, not//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 because we ill-used it, but simply because we read it every //day.//
F1189 //Mmhm?//
F1190 And we had 'Hamewith', you know, Charles Murray's 'Hamewith'.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 Em, but, things like 'Treasure Island', and so on. We didn't have any money after a while to buy books, so we I joined the Public Library. //And it was Partick//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 branch that I joined. //And//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 from there on I just read everything in //sight.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And the funny part was when we arrived in New Zealand, the Public Library Children's Department could've been the Partick Public Library.
F1189 [laugh]
F1190 It had Chivers-bound books, //do you know, the leather binding books?//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 That changed all very quickly when Dorothy White took over here but, er, th-that was the totally familiar thing in Dunedin.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 The rest of it all looks rather odd //and just//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 temporary and, you know, the houses made of wood.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 But there was the library, and I walked into that library - and I can still even remember the person that joined me up. //It was//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 all so familiar, //absolutely familiar.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And she worked with me in that library for years afterwards, she became the Specialist New Zealand Librarian //in the end, she was a marvellous librarian.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But I can still remember her face as I walked in to the -
F1189 Uh-huh.
F1190 well, I was only, what, I'd be ten and a half, eleven, //I suppose.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// And that was a welcoming face, //I take it? Uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 //Yes, completely, [?]and that was as[/?],// //it's just as at home, here were all these familiar books all round, looking just like Partick Public Library.//
F1189 //Uh-huh, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.// Did you feel at home then, wh-when you
F1190 I did, //[?]in the li-[/?] -//
F1189 //saw the library?// //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //in the library I felt completely at home, yes.// That was simply //not a problem at all,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 it was always - it was great.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 And we used the rest of the library, //my mother would borrow books from the main//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 part of the library, and that was still very much the traditional shape of a reference room //upstairs, with//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 with all the books you //could consult,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and a very busy and rather dilapidated lending downstairs. And that's what Archie Dunningham, who was the second librarian, changed, and he scrapped the reference room and turned them into subject //rooms,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 so that you began to be able to borrow the stuff that had been //isolated//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 up in the, //reference department.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And in times of money shortage of course it made much more //sense, because//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 y-you didn't have to buy a second copy //for the lending when one might do.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 When I eventually, that is, when I started work there I, sort of, got to know all these things.
F1189 Mmhm. Now, you've mentioned, er, Robert Louis Stevenson's //'Child's Garden of Verses', which is,//
F1190 //Yes, 'Garden of Verses', uh-huh.//
F1189 quite an iconic, ehm, //children's text, uh-huh.//
F1190 //Oh it is, yes,// //yes.//
F1189 //do you// recall any other ones? Did you own that book //by the way? mmhm//
F1190 //We owned it, yes,// and we owned the 'Hamewith'. //And my//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 mother had, eh - when I think back on it, a lot of what she had were poetry books.
F1189 Mm.
F1190 It's interesting to look back on it. I don't remember the other children's books, [throat], but I mu- well, I must have been reading //children's books, there's a,//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm//
F1190 a story which was repeated again and again when I small. My father mus- - I was only six when Dad //died,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and I had a book in my //hand,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and I walked up to him and I said `Dad, what does `deter mind cheracter' mean?'
F1189 [laugh]
F1190 And he looked at this and of course it had been - there was //a picture, and//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 this child //apparently it was a `deter mind cheracter'.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And he just laughed and laughed and said 'It's what you've got - it's a determined character!' //[laugh]//
F1189 //[laugh]//
F1190 So this became a sort of saying, you know, //[inaudible],//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
F1190 `There's Mary being a dete-deter mind cheracter.' //So I must have been//
F1189 //[laugh]//
F1190 reading as s- - you know, children's //books//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 at that stage, and I didn't belong to a library //then.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.// //Hm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //It was quite a bit to be - two, two years later before I joined the library.// So I don't remember what those books //were.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// Were you read to, as a //child? Mm.//
F1190 //Aw, yes, [?]well you see[/?],// a-another occasion, when my father was, had a visitor,
F1189 Mm.
F1190 and I trotted along to him, and I would be five or six I suppose, and I said, `Would you read this to me Daddy?' And he said, `But you can read yourself.' And I can remember looking at him and saying, `If I'd known you'd say that I wouldn't have learned.'
F1189 [laugh]
F1190 So that was another thing that was kept up for //years so//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
F1190 they must have read to us //because I was asking him to read.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But it's all snippets //of memory, isn't it?//
F1189 //Mmhm, mm.// W-were both your parents readers then? //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 //Yes, yes, they were both readers// and lots of magazines and things came //into the house,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 er, [?]you know[/?], Scots Magazine came in and of course the daily papers were there. That's when I first remembering being conscious that I could read, because I could read the //headlines.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 So that-that was the beginning. And I always //realised that//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 bigger print was easier
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 than smaller print. //It took me//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 quite a while to get into the smaller bits.
F1189 Uh-huh.
F1190 So there was always stuff in the //house to read,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 ever since I could //remember.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Not great bookcases of books like I've accumulated now,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 but there was stuff you //it was just assumed that//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 that you would read.
F1189 Mmhm, yes, where were books kept? Can you recall in in //in your various flats? Hm.//
F1190 //I don't remember, do you know, I don't remember.// No memory //of what they were - er//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 how they were kept at all, //that's blank. Don't remember it.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But they were, they must've been around, //[throat]//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and I can remember getting books as present-, [swallow] and being made to sit down and write thank-you letters, //for these.//
F1189 //Yes, uh-huh, uh-huh,// uh-huh, uh-huh.
F1190 But, what they were, or
F1189 Mmhm. //[?]No[/?]...//
F1190 //anything about them// I don't know.
F1189 Would they come from //aunties,//
F1190 //[throat]// //Oh//
F1189 //fond aunties// //or? [laugh]//
F1190 //yes, and friends of my mother's.// //My mother had a whole//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 lot of women //friends,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and they were the ones that //I think must've sent us the books.//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.// Did you get actual books or did you get book tokens?
F1190 We got books.
F1189 Mmhm. //So they were chosen for you//
F1190 //[?]That w-[/?],// //aye, they were//
F1189 //then?// //Mmhm, mm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //chosen for you, I don't remember book tokens when we were children.// I think the first book tokens I got were when I was //grown up, and my friends were giving me them.//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But, they were books, //and of course that was the real//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 excitement, undoing the parcel.
F1189 Mmhm, uh-huh.
F1190 But it was great, //yeah.//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh.// Were you ever disappointed, can you remember, //[?]or was there[/?] - no?//
F1190 //I don't remember being disappointed.// //I don't remember that//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 at all, just everything was grist to //the mill.//
F1189 //Mmhm,// mmhm. Now, erm, some of the books that people did keep in their houses that might spark your memory off were things like, er, encyclopedias, //or dictionaries?//
F1190 //Yeah we'd// always dictionaries,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 because my mother was a crossword //addict.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And I suspect it was always Chambers' Dictionary because I'm still addicted, //I've got about three editions of Chambers over there,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 um, because there was always //a dictionary//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 because there were always crosswords //being done.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 You-, you're triggering my memory now, 'cause I'd, you know //I'd forgotten that.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And we must've had, we must have had encyclopedias. What I do remember vaguely was that my father was very keen on music and we had a gramophone
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 and he was a great collector of gramophone records. Probably in that early period I was almost as conscious of putting records //on the gramophone, as reading.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 It was a-a mixture of the two things.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 It's interesting t-, I'd forgotten about that.
F1189 And what kind of music would that be?
F1190 Well he-he was an opera buff. //[throat], [swallow]//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
F1190 He was also crazy about radio,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 and he would build radios, and he had a little crystal set and I can remember once him giving me //earphones,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and telling me to scratch the crystal. And I heard an operatic singer //from Berlin.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 I'll never forget //it. It was absolutely wonderful.//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.//
F1190 But of course he also had Harry Lauder and Will Fyffe //and all those people,//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 and Scottish songs. //Um//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Aw, that great Irish singer, Tera, I can't remember his name? This is age, does this to you. But he was, he was very keen on him, and my husband later was also keen on him.
F1189 I know who you mean and I can't remember //the name either, [laugh], uh-huh.//
F1190 //Well it'llit'll come back if we don't think about it.// But, eh, that was another, //another one, s-//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 em, I can remember us, you know, when we knew he was about to come home, //we'd put a record on to welcome him.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.// Aw, that's nice, //aw,//
F1190 //Yeah.//
F1189 what good children laugh.
F1190 We were very, //I was very attached to my father, em,//
F1189 //Uh-huh, mmhm.//
F1190 he was a great //expeditioner.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Well, on Saturday afternoons and Sundays //we always went somewhere.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 You know, we'd perhaps only be down the Clyde, [?]but[/?] - 'cause I was crazy about the shipyards, //I was//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 you know, get me a gantry crane //and I'm happy.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 I don't know why it's so, but he know that, if he just took me //in sight of the shipyards, I was perfectly happy.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, [laugh].//
F1190 But we were always going off //somewhere like that.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And h-he was, he was a quite, sort of pernickity //person too, you,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 there was certain standards he he couldn't, he just could not bear anybody to swear.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 He hated to hear his men talking about their h-, their wives as `the wife' -
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 "it's `my wife', //it's not `the wife', that sounds like a possession" -//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 which is really quite extraordinary for somebody in the //nineteen thirties, you know, that was,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 it was a very, he was very egalitarian, a, //not at all -//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 he did the dishes if he felt //like doing the dishes with us, a lot of Scotsmen didn't.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.// No, indeed they didn't. //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //In fact they probably expected you to clean their shoes too.// He, he wasn't like that.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 So - here, when I think back he was quite an unusual person, but he was a lovely father, and I missed him of course desperately //when he died.//
F1189 //It must have been awfully hard,// //at that age.//
F1190 //It was,// //it was very hard.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 You know, suddenly there was this //huge gap, it was//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 terrible. I think my brother and I got very close //together after that.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
F1190 //Because we b-,// we did, er, uh, lots and lots //of things together,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 pr-, virtually probably until he went to //high school, and we were in different schools.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And of course that continued forever, we were never in the same school And of course that continued forever, we were never in the same school //again,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 because we went to different ones here //too.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// You may have been too young really to remember this, although they may have been around after your, your father died
F1190 Hm.
F1189 but you say he was very egalitarian, do you, do you know what his politics were, //if there were any books on politics?//
F1190 //Oh, I think he was Tory.// I think both my mother and //father were Tory.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 I might be wrong but //I think they were.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 My mother had grown up in a Tory household //[?]and[/?]//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 my grandfather was a //Tory//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 county councillor in //Ayrshire and//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 I I don't remember ever there being //any political,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 there were lots of political discussions round //the house, but I'm pretty sure that they would be Tory voters.//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.// //[laugh]//
F1190 //I might be wrong. [laugh]//
F1189 Ah, no, [?]well[/?], would it have been the Glasgow Herald crossword, then?
F1190 Oh, yeah, it would be the Glasgow //Herald, yes, oh, not a doubt about it, yes,//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh, [laugh].//
F1190 it was definitely the Glasgow //Herald, [laugh].//
F1189 //Yes, uh-huh.// Do you remember any other newspapers then, that-that came into the house? //Sunday papers, or?//
F1190 //I don't remember, th-// //yeah, oh, I//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 remember that, er, motor car magazines came in //a lot, because Dad was very keen on them and we'd the//
F1189 //Mmhm, mm.//
F1190 Scots magazine, and I'm sure my mother read the People's //Friend,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 just to s- - you see it around news pla-, agents //here.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Oh, I can still remember going into a remote place in Australia, like Darwin, or Broome, //and//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 there on the thing was the People's //Friend - I just couldn't believe it.//
F1189 //[laugh]//
F1190 But I'm sure they came into //the house regularly,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 um, I don't remember otherwise. Um, when we came to New Zealand, my mother got the Scotsman //for a long time,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and I think it may have come into the house intermittently too. But [?]it's[/?], apa-apar - but the Glasgow Herald //was the paper, it was definitely the paper.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.// You say your mother got the Scotsman here - was it sent or could you buy it //here?//
F1190 //You could buy it// in the shops here. //There was a little newsagents,//
F1189 //Really? Uh-huh.//
F1190 in the c-corner of the city, run by a man called Mr Mann. And Mr Mann was a Scot, and he had all the - they were several weeks //out of date of course,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 but he got them all. //Um//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 I don't think we got them by air at the library for a long time because it was so //expensive,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and of course when we first came out air travel was almost //unknown, you know, you came out//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 by ship and that was it. But the Scotsman was certainly in the library //and I think when we were//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 quite poor when we first came here, she she read them in the //library, probably//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 and then when we got a bit more money //and things got a bit more prosperous,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 she used to get them //regularly.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And she w-, she was always interested in in the news from //Scotland,//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 rather than reading books about //Scotland,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 because she wanted to hear what was going on //of course back home.//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.// Yes, well, by that time things were happening in-in-in Europe, //[?]in nineteen thirty-seven[/?], mmhm.//
F1190 //Well, nineteen thirty-seven we came here and,// you know, she, //she was//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 r-r-really upset by the whole, nineteen thirty-eight, and and the Chamberlain //[inaudible].//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Then the war //coming, she just//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 felt that twice in a lifetime //was too often,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 I think, er, she found it very upsetting.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 I think we all did, because my father had been in the First World War, and you know, he taught, when we went walks, we trotted along, //singing marshal songs to keep us going so that our legs didn't stop.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And I can remember the day I heard that war was declared, I was thirteen, must've been at the end of my first year at high school. And I can remember the sick feeling, as I saw the billboard //out on the street,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 saying `War declared', and of course New Zealand declared war instantly.
F1189 Yes, uh-huh.
F1190 And I thought, "It's not going to be the same //again for years."//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And when we got home I said to Mum, "It's started", and she said, "It'll be years //before it's sorted."//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm,// //mmhm, mm, mmhm.//
F1190 //And she was right, of course,// didn't fix for ages. And we were very - she felt very //isolated.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
F1190 //But of course safer.//
F1189 Wh-what influenced your mother's, um decision to //to come here then?//
F1190 //Well it was the f-, the fact// that her sisters were here.
F1189 Right. //Uh-huh, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //She had almost no relatives left in Scotland.// There was one //cousin,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and his son is still alive //in Scotland,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 he's eighty-eight, and very frail, //but I did go to see//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 them when I was in Edinburgh. But all the rest of the family had been here,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 f-, well, some of them had been here for several generations. And she had got to know some of the sons of the first
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 immigrants, which were in the eighteen-sixties, because they came back to Britain, with the New Zealand //forces in the First World War.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And there must have been a New Zealand base hospital camp, //somewhere//
F1189 //mmhm//
F1190 close to Liverpool where my mother was working. So I think she had a very nice //time indeed, in her war, with all these New Zealand cousins - they all took her out and she had a great time.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, ah, [laugh], mmhm.//
F1190 And she got to know some of them very well, //so they must've//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 come more than once.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 She must have seen them - and of course they went up to Glasgow, to my aunt //there,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 the aunt who didn't //emigrate.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And one of her daughters //married a New Zealand serviceman.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Now, Jenny had been a very close friend of my mother's - you know how cousins who are youngest in the //families, they swapped over in the holidays,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and th-they were in, they were, it was this business of being lonely //in Scotland, with everybody//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 gone, that she decided in nineteen thirty-seven to come out //here and of//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 course the worst of the Depression was over here.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 It had been very bad here - very bad indeed - and th-, at that stage the aunts said `Don't //come.'//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 But then she did,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 and of course, within a couple of years the war had //started and//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 er, she couldn't have changed her mind //about going back anyway, because//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 by the time the war was over, we were well settled in jobs //and//
F1189 //Mmhm.// Do you think she may have changed her mind, or did she //settle there?//
F1190 //I don't// know, um, probably not, //really.//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 Certainly, w-w-we went back to Scotland, in nineteen //sixty,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 when I worked at Glasgow Public Libraries. And she was the one that wanted to come back, //I was//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 totally content in Glasgow Public Libraries, I was having a great time, I enjoyed the jobs, and but I finally, supposed to work for three //months, and at//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 the end of seven and a half months I said to the boss, `I've got to go, //if I don't//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 go, I won't ever go', s- But, //Jim was out here, you see, and a Scots mother doesn't want to be separated from her son.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mm.// Aw, //uh-huh.//
F1190 //So we came back// and she was happy here //then, yes.//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 But I think it took quite a long //time.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// So how did you take the news that you were going to be coming to New Zealand then?
F1190 Aw, I think we were excited, because New Zealand had been part of our background //for years.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 [clear throat], My mother didn't ever lose //touch with her//
F1189 //Mmhm//
F1190 sisters and her aunts who were out //here.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 So we'd heard about this country, //and//
F1189 //Mm//
F1190 it was just, almost an extension of Scotland //in a funny sort of way.//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm, [inhale]// I assume your mother got letters //um, from h- - did she read them//
F1190 //Yes, yes.//
F1189 to you?
F1190 Well she certainly did some of them, //mm, erm,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 we certainly knew what was happening, //because//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 I can remember her reading a letter which, her aunt, //who//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 came out with one of my aunts, and they were living in Lower Hutt at the //time of//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 the Napier Earthquake. And Aunt Agnes had written to my mother saying that suddenly she felt very shaky //and she realised//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 the whole house was shaking, //and she thought,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 "Well, it's only an earthquake, and it's not flu." //My mother found this terribly funny, that anybody would prefer to have an earthquake to flu. [laugh]//
F1189 //[laugh], [laugh]//
F1190 So the-, we - she must've, she must've //r-r-read out these//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 letters, `cause we did seem to know what was going on //out here.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 So eventually we came to Dunedin //and I had//
F1189 //mmhm//
F1190 three cousins here, who were a bit older.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 But, you s-, th-> - it was very upsetting for my mother, because that aunt who was here //had brought//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 her up, because her mother died when she was only a year old. Now that aunt died within two years of us //coming//
F1189 //Ah,// //mmhm, another loss,//
F1190 //and that was a huge block,// //yes.//
F1189 //mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And then the one in Wellington, who wasn't quite as close, but //was down here//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 for every holiday, she died within a couple of years after //that, so that//
F1189 //Hm.//
F1190 suddenly here were her sisters.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 But by that time it was the middle of the war.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 I think if it hadn't been she might well have retreated, //at that point.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But there was no, there was just no way //you could go - and I was in the middle of high school,//
F1189 //No going back, no, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 so was Jim, //so, there was no going back about that either.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.// So how did you get here?
F1190 We came out erm on one of the New Zealand Shipping //Company ships, the Rangitata.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 We had h-huge fun as children coming out, because there was hardly anybody on //board, there were about forty passengers//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 on this huge ship, because it was just before the Coronation, and everybody in New Zealand was going the other //way,//
F1189 //Ah,// //[laugh], uh-huh.//
F1190 //so that nobody was coming out our way.// And the ship was full of bo-boxes of balloons, that were //going to decorate//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 the Rangitata when it got back to //Britain for the, you know, the great//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Merchant Navy Display. So they gave us a whole box of //balloons//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and miles of, of rope and string //and stuff - and we would//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 let out these great //bundles of//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 balloon over the stern of the ship //and see how//
F1189 //mmhm//
F1190 far it would go before it hit the //water.//
F1189 //[laugh]// //[laugh]//
F1190 //We did this for hours on end.// //The crew were just//
F1189 //[laugh],// //Uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 //wonderful to us, because there was// only about six children //on the whole ship.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm,// //mm, mm, mmhm.//
F1190 //So we had a great time, and we learnt to swim on the ship, and// we got very sea-sick on it too, at the beginning, //but we got used to it.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 So [?]that was it[/?], //we, we//
F1189 //Was the-, was there a swimming pool,// //on -//
F1190 //Hm?//
F1189 was there a swimming pool on //the ship? Mmhm.//
F1190 //They put a swimming pool out, [?]sort of[/?] -// built it up on the deck.
F1189 Uh-huh.
F1190 And, er, [?]I mean[/?] most ships just h-, do have them //now.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 They may have had them in the First Class, //a proper one, but//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 this one was just, you know, they put up great wooden slabs and then th-, //put a a//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 a lining //in that, which was waterproof.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And we we had hours of fun in //this, and of course it was so hot through the Tropics that//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 you were in the swimming pool quite a lot.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 So it was great //fun,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 yeah.
F1189 Now, you weren't allowed to bring a lot of things, I know, //in those days.//
F1190 //No, that's right, we had a cabin trunk and a// //you know, suitcases, but//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 not a lot of //things.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Erm it's funny, one of the things I do remember about the ship was the lack of children's books, //and...//
F1189 //Well I was about to ask// you, did you bring any of your own //books? Em//
F1190 //Well, I think we did// //I-I'm pretty - well, we did bring `Child's//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Garden of Verses' //because we've got the original edition there and//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 we brought the Charles Murray 'cause //it's still through there, in the other room.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But I do remember that the two children's books - why this should be //so vivid -//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 one was an A. A. Milne,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 and I had never encountered A. A. Milne before, it was `Winnie the Pooh'. I had never met //Winnie the Pooh, in,//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 it's funny, having belonged to the library in Glasgow, //it just had not come my way - so I read all that,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 I think it was `Now We Are Six', actually. But the other one was one which I've always wanted to trace.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 And I remember that its title was called `The Children of the Traitor', and it was about some Scottish Highland //clan,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 where their father had betrayed the clan chief and these children were rather //ostracised.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Don't remember anything else about it, and I've never been able to find out who wrote it.
F1189 I'll find out //for you, [laugh].//
F1190 //You find out - I bet you can, [laugh].// Well that was what it //was called, `The Children of//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh.// //And that was on//
F1190 //the Traitor'.//
F1189 board, //was it? Mmhm, uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 //That was on board, it was in this funny little library,// erm there was a very nice hostess that - we were of course the bottom class of the, //of the ship,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 so we had the stern, which //of course was a great place to be, I've//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 never been able to understand why they put First Class up the middle.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 Erm, but, she would open up this //library cupboard, and//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 now I must have read other things, //just because they were there.//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 But I do remember those two, //it was the only children's books that were there.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.// Did you get comics at all, Mary, when you were //in Scotland?//
F1190 //When we were in -// //yes, we did,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 yes, we had
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 was it, `Tiger Tim', //and the `Girl's//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Own Paper', and the `Boys' Own //Paper'.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Yeah, we did read comics, um. They were cheap, you could //get them for a few pennies, and,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 even when we were quite poor //because we were poor for a long time after//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 my father died. There was usually somebody //with comics around.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But they weren't, s-s-sort of essential to us at all, because there were all these, you know, you could read books //out of the library.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// Right, so you wouldn't have saved them to bring with you on //the journey, no? Mmhm, [throat], mmhm.//
F1190 //No, no, no I'm sure we didn't, no, no.// So I don't really know.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 They did all sorts of things - `cause there were so many games on the ship, and they had quizzes, //and//
F1189 //mmhm//
F1190 I can even remember sitting do- //sort of, doing quizzes//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 er, around on the //deck.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And //it was so -//
F1189 //So there were no// boring moments, where you missed Partick Library?
F1190 I think I probably did //miss Partick Library, it was a -//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 you know the great thing was that when I got out here I found //this one that looked//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
F1190 just like it. //[laugh]//
F1189 //Yes, [laugh].// //Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 //So I stopped, I stopped missing it at all.// Um //but-.//
F1189 //Do you think that helped then?// //[?]Do you[/?]? Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 //Aw, sure, yes, yes - and I think, eh// you know, when I think of my mother, and letting me, you know, sort of have those //months,//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 of not going to school,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 I think it was the best thing //she ever did,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 because I would've, I might have been alright,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 but I wasn't ready, and she was very good at this. Jim of course was furious, //because he//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 was at high school and he'd gone back to school, //and here was//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
F1190 I, idling, //reading books.//
F1189 //[laugh]// And had you sat any kind of examination, //by the//
F1190 //It's -//
F1189 time you left, er, //you know, th- - you must've been//
F1190 //No, we had -//
F1189 at the end of primary school, or near //the end of it.//
F1190 //Well I was getting// towards the //end of it, um,//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 we did have s-, class //exams,//
F1189 //Hm.//
F1190 but I don't remember any - I wasn't at the stage of general certificate. //When I came here -//
F1189 //Mm.// and no kind of `qually', or anything, that //would've, er//
F1190 //No.//
F1189 no?
F1190 That had something called the Proficiency //Certificate//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 in New //Zealand,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and, for the kids that didn't go on to high school, //and that was a lot of them, at that time,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 uh, that was their working //certificate.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 But the year I got into the final year at the school, I went into Standard Five, and Standard //Five was the//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 second year, and I was mid-way through the year when I started, and then, in the final year, they had actually abolished that public exam. So in fact I didn't //sit a//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 a public exam until I went - I did //matriculation at high school.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Erm, so I nev-, ever had - we did have //tests, you know, how they//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 did at school, //all the way through,//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 but nothing that was... Jim did, because he finished high sch-s- primary school, and //sat//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 whatever it was, the official //finish, then//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 he went to Hyndland. But he was only there for a //term, before we f- - we set out for New Zealand.//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 He loved it, and //he hated//
F1189 //Hm.//
F1190 Otago Boys' High School.
F1189 Did he? //Now I was//
F1190 //Mmhm.//
F1189 about to ask you, about the differences between //the education//
F1190 //Yeah well I think,//
F1189 in Scotland //and New Zealand.//
F1190 //And here?// Well, I actually don't think that there was very much, //as far as I was concerned.//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 Erm we had probably a fairly conservative school, at //Arthur//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Street, which is in a very //settled area of Dunedin,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 um, draws on mostly middle-class, fairly well-heeled. And we had a teacher who was, very, very like a teacher at home, except that //she spoke with a New Zealand accent,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 which I couldn't hear for about six weeks, took me //ages.//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 Sat there translating what she was actually saying.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 And when, you know, you had to do written dictation, //you know, to -//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 a-and I - baffled about what these words were, that I was supposed to be writing //down.//
F1189 //Mmhm//
F1190 after about six weeks //I got used to it.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But I think Jim found it very different at Otago Boys' from //Hyndland, which I think is a very//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 good school in //Glasgow.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And my impression is that the teaching standard at Otago Boys' High School was not as good as the teaching standard at Otago Girls' High School, //which was -//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 we were in a top w- stream //class, so we got//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 the pick of the teaching, //I suppose.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Jim had one or two teachers whom he greatly admired, and he got on very well with them, and in fact, //he sat matriculation when he was//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 fourteen, he was very bright. And my mother of course always wanted him to go to university, and he did, for one //year.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And at the end of it, I I was at university at the same time, and I said to him, `Do you realise you've passed everything?' And he said, `Oh bother.' //`It'll be harder to leave.' [snort] And he did leave.//
F1189 //[laugh]//
F1190 But she w-, she felt very //upset about that, because she//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 thought if he'd stayed in //Scotland//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 he would have gone //on at -//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and gone off to Glasgow University. He might not have. But he didn't. //He was//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 perfectly happy not. //But she wasn't.//
F1189 //Would she've// wanted him to go back to Scotland //to university? Mm,//
F1190 //Well, she regretted that she had left Scotland,// //that was her great regret, was that Jim's education had come to an end//
F1189 //uh-huh, uh-huh, [throat], mmhm.//
F1190 when he wanted it //to, and he tho-,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 she prob-, he probably wouldn't have left school //if he had been at Hyndland.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But he might have, you know, boys change over three or four //years,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and it-it's hard to say.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 But that school was a very sporting //school,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 you know, i-if you were good at rugby football, //it was -//
F1189 //Mmhm,// //I see, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 //you were fine, and// //he -//
F1189 //So it's in a classic boys'// //school, type of mm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //It was absolutely in a classic boys' school, whereas// Otago Girls' High //School had been//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 the first - well it was the first public girls' //school in the Southern Hemisphere//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 actually, and it had a huge pride //in this.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And there w- - it wasn't a feminist school, we just assumed that we //could do anything.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And our teachers assumed that we could do anything, that was the way //that school was.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// There does seem to be a legacy of of giving girls access to education in New Zealand.
F1190 Yes, //yes,//
F1189 //Erm//
F1190 very early. //Out of that school//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 came, uh, I think the first woman lawyer, or the first woman //doctor in New Zealand.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 They had a bit of a rough time, trying to be //doctors in early days, `cause the male students didn't//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mm.//
F1190 want them there. But that school just - //that was the way it taught, and I//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 imagine that it had always taught that way, that you could, in fact, achieve //whatever you wanted to achieve//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 as a woman. Er, without any, sort of, blatant feminism, //it just didn't exist in those days.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But we just emerged from that //school -//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 you were going to university, and you were going to do this, and
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 there was a choice around - well I happened to have fallen into the public library in my last year at school, and got a part-time job. Well that was it forever.
F1189 [laugh]
F1190 But my friends //went off teaching, or//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 kindergartening, some of them nursed, //not many.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But that was just what you were going to //do,//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mmhm, yeah,//
F1190 //and it was a great place.//
F1189 a lot of that em uh egalitarianism in-in education here is is put down to the Presbyterian //ethos, uh-huh.//
F1190 //Yes, yes,// //there was a passion for education in those early//
F1189 //W-were you, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 [swallow], eh, early //settlers, of course, it was a,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 it was a church //settlement,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and my friend, who's in this //book, John//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Hislop, he came out in eighteen sixty-three //to a little//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 school, just over the hill from here, but he was brought specifically to bring the Scottish system of education //to New Zealand, to Dunedin.//
F1189 //Mmhm, hm.// Mmhm.
F1190 That was it.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 That was his - and the whole lot of them were brought out //at the time.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And a great many of the early professors at the, well the university, a lot of the early professorships were funded by the //Presbyterian Church.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.// //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //You know, the university started// on the smell of an oily rag, really.
F1189 [laugh]
F1190 And, you kn-, there were hardly anybody here //when they started the university, there were about//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 a hundred and forty thousand people in the whole province.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 But you were going to have a //university, that was//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 just the course of //nature, you had a university.//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And here were these high schools for boys and girls, Otago Girls' was eighteen seventy-one, //I think, it started, and Boys' were//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 eighteen sixty-three.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 The professors at the university came and examined the girls in Maths and //Science, and such, and some of the//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 early reports report them to be just as efficient as the boys at the Boys' High School. [giggle]
F1189 Very good. //[laugh]//
F1190 //So there you are, [laugh] feminism rife! [laugh]//
F1189 Now were your own family Presbyterian then? //Or did they have//
F1190 //Yes, th-,//
F1189 a religious //affiliation? Mmhm, mm.//
F1190 //they, er, my mother had been brought up, I think, very much// a church person. //But my//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 father and mother didn't go to church. We were christened in the Church of //Scotland of course,//
F1189 //mmhm//
F1190 and as my mother got older, we did go to the //Presbyterian Church here,//
F1189 //mmhm, mmhm//
F1190 and, erm, but she was never, she never insisted that we do things //like go to Sunday School if we didn't want to,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and I don't think Jim ever believed a word of it.
F1189 [laugh]
F1190 For a while I used to go to SCM //at the university.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 For some reason or other, half my friends married Presbyterian ministers, and my cousins were Presbyterian //ministers, it was//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 right through the family, //there were//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 a-a lot of Presbyterian //ministers around, [laugh].//
F1189 //Mmhm, [laugh].// So did you have a Bible in your house //then?//
F1190 //Oh yes,// //oh yes, always, always,//
F1189 //Right, mmhm, uh-huh.//
F1190 and I found my father's Bible, //which had been given//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 to him, by his Sunday //School teacher in the eighteen nineties,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and I've still got //that.//
F1189 //Uh-huh.// //And what about//
F1190 //So th-//
F1189 yourself, did you ever, were you ever in receipt of Sunday School prizes? I know you said your parents //didn't make you go, but//
F1190 //No, no, I,// I-I-I //didn't.//
F1189 //Hm.//
F1190 I went to Sunday School for a bit in Glasgow, //when we were at//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Napiershall Street, and I didn't like it.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 So we were never made to go at //all.//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 When I was here, I went to th- really because my friends did, they trotted me off //to SCM on, er, the university,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 but I also got involved at St. Andrew's Church which you can see across the harbour, //and it, yes, it,//
F1189 //Uh-huh, I can, yes, uh-huh.//
F1190 it happened to be at a time when the minister of that //church//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 was the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand. //So he went away, he was a//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 terribly boring, terribly boring //preacher,//
F1189 //[laugh]//
F1190 and we got a man from Glasgow called Dr. Menzies. //I don't know what his Christian name was, but he had//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 I think been the minister of the Tron Church. //[click]//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And he was a revelation,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 he was just great.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 You never knew what his sermon was going to be, you never knew how long it was going to be - I don't think he knew either. And he was - he had us rapt,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 the whole, and I started teaching teaching the Senior Bible Class, and that was a terrible experience, //because I realised//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 I was trying to teach things I didn't believe.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 I didn't exactly break from the church then, but I broke from all of that.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 And I used to take my mother to church - and I still have all these Presbyterian friends who wonder why I don't go to church. [laugh] But there you are.
F1189 Yeah, [laugh]. //Uh-huh.//
F1190 //Yep.// So they're, r- - I get on with them //very well, they don't seem to mind.//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 No, they're not a bit critical.
F1189 Right, they-they haven't tried to //get you on side? [laugh]//
F1190 //No, no,// they don't do, //they don't really, they just accept it,//
F1189 //uh-huh.//
F1190 that's it.
F1189 Well, before we move on from that part of your transition from //Scotland,//
F1190 //Mmhm.//
F1189 erm, to New Zealand, could I just ask you, before we do that, if you remember reading anything about New Zealand before you left?
F1190 I think that //we did in fact get a lot of,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 I don't think we, I read what books I could //find,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and there one or two about New Zealand //children,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and, but, I - there were far more about //Australian children, so I read//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 a lot about - I read those, //in Glasgow still.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Erm but we did get - there used to be very good weekly illustrated papers around New Zealand, one was the Auckland Weekly News, //and the other was//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 the New Zealand //Freelance.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// mmhm
F1190 They must have come quite often, because I have memories of going through these, they were very illustrated, //and had a lot of//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 quite long articles //in them.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 So we did know quite a lot about the //place.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And I think it was more from from, sort of, newspaper
F1189 Mm.
F1190 weeklies, //than from books.//
F1189 //So it would be your family// who sent them //back to Scotland? Uh-huh, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //Yes, yes, it would by my aunts would send them.// I think, particularly the aunt in Wellington, //I think she//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 realised that, you know, Mum was //interested in this, and//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 she would send the //Freelance and the Auckland Weekly.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 So that, these things came, //because they were so familiar when we came here.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But I think there weren't very many books, //at that//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 stage, there was almo- no children's literature //generated in New Zealand - there's a lot now,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm//
F1190 but there wasn't then.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 But we did read there was `Seven Little Australians', was one of the ones I //remember reading. [laugh]//
F1189 //[laugh]//
F1190 And erm...
F1189 Well that makes a change from the other one. //Yes, [?]that's[/?] - [laugh], uh-huh.//
F1190 //Yes, that's right, that's right. It always - it was a foreign country.// Erm, but I don't, //er, no I don't think I ever found, erm//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 until after //I came out//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 here, when there began to //be//
F1189 //mmhm//
F1190 some publications in //New Zealand, but New Zealand//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 children's books have flourished in //the last,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 what - thirty, forty years, //rather than//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 then.
F1189 So from the-these, newspapers and magazines, then, what sort of impression did you get? What did you think you were //you were coming to?//
F1190 //I don't think, er -// I don't think we felt //it was anything//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 very different from //Scotland.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 That was the funny part about it. I think, oh, uh Wellington, we arrived in //Wellington, on the ship,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and it came as a real shock, visually, because it's full of wooden //houses.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 [throat] We thought the whole place looked so temporary, //l-l-,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 looking at us, like a Wild West //set, you know, from the cinema.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 [throat] Then when we came to Dunedin, walked along the main street and it's full of stone //buildings,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 suddenly this began to feel more //normal.//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 But it wasn't really until we moved into town, we stayed with my aunt, who had a-a house out in Concord, which was quite a distant suburb //in those days, but it's now part of the city,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and they were - it was a wooden //house and//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 they had a big garden, and they had an orchard, //and this felt//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 very strange to us, `cause we were city kids, //weren't we?//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Then we came into town and we lived quite close to the city,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 and there it was, with its stone buildings up the main //street.//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 And there was Princes Street and George Street and Hanover Street and //Moray Place and,//
F1189 //Yes,// [laugh].
F1190 you know, it all - it all felt very like Edinburgh, //except it didn't look like Edinburgh, but it felt like it.//
F1189 //Uh-huh, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 So it was familiar, //so that was better.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And the school at Arthur Street at that stage was a stone main building. It's the, er - the old building was mm pulled down, and new modern buildings built.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 But the, you know, the Otago Boys' High School sits up //there, you can//
F1189 //Mmhm//
F1190 see it against the bush with its towers,
F1189 Uh-huh.
F1190 very trad //looking.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Uh and the- there were bigger buildings //beginning to be//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 built in the city, but it did feel, funnily enough, more like a city than Wellington did.
F1189 Mm.
F1190 Th- coming down on the train, I think was our greatest, funniest experience. We crossed over on the inter-island ferry, which is how you got down //here, and we came//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
F1190 down on the train and we were unsuspecting. We had no idea that when the train stopped for fifteen minutes, everybody in the train raced for food. Well we were always at the back of the //queue, we just//
F1189 //Aye.//
F1190 got nowhere.
F1189 Being polite, //[laugh].//
F1190 //Well,// it just didn't occur to us that you had to dash in and fight your way to the counter //in ten minutes//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 to get a bun or a //cup of tea.//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 That was our first experience //of coming down through the railway line to Dunedin.//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 Oh, fascinating. And very //strange. [laugh]//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.// We had a wee break there, and I'm-I'm going to start with questions on the library in Dunedin, and its parallels with the library in Partick. //[laugh] Now,//
F1190 //Er, alright, yes, yes.//
F1189 so what was it that seemed so familiar to you?
F1190 Well, partly I think it was the way the books were //bound,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 because, you know, for children, very - //it's all very visual, and I think//
F1189 //Mmhm, mm.//
F1190 the stock was very much //the same,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 because they imported from //Scotland and England, and the books all came in//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 from there. And they were bound by Chivers of Bath, //who were very famous for//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 library //binding.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 I think they, I don't know whether they still exist but they - all the time I worked at Dunedin, we always got our serious //fiction re-bound by Chivers, so that it was//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 it was [?]bound in brown[/?] leather. So here were all these brown, and black, //leather bindings.//
F1189 //Mmhm, uh-huh.//
F1190 And, you know, I know that Dorothy White, who was a great children's librarian, and who came just shortly after we came, thought it was dreary. //But we didn't think they were dreary,//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 they were magic, like any //books,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 didn't matter they were that colour. In the main library, we had, actually, quite often chosen books for my mother, in Partick, in the adult part //of the library,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and I think that must have been all pretty familiar too, because I don't remember it being very different. What I do remember as different was the reference room //upstairs,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 which, because it was a central library and Partick was a //branch.//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 The central library was always where the reference //stock was, but this was//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 acting as a central library //as well as being a lending one.//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 So there was this big //reference room upstairs with//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 these long kauri tables and total, total //silence.//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 So we didn't really go up there much, //unless we wanted -//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 [?]I[/?] but I can remember from primary school going up there and using the Encyclopedia Britannica, //and getting it out, and the,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 whoever was at the desk //was//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 you know, quite helpful to //kids, I mean we were//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 what, about twelve, I suppose. So that was - there was nothing much in the way of school library,
F1189 Mmhm, mmhm.
F1190 at Arthur Street, it was just not there. And of course I discovered when I was writing this book about the library that, it had been a deliberate policy
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 of Mr McEwan when he started the school libraries, that he went to the more distant schools around Dunedin, //so that, because those children would//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 find it more difficult to come, whereas Arthur Street was just up the hill. So nothing much went there.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 It was much later that it got book stock.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 So all my interest in books was in the public //library down in Moray Place, in the old Carnegie Building.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm mmhm, mmhm// Yes, uh-huh, I've seen the old plaque at the new-the newer library, //in Dunedin, with the,//
F1190 //Right, yes, y-,// //y-,//
F1189 //th-the// commemoration of Carnegie's, //ehm//
F1190 //that's right - have you seen the old building?// //Because it's still very much used and of course it sits up there looking handsome, and there are//
F1189 //I haven't seen the old building yet, uh-huh, uh-huh, mmhm.//
F1190 thistles on the front of it,
F1189 Well, I'll look //out for that [laugh]//
F1190 //just-just to show it, [laugh], just to show where it came from.// //[laugh]//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh.// //Now,//
F1190 //Yes.//
F1189 if you cast your mind back to Partick Library,
F1190 Yes, //do y-, I can't think of [?]how[/?] - ah well I don't know the outisde of it, you see,//
F1189 //and I know Partick Library, [laugh].//
F1190 I can't remember the outside.
F1189 It's quite a traditional building, it was built at the the - early on in the twentieth century, before the First World //War, ehm,//
F1190 //Right, yes.//
F1189 but it's stone-built, traditional, it's got the, the sort of //glass door.//
F1190 //And which street is it in?//
F1189 I-it's right on Dumbarton Road, //mmhm, yes, uh-huh.//
F1190 //Ah right, right, yes.// //[?]Is the building...[/?]//
F1189 //And still there// and still a library, //[laugh].//
F1190 //You s-, [?]that[/?], eh, [?]in[/?], eh, uh, um,// all those months I //worked at//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Glasgow Public //Libraries, sixty,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 sixty-one, I was never near it,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 partly because they sent me out after the first few weeks in the Central Division. //They sent//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 me off with a bunch of staff, to get a s-, new library
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 right up in Castlemilk
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 ready for, for starting. //So I was -//
F1189 //How fabulous,// oh, I want to ask you about that //`cause I've been there.//
F1190 //That was, just,// //that was just the most wonderful time, because//
F1189 //[laugh], Uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 the public wasn't there, but we were //getting all this book stock in, and I had about//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 six girls that worked //there,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 you know, and, doing various things. //I think there were//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 two from the bindery, and the rest were trainee librarians. And we got all the stock ready, and put it on the //shelves.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 But at the same time we had builders in who were still finishing the building,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 and the local police called every morning and had morning tea with us, and of course they told us stories, most of which were probably apocryphal, but we didn't care, they were //great fun.//
F1189 //[laugh]//
F1190 I don't think I've ever laughed as //much,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 as in that period //up at Castlemilk,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 because they were r- just so funny, //everybody.//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
F1190 And the- there was one b-bloke who was doing work on the floor, who had actually been in New Zealand, //so he//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 regarded me as a fellow //Kiwi, you see.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 I was never a Scot //when I lived//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 in Glasgow, I was a, I was the Kiwi.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 And he was, er, h-he took a great interest. But he had a great voice and he had worked as a scene-shifter in an opera company, so sometimes he was singing operatic arias,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 [?]and other times[/?] he was singing Glasgow street //songs,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 so you never quite knew what you //were going to encounter.//
F1189 //[laugh]//
F1190 Oh, it was a great time, I enjoyed //that job, it was just lovely.//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh,// uh-huh.
F1190 And th-, all this new stock coming //in, you know,//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 what the children, when we opened the library called `split-new books //Ma'.//
F1189 //Mm.// //[laugh]//
F1190 //`Split new-books', [laugh].// //Oh, I'd never heard `split-new' before as an expression.//
F1189 //[laugh]// //Uh-huh, mmhm.//
F1190 //Had to start all over again, [laugh].//
F1189 I'd like to hear your whole Glasgow adventure //ehm, ehm, and, er//
F1190 //[throat]//
F1189 and tha-, and that's coming up, isn't it? //A-at the time, I -//
F1190 //Yes, yes.//
F1189 what I really wanted //to know was if//
F1190 //[laugh]//
F1189 you remembered the books in Partick, if you can see them on the //shelf?//
F1190 //Yes, I can see// //them on the shelves, and I can actually see//
F1189 //Ehm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 some of the //divisions, because//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 of the things I was reading. And there was //one area//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 that was children's fairy //stories,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and for a long time I got sort of bogged down //in that,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 because I - you know you get to a sort of hump and you can't take yourself on to the next bit of reading. At the same time Jim was reading `Dr. Dolittle' //and laughing like mad over//
F1189 //Mmhm, mm.//
F1190 Dr. Dolittle. I couldn't think why //he read those books, er, I didn't want them at all, but they were there.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And there must have been quite a lot of Dickens, because he got into things like `Sketches by //Boz.'//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 He would be laughing away about these things and I thought this was all quite crazy.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 But I did, then I moved, out of that children's fairy story area, and of course there was Andrew Lang's //stori-, you know, these coloured f-, the red book and then the blue f-fairy book,//
F1189 //Yes, uh-huh, uh-huh, coloured fairies, yes, uh-huh,// //Mmhm, uh-huh.//
F1190 //and they were in Dunedin Library,// and they probably still are.
F1189 Uh-huh.
F1190 And then I moved on to I think probably, mostly girls' school //stories,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Dorita Fairlie Bruce and people like //that, and there were a lot of those//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 er, that were around.
F1189 Now were they there in Dunedin, //when you arrived?//
F1190 //Yes, oh yes.// //Yes they were there in Dunedin,//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 in fact that was, it was all //so familiar, you just couldn't believe it.//
F1189 //Mmhm, uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 But ther-, in addition in Dunedin, there were far more //w-,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 things like the Billabong Books, which were Australian. //Erm,//
F1189 //Right, uh-huh.//
F1190 there's a few of them in Glasgow, but not all that //many.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Um But th- virtually the same //stock, well,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 after about a year of me being in Dunedin, Dorothy Neal White came, well she was Dorothy Neal at the time, //and she was//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 you know, an //internationally famous children's//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 librarian, and she virtually threw those books out, //and started again.//
F1189 //Really?// Uh-huh, uh-huh.
F1190 Eh she, th-th-the-they were all far too dull, so we had this brilliant collection coming in.
F1189 Uh-huh and what came in then?
F1190 Arthur Ransome
F1189 Uh-huh.
F1190 was one of the ones I remember, um, lots of, of American um, //picturebooks, although//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 I wasn't so interested in //picturebooks.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 There were lots of non-fiction, um European //stories.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And I can rememeber - she lived next door to us //so I was//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 one of the favoured families. Dorothy always had favourite families who got the very best //of everything//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 out of the library, of course, living next door //I was a favourite family.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 I can remember when I was in the fourth form at high school, so I would be very near the end of using the //children's library,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 but I'd got mad about T. E. Lawrence, I read everything in sight, and there must have been some //biographies - I must have//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 read a lot of biographies //I think.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 But I can remember going up to Dorothy White and saying could it be possible that she could get me `The Seven Pillars of Wisdom'? Well she was so impressed with //this,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 she marched me across the - //by that time the children's library had//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 moved into a different building - she marched me across the road to the main library and got me `The Seven Pillars of //Wisdom'.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 So Jim and I both read it.
F1189 Mmhm, mmhm.
F1190 But we were all over the place with //reading, just anything//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.// //So//
F1190 //that was in sight.//
F1189 was this an edited `Seven //Pillars of Wisdo-' -//
F1190 //No!// //No, it was the, you know, three inches wide.//
F1189 //no, th-the real thing? Uh-huh.// //Because it is a bit controversial,//
F1190 //[laugh]// //Oh yes, indeed, [laugh].//
F1189 //isn't it? [laugh]// //Uh-huh.//
F1190 //How unfair, because// we didn't know.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 I mean I was this sort of innocent //abroad at fourteen.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 I couldn't imagine why `The Mint' //wasn't//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 generally available. //I've got a copy of it now, actually.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Uh but I, you know, that was the sort of thing I got - we had a very good English //teacher at Otago//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Girls', Muriel May,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 and she got us interested in all sorts of things. But the-the School Journal, which you may not have come across, //but the New Zealand//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Education Department uh put out, and still does //put out things called the School Journal,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and it had excerpts from George //Eliot, or//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 you know, the classics.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 And that introduced you to books, //you went//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 from that - and I would pad into the library and get //those ones out.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And they-they were great //journals, and//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 they were just issued free //t-to children.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And they were just black and white in those days, but then they really changed //into something really very good.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 They-they're first-class productions.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 And I - mm, that was a really fascination for me, because I'd been used to having a sort of set text for reading, //in Scotland,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and it wasn't like that. We had these school journals which appeared, and something new every month.
F1189 Really? //Now that is//
F1190 //Yes.//
F1189 quite different, //isn't it?//
F1190 //That was// //quite different, and//
F1189 //As often// as that? //Every month? Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //I liked that, that was great.// And of course because we were poor //here,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 we couldn't buy //books,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 [click] so to have these for yourself - //and then you used to take them//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 home and then read them, and then I'd go //into the library,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and ask for the rest of the //book, you know, if it was just an excerpt.//
F1189 //Can you remember any// in particular that you //discovered that way?//
F1190 //erm I can remember,// //er//
F1189 //Hm.//
F1190 w-we must have got `Jane Eyre' at some //stage in it, 'cause my - I//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 can remember my mother saying `I think you're a bit young to tackle that', and I must have been about twelve //then.//
F1189 //mm//
F1190 That was - this was, before I went to //high school,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and I went to high school when I was twelve. So I would be, probably in the Standard Six. I don't remember any others particularly, but I do remember //doing this, er,//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 but I do remember `Jane Eyre'. I don't know when I started getting passionate about Robert Louis Stevenson, but I've got a fair //collection of his stuff here.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mm.//
F1190 Eh `Tresure Island' of course //was was always there,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 but we used to get, I was interested in other things, it wasn't just the `Child's Garden //of Verses',//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 which had been built into our heads of //course.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 When [?]Leanne[/?] was talking to me the other day, we found ourselves reciting, [giggle] the same, //the same poems out of,//
F1189 //[laugh]//
F1190 of-of, um the `Child's Garden of //Verses', and there was another//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 woman who was at that //meeting,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 who started with `Fast-Faster than fairies, faster than witches, bridges and houses, hedges and //ditches', you know?//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 It's all very //familiar.//
F1189 //Uh-huh.// Was the-, was there much encouragement, in the school system then, for you to read //Scottish books?//
F1190 //There was,// //not Scottish books, no.//
F1189 //Erm, right.//
F1190 Um I don't, they-th- Dunedin was a //much more Scottish place then than//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 it is now, //uh, [?]I can say[/?],//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 that's for sure, because the Burns Club still existed //and we went to Burns Concerts - we didn't ever//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 join the society, but there were always Burns //Concerts going on, about once a//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 month. And there was a lot of of Scottish influence around the //place.//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 But I don't remember any particular influence that //way at high,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 at school, mm, just we read all over the //place.//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 And you can tell by this importing that John //Hislop did in the eighteen-sixties,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 there were Scottish books, but there were //all sorts of other things,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 you know the - all the Thackeray, all the Dickens, Lord Lytton,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 you name it,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 they were all brought out. So there wasn't, there wasn't a strong emphasis but there were Scottish books, and some of them, I don't recognise the titles but I suspect that there would be a good smattering of Scottish launguage in them.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 But in those days of course the number of people here, the proportion of Scots here would be very //high,//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 compared with later. The Gold Rushes finished that //off in a way, because people flooded in from everywhere.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But there was - it was still there, and after the War there was a sort of second inflow of Briti- //British people that//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 came in. And by the early fifties, er, th-the, Scottish societies were really very flourishing, //and Scottish Country dancing, which I've been indulging//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 in for ever since
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 began then, with huge numbers. //And a lot of//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 them were young men who came out on assisted passages, //eighteen,//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 nineteen, twenty year-olds. So they came Scottish country dancing with us, and they met and //married and//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 did all sorts of //things in the Scottish Country Dance Club, my//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 brother and his wife met in
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 Scottish Country Dancing. So there was a very, still a very strong flavour of Scotland about, //it's not there now.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mm.//
F1190 But I don't remember there being a strong emphas- emphasis on the //books,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 because while there was a very strong Burns Club, there was a Gaelic Society, there was a Caledonian Society, but there was also a //very strong//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Shakespeare Club, and a //very strong//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Dickens Fellowship, //which have gone.//
F1189 //Really?// //Oh, now//
F1190 //Yes, yes.//
F1189 hadn't heard of that one. //Hm, mmhm.//
F1190 //Yes, a very strong Dickens// Fellowship, which put out publications.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 And that was one of the things that Mr. Reid was interested in, erm, one of the things I remember editing quite early when I was working at the library was a catalogue of the Dickens //collection which is in the library, which is a big collection of Dickens material.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mm.//
F1190 So those things were alive and //well in those,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and, uh, I would think.
F1189 Well you had a lucky escape then Mary, because people of your age, had you stayed in Scotland, you'd have been made to read Walter Scott, //[laugh] at school,//
F1190 //Well, Walter Scott was about,// //we were, yeah,//
F1189 //[laugh].//
F1190 I always found that everything I was made to read at school, //I didn't like.//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 It spoiled it. //I remember//
F1189 //Hmm.//
F1190 the `Tale of Two Cities' was one of the things at high school. //The only//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 thing that Otago Girls' High School didn't make me hate was Shakespeare,
F1189 Hm.
F1190 and we had a headmistress, who - actually we were very lucky, //we had her teaching us a good deal of the time - but she was//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 passionate about Shakespeare.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 And we all loved //it.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 It was acted in the school, //every,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 every form produced a Shakespeare //play every year, and//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 the staff would even participate, and produce part of Macbeth //or something,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 so that we were all just totally, totally hooked //on Shakespeare, it was//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 part of the //the thing at that//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 school, was this whole //Shakespeare thing.//
F1189 //Mmhm, hm.//
F1190 It's interesting to look back on it, you forget about it, //but,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 when people say `Oh, Shakespeare was killed for me at school', I think, `Oh-ho-ho, they didn't go to my //school'.//
F1189 //Mm.// //So it was done well//
F1190 //Because.// //Oh it was//
F1189 //at your school?// //Mm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //brilliant, absolutely brilliant.// Um, [?]the thing[/?] - you know, everybody acted it. I can remember in the sixth form Miss King was teaching us - partly because half the staff had gone to //Otago Boys' High School//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 because the men at Otago Boys' High School were out in camp, because the Japanese were around. And she went through,`Henry the //Fifth,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 part one'. And then she read - that was part of the //stated//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 text for high leaving - and then she did part two with us, //'cause she though we'd just//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 like to hear it and she acted every part.
F1189 Uh-huh, //uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //And we were just, we were enthralled, we just sat there,// loved it, absolutely //loved it.//
F1189 //Now this was,// this was a girls' school.
F1190 Yes. //This was a -//
F1189 //Did you have a uniform?//
F1190 yes.
F1189 [laugh] //What was it like?//
F1190 //It was black and// //navy blue gym frocks and long black stockings.//
F1189 //[laugh]//
F1190 I hated the uniform, it was the one thing //I hated.//
F1189 //Uh-huh,// //so a bit like//
F1190 //Maybe we...//
F1189 Scotland then //really, in that way, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //Yes, yes, yes, yes.// Aw, it was very formal.
F1189 And a hat?
F1190 A navy blue felt hat, //sort of a, blue and white band round it and a badge on the front. [laugh]//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mm.// //[laugh]//
F1190 //[laugh]// Oh yes, //I was//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 very glad to leave school from that //point of view,//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
F1190 I didn't... And when you weren't well-off, the //uniform was//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 a bit of a nightmare, because we really couldn't //afford it, it was very difficult.//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 It's all very well to say it's egalitarian, //but it's not,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 because it's got to be bought.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 Nowadays they've got very good swap systems, and they, you know, they, but...
F1189 Do y-, do you think you-your-your school then, Otago Girls' School, was do you think it was quite middle class then? //Was it more for the affluent,//
F1190 //Oh, it was very middle class,// //it was very//
F1189 //erm,// //girls of affluent//
F1190 //middle class.//
F1189 families? //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 //Anybody that was not// wanting to go on to academic //life,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 tended to go to the Tech, //King Edward Technical College.//
F1189 //Right, uh-huh, uh-huh,// uh-huh.
F1190 Um, it was the only //co-ed school at the time,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 too. There were two boys' high //schools, Kings' High over in South Dunedin, and//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 J- - where Jim went to, //Otago Boys'.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 But Otago Girls' //was//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 the only public girls' //school.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 There were St. Hilda's and Columba, which were both church //schools.//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 And they had boarders //of course, so lots of the country kids.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But Otago Girls' was definitely, um, most people had professional //fathers, and,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 you know, //we were probably the poorest people there.//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.// I'm just thinking of these, er, the s-, the school stories that you read. //[?]Yeah[/?].//
F1190 //Yes, yeah, the-they all// //fitted.//
F1189 //Did they// //familiarise you in any way with, what you//
F1190 //Eh, yeah that's right.// //In a way they did, em//
F1189 //met there? Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But of course, being at a day school //was//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 er, but it wasn't all that free and easy, you put your gloves off- //on before you left the school,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 your gym frock had to be just the right //length,//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 you wouldn't have dared go out without a hat, //you never//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 ate an ice-cream in the street. //I still find it difficult to eat an ice-cream in the street.//
F1189 //[laugh]// [laugh] //Uh-huh, [laugh],//
F1190 //Yes, yes, it was a very interesting,// //er//
F1189 //mmhm.//
F1190 th-the principal was an interesting character, she was a brilliant //teacher,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and she had been there, she was principal of that school //by the time she was//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 about twenty-six.
F1189 Mm.
F1190 So she had been there a long time by the time I got there.
F1189 Mm.
F1190 But she and her sister were Social Credit, politically, //and they made no bones about this.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 They also owned the Red-Band Taxis, which was a taxi company which existed at the bottom of the hill, //below the school.//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
F1190 Er, utterly fascinated, because every afternoon, //at//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 roughly four o'clock, a Red-Band taxi drove up to //the front of the//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 school, and the two Miss Kings exited, //into this [laugh].//
F1189 //[laugh]//
F1190 So it all added to the //atmosphere of the place.//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 Yeah.
F1189 And wh-what did you say their politics were?
F1190 Er, Social Credit, //which was a Canadian//
F1189 //And that?// Ah, uh-huh, //uh-huh.//
F1190 //a Canadian thing.// And for a little while //it had quite a vogue in Dunedin, in fact it,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 for a couple of
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 sessions at least, there was at least one Social Credit member of //parliament.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But it was a particular system of, of f-f-financial system that they recommended. And I think that it was Alberta and Canada that it was,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 it had really caught //hold of.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And they approved of it, and //there was no secret about this,//
F1189 //Mmhm, uh-huh.//
F1190 we all knew this, and we all thought that this was //slightly mad, but it all//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 added to the flavour of //the school, [laugh].//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.// //[laugh]//
F1190 //[laugh]//
F1189 Aw, I'm thinking too that, you know, in the school stories, there's always one girl who's not quite as well off as the //others,//
F1190 //That's right.//
F1189 but is the honourable one. //You know, [laugh].//
F1190 //Oh right, yes, I don't know that we worried about that so much.// I think what we did have was that our year - we were in this //stream,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 that was geared to matriculate //in three years instead of//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 four. And the year ahead of us was full of, //of, uh,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 quite brilliant, and very //serious lot,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and the year behind us was the same.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 And in the middle was us - we felt very flippant about all this, //we, d-,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 got into mischief and we did all sorts //of things.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And the teachers would just despair about this, this terrible year, in between these two very //bright years, and that was the sort of atmosphere it was.//
F1189 //[laugh]// Mmhm.
F1190 It, w-, er, there was none of this business that you hear nowadays that if you're a swot, //you're not good,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and that was rather the childr-, the girls' school stories.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 The swots were a bit out, //and the sporty ones,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 that wasn't like that //up there.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Um, academic achievement was very important.
F1189 Mm.
F1190 Sport was alright, but it was, //it was secondary.//
F1189 //Right, so,// so that's not like, em, the kind of //English//
F1190 //No.// //No, no, it wasn't like that at all - I played basketball for the school for about three years, and//
F1189 //public school, em, sort of image? Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 uh, we were out, er, playing //with all the//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 other teams //around the town, because there was no other girls' high school really.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And some people played //hockey, they never played cricket,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 em but... it wasn't desperately //important.//
F1189 //Mmhm,// mmhm. //[inhale]//
F1190 //It was -//
F1189 Now you said you-your brother wasn't sporty, is-is-is that //right? Uh-huh, mmhm.//
F1190 //I think he would've quite liked to be, but it w-,// he wasn't, //in the//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 way that Otago //Boys' High was.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.// I'm just thinking of back in Glasgow, certainly, you know, I mean, er most boys would will have a football team, //em,//
F1190 //Yes,// //I don't know what - whether that would've happened or not.//
F1189 //to support. Mmhm.// You don't recall any of
F1190 I think it had a v-very d-, //er, mm , different atmosphere, Otago Boys' from Otago Girls',//
F1189 //that? Mmhm, mmhm, mm.//
F1190 that's all, you know, the, He used to come home and he was sort of a bit f-fed up. He had one or two very good teachers, //whom he liked hugely,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 um, and one of them in fact ended up by being Director General of //Education.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And Jim always thought it was such a waste,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 because he had been such a brilliant //teacher - but some of//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 the others went on up there for years. And successions of
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 mothers who came to work at the library who had sons up there would talk about these terrible //teachers, [laugh].//
F1189 //Mmhm, [laugh].//
F1190 So I think it wasn't //just Jim,//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 who didn't like it. //But there must have been a big difference in the atmosphere from Hyndland.//
F1189 //Yes, mmhm. But you seem to have// had a-a-a better experience //of-of school, mm, mmhm.//
F1190 //Yes I did - much better, yes.// Yes, I enjoyed it.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 And then, when I was in the sixth form //I started working after school.//
F1189 //So you went right on to sixth form,// //did you? Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //Yes, I went right on to the sixth form,// because I wanted to do Higher //Leaving, and Higher//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Leaving gave you bursary, //y-you know, your fees were paid at university, so//
F1189 //Mmhm, uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 I did - that was four years. And almost all of us left - well, a lot of people went on to fifth, another //year,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 to do um well they got scholarship in that year, //which was, you know, they would give you a grant as well//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 as your fees.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 But in our year, I don't know whether the war had made us restless or what, //but only//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 two of our class went back into the seventh form, the - which it was now, //the seventh//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 form, it was Six A then -
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 and all the rest went off to //university.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And most of us were just about sixteen, //far too young.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 I didn't really enjoy it at that //stage, but//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 I was working at the library, and, //[?]when it's[/?]...//
F1189 //Mmhm, [inhale]// So what did you do then? You-you- you s-, went on to //university? Mmhm.//
F1190 //I went to university,// and I worked part-time at the library, because again we didn't //have any money.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Um, //so I w-//
F1189 //Was that the// University of //Otago, here?//
F1190 //Oh yes,// //yes, yes. I started doing a B.A.//
F1189 //Yes, uh-huh, uh-huh, mmhm.//
F1190 and I think I did French and Latin in the first //year, and I worked//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 every night at the library, and Saturday //mornings.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And the next year, I started doing French Two, Latin Two. //And a job came up at the library, a full-time job,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 which I then applied for and got. So I dropped out of university, er partly because I wasn't enjoying //it, and//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 partly because I couldn't face doing two Stage Twos and working full- //time.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 So I quit. But one of my close friends, about two years //later,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and I was, I did, then began to do the Library Certificate which was correspondence //to Wellington.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And I hated it, didn't like correspondence course, and - distance education, you can keep it,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 I would never want to indulge in it. But anyway, I've a great friend, Win, who said to me one day, `I'd like to do it', [?]when I was[/?] at //university,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 er , mm, `come with me next year.' So I said ok, not really //meaning a word of it.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 However we both went off and we did English One, because the library was very good //about giving me//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //[inhale]//
F1190 //time, and// //because we worked shifts -//
F1189 //Uh yes, I was about// to ask that, how did you manage that, //to matriculate and,//
F1190 //Well,// //you know, I made up all the time//
F1189 //and to work?//
F1190 by working extra nights. //So I worked a forty-hour week,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and I did, I did English that year, and then having //started again I'd had//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 a third of a degree, so //I went off and//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 I went, carried on, and did part-time
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 to finish off.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 And I actually in the end did an M.A. in History, because if you wanted to do an M.A. in English, you had to have you have to have a Stage Two at a foreign language, //not required now of course.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And I had two Stage Ones, //but I didn't have//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 a Stage Two so, I did History Three, third-year Eng-History, as an extra, //and went on//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 to do History Honours, //in the end.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And I did it all. And I discovered, after I had done the whole of my //degree, and worked forty hours a week,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 that, nobody else in the library was working a forty-hour week, they were working thirty-seven and a //half.//
F1189 //Ah.//
F1190 And I'd been making up my time to //forty hours//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
F1190 and swotting at the same time. So I did nothing else all year //except//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
F1190 gallop down to the university.
F1189 Now a thirty-seven and a half hour week then, was - that was quite enlightened //really, you know? Uh-huh, mmhm.//
F1190 //It was quite enlightened, er, th-,// 'cause we worked, we were open six days a week, //and nothing//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 else in D- in the city //opened.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 We were the only place open on a Saturday morning. //So//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 we had mums and dads and kids //coming in, it was great.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 It wasn't - there was no //shopping at the weekends.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 New Zealand closed down //at nine o'clock//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 on Friday night, //and it did//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 not open again until nine o'clock on Monday morning.
F1189 [laugh]
F1190 So we were unusual, //because we were//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 open seven days a week, but, not for lending on Sunday. //But the library//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 was open. And we opened for lending Saturday morning and Saturday //afternoons//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and evenings, so I would make up my time by - I think for twenty years, //I worked every Saturday morning.//
F1189 //Mmhm, yes,// uh-huh, uh-huh, //uh-huh.//
F1190 //And, erm//
F1189 It's interesting that it was open at all on-on a Sunday, though.
F1190 Yes, //it always was,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 er right through from the //very start,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 it was always open //on Sunday, for reading.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mm, mmhm.//
F1190 Interesting, isn't it?
F1189 Yeah, that - did you have to pay for any of your university education? //Or was that free?//
F1190 //I had, I// I had to in the end, //because,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 my Higher Leaving entitled me to f-f-f-fees for three //years.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 But because I did it part-time //of course, that only//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 covered part of my //degree, so I had to pay//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 fees from there on.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 They weren't enormous in those //days,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 but you know, th-, every year //depending//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 on what I did, um, usually, when it, when it was a Stage Three subject, you were doing three papers - well that was as much as I could cope with, //and work full-time.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 I think on one year, I did five papers, well I must have been doing a //Stage Two and a Stage//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 One, I'm not sure.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 But that was about as much as //you could cope with.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And then when I did my History Honours papers, I sat four papers and did a thesis,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 and I had to sit all four papers in one year. But there was no way I could get time //off, for all those lectures.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 So I took the lectures over two years and did all the exams //in the second year,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and that was not funny.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 That was really quite hard.
F1189 [inhale] Now, that also is en-, quite enlightened, I think, the fact that you were able do it part-time, //[?]if you like[/?] that way. Mmhm, uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 //Yeah - the University of Otago wasn't very enthusiastic about part-time, in those days, um,// most of their students were full-time, but of course //it was a much smaller university than it is now, it was,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 why, if there were four //thousand of us, it would be about it.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But of course it always had the medical school, and the dental school, as the national schools, and the home science school. But I don't think that they were very interested in you,
F1189 Mm.
F1190 and I found this a great advantage, because if you were a full-time student //you had to go along to the approriate professor, and get him to//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 agree to this, and I quite quickly worked out that I didn't want to stand in queues for all this. So I would make up my mind what I was doing, and I realised you could cancel your //course at the end//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 of the first week, so if you could cancel it, //you could get it authorised, during that week.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 So I would appear, instead of Monday, in a queue, //I'd appear//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 on Friday, and say, say to Professor Morrell, [click], `I want to do Stage Two History //this year'.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 He'd grin at me, sign the paper and that was it. And nobody bothered about what you did, //whereas if//
F1189 //Hm.//
F1190 you were doing a course they would take an interest //in what your subjects were.//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But I just puddled along.
F1189 Mmhm. //Well//
F1190 //So that was -//
F1189 you puddled along successfully. //Uh-huh.//
F1190 //Well I enjoyed it.//
F1189 Did working in the library help //you to study, then?//
F1190 //Oh hugely, oh hugely.// //Particularly for English, in three stages//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 of English, I hardly used the University library,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 because we had a very, very good collection of, of,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 literature, up in the literature //room.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 So, that was never //a problem.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Um //History -//
F1189 //And what sort// of things were you studying for that, //reading for that?//
F1190 //W-well they d-,// they ea-, they each //year,//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 in those days, it was very trad
F1189 Mm.
F1190 British,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 and we did, I think the first year I did it was nineteenth century, then we went back to sixteenth and //seventeenth and eighteenth century.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 So that [?]Year Ten[/?], you could be doing a //century a year, and you'd covered the field.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 There were two members of the staff -
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 when you think of what the English Department is now -
F1189 Mm.
F1190 there was Professor Ramsay, and Gregor Cameron. Professor Ramsay was a graduate of St. Andrews University, Shakespeare-passionate, //which suited us, of course, from Otago Girls',//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 it just carried //us on.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 So you always had two or three Shakespeare plays, and depending on your period,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 one of the others. Um, you went into the... but it was, just British.
F1189 Mm.
F1190 It was never, you didn't bring in American or Australian or //New Zealand.//
F1189 //Really?// //Hm.//
F1190 //This// didn't exist.
F1189 Uh-huh.
F1190 What you were doing were very traditional, British, //classical stuff.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Erm, I found it all quite enjoyable. And he was a, h-, er, Ramsay was a specialist in Old //English,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 so, er, in Stage Three we had a full paper //on Old English//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and another on Middle English. I can remember passing Middle English on the strength of Barbour's `Bruce',
F1189 [laugh]
F1190 `cause I could translate it without even thinking.
F1189 [laugh] //[laugh]//
F1190 //And I-I found it quite difficult,// //when I was working full-time,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 to cover all those papers, because this was, you know, Old English was totally //new, so you were//
F1189 //Mm mmhm.//
F1190 in a field that was - but he was a very good teacher, but all I targeted was passing those papers, //and concentrating//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 on the literature //ones, and it worked alright.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 He was very tolerant. //[laugh]//
F1189 //[laugh]// Now, at that time - `cause you'd been here for quite a while by then, I mean //what ti-,//
F1190 //I had -//
F1189 what age were you when you, you went to //university?//
F1190 //I went to// university when I was //sixteen,//
F1189 //Sixteen, and then// //back again. Hm.//
F1190 //and then I-I was about,// I suppose I was about twenty when I went //back,//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 and I would have been, maybe twenty-five //when I finished.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And th-the year after I finished, //and of course//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 I had done my library training certificate in parallel,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 then I decided oh I was going to do History Honours,
F1189 Mm.
F1190 and Stage Three History, I didn't get a good enough pass, //I didn't//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 think, to do Honours. //So I//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 decided to go to library school.
F1189 Mm.
F1190 So I went to library school in Wellington the following year, to the great fury of the, of the lecturer in History, eh, `cause I cited him as my academic //referee.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And he rang me up and said `But you're doing History Honours next year', and I said `Not with that kind of pass, //Professor Ross, can't do it', and he said,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm,// mmhm.
F1190 `Oh, but you nearly got a...' -
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 don't know what it was that I nearly //got, and I said `Well,//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 how was I to know?' I was cu-, I was really //not pleased, at all.//
F1189 //No, [inhale],// you did graduate though? //From, yes, uh-huh, uh-huh, mmhm.//
F1190 //Aw yes, yes, yes I graduated, so I would've graduated in B.A.,// then went off to library //school.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And, oh, it was quite a long time //later before//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 I went back to do History Honours.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 Erm, I think it was about the mid-sixties //so I was,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 what? getting on towards, mm, //[?]well[/?], thirties, I was in my//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 thirties by the time I //finished,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and I got my finished, //my M.A. then.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.// [inhale] So doing all this, er British history and British literature, //[laugh], [?]what[/?],//
F1190 //That's right,// //it's -//
F1189 //what did,// what did you feel yourself to be then?
F1190 Well it was a very odd //business,//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 really, because it all seemed sort of, natural //in a way.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mm.//
F1190 But I felt that, it was weird, that I was in New Zealand, and at no //stage in//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 any of my schooling, did we ever talk New Zealand history or New Zealand //geography,//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 never, until I was doing History Honours,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 and I did a paper, on New Zealand and //Pacific History.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And as I said to Professor Ross, `I'm doing Stage Four, //having done//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 no One, Two, //Three,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 because there never has been any.'
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 And, erm, that was the beginning //of there being serious studies,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 but we did nothing, er, they'd just finished doing New Zealand geography //when I walked into primary school.//
F1189 //mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And from th-, the next thing we did - I can remem-, [laugh], I can remember the first History thing I did at Arthur Street was American War of //Independence, the Boston Tea party.//
F1189 //Hm, mmhm.//
F1190 I had just finished doing it in //Glasgow.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 So I felt as though I was in the same place.
F1189 Yes, uh-huh, uh-huh, //[laugh],//
F1190 //It was quite odd,//
F1189 mmhm.
F1190 but i-, eh, I did feel that it was //very -//
F1189 //You think they were s-,// following the same curriculum, //in, in s-, yeah, uh-huh, mmhm.//
F1190 //Exactly - I might as well have been in Britain,// as far as I was //concerned.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And a lot of people my generation felt the same //way,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and I don't think we were very conscious of it, because in fact we just assumed that this was a British place. And we assumed, a lot of things about our rights //here//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 which has altered a //lot, in the last//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 twenty or thirty years since, you know, that there's been a r-, a recognition of Maori rights //in the place.//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 And I thinkin Dunedin, it was all comparatively simple, because the first settlers actually came and negotiated the land sales, //with the Ngai Tahu, who were the local t-//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm,// mmhm.
F1190 and already there had been a lot of British people intermarrying with the Maori [inaudible] //[inaudible] so th-//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 In this area, the number of - well there are no, no Maori, purebred //Maori here - but we//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 have a very strong tribal group who are extremely business-like, and when they're given a land or a //restoration thing,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 they make use of it. //That's//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 probably one of their trawlers sitting over at the wharf //there now.//
F1189 //Really? Uh-huh,// //uh-huh, mmhm.//
F1190 //They've got one of the biggest// erm, traw-, th-. //But they do//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 business-like things. So that the transition has not //been,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 it's much more troublesome I think in other //places in the North, where there are,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 well, far bigger Maori populations, //for one thing//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 it was too cold down here //so that//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 the people who were driven down here were driven down by war-like
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 um, North Island Maori //tribal//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 people who were more powerful.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 I don't know how honest the dealings were in the land //purchases,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 but, there certainly was a good deal of restoration of of Maori land around //the,//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 around the //province,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 but no implication that there had ever been serious cheating and certainly nothing like the Taranaki wars, where people appropriated land, quite //unjustifiably.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 That doesn't seem to have happened //here.//
F1189 //Mmhm,// mmhm.
F1190 But, you know, we were looking at it from our point of //view, weren't we?//
F1189 //Mm,// mmhm. Nonetheless, you mean, you say it was a, it was a very British place. //Did you feel//
F1190 //Yes it was.//
F1189 British, still?
F1190 Yes. //It's not as British as it was, but it still feels British, yes it does.//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh,// uh-huh. Now how about, as opposed to Scottish?
F1190 Well, that was very //strong when//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 we first came. I don't think it's //nearly as strong now//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 as it was then, //because there's//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 been so much immigration, and there's a lot of Asian //immigration as well as,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and a lot of South African... Erm, we have a //a lot of the medical profession,//
F1189 //Yes, so I understand, uh-huh, yes, uh-huh.//
F1190 er, is very, //S-, quite a lot of it is South African, and our,//
F1189 //Mmmhm, mm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 our graduates... I can understand in a way, you know, they had seven years at //university and//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 all they want to do is see another bit of the //the world.//
F1189 //The world,// //yes, uh-huh, mmhm.//
F1190 //So they go off, and// it's the same in Aus-, Australian //graduates did the same.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But it's not nearly as obviously - but of course, in terms of tourism, //we play it up,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 I mean we have Haggis ceremonies, //and all this.//
F1189 //Yes, [laugh].// I just wondered if you still felt Scottish? //[inhale]//
F1190 //Yes I do.//
F1189 Or if - //you did? Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh,//
F1190 //Yes, not as, yeah, yeah, yes I do.// //Er,//
F1189 //uh-huh.//
F1190 I feel New Zealand //when I'm away, funnily enough.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm,// //uh-huh, mmhm.//
F1190 //I feel both, and it's,// it's terribly easy //to feel both,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 which is quite interesting //really, isn't it?//
F1189 //Yes, uh-huh.// //Now you've kept//
F1190 //Yes I still.//
F1189 your Scottish accent.
F1190 Yeah, well, //I just -//
F1189 //And has that// not changed at all, //throughout your life? Uh-huh, mmhm.//
F1190 //I don't think s-, I don't think it's changed very much.// It's probably not quite as strong as it was when we were children, I don't know. But I was fascinated when I went to the Hunter Museum at //Glasgow University, and I,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and I wanted a print, it wasn't there.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 And the - a young man who was serving behind the counter said, `If you like, give me your phone number, //and I'll -//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 we'll get it for you.' //And I said `Look I'm//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 terribly sorry, but I don't live //here,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 I'm from New Zealand.' And he looked me, he says, `You can't be, //you sound just like me!'//
F1189 //[laugh]//
F1190 And I realised that I'd sounded exactly like //him.//
F1189 //Yes,// //yes you do, yeah, you've still got a very Scottish accent.//
F1190 //Yes, yes, [laugh], yes.// //It's very useful in lots of places, it does no harm.//
F1189 //[laugh], Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 But you know, everybody //here just takes it for granted.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And in a funny sort of way I think that's what the kids were like at Arthur Street //when I went there,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 because they all had parents who had come from //Scotland, or grandparents.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And this is one of the things that I can remember happening, there was a - used to be a session on the radio that Kim Hill ran, and she //had someone//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 who came in talking about language. And a word came up, that they //had never//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 heard of, and I thought, `They can't possibly not have heard of it,' //because it had been built into my head for so long,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and it was built into New - to Dunedin //language.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 I can't remember now what it was. So they said `Oh we'll need to find out about it.' The next week, they said `We had floods of people, telling us what that word was.' And it made them realise, how many people in //New Zealand//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 had a Scottish //ancestor, somewhere in their background.//
F1189 //Mmhm, yes, uh-huh, uh-huh.// Well, that's certainly been my experience here, everyone that I speak to tells me about their, //their Scottish ancestors, [laugh], uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 //Yes, that's right, that's right, they all have this, yes.// //So, h-//
F1189 //Now at university// Mary, were there any kind of Burns societies or anything like that, //in the university? Hm.//
F1190 //Eh, not in the university,// no, no nothing //at all.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Um, the Burns Club was very //strong in the city,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 but I don't think there was //anything in the university and the//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 interesting thing is that Scottish country //dancing,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 you know, a lot of it around the world, //Scottish country//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 dance clubs, uh, in universities, we've never been able to get anything going here. //It just//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 hasn't worked.
F1189 No, //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //We've had students who've tried to get it started.// //It's never been there.//
F1189 //I just wondered// if-if, stu-, `cause it might have been a fun thing for students to do, to have Burns Suppers and er,
F1190 No.
F1189 things like //that, no?//
F1190 //No, never.// //Interesting.//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 You know, given that when I first went there were Scottish //professors there.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But you see Ramsay, the minute he'd finished lectures, had left the //university, he was home, that's where he//
F1189 //Mmhm, mm.//
F1190 studied. And that may have been the the custom with quite a lot of them, that they didn't spend as much time,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 in their studies down at the university //as they did//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 in their houses.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 But there was nothing like that that I know of. There were erm, frequent plays, //you know Allen//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 Hall, there was a dr-, a Dramatic //Society, th- -//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 very strong, um, debating //societies, `cause//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 my husband, who was not my husband at that stage, but Peter was very keen on //debating, and he//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 came out of a Catholic school of course, //that's where that came from,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mm.//
F1190 and they had, you know, debated //and orated//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 all the time when he was up at Christian //Brothers.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And Otago was very strong on //that for a long//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 time.
F1189 Your husband was a a New Zealander //then? Uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 //Yes, he was a New Zealander, yes,// he was a [?]New Zealander[/?]. //We met at//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
F1190 the Public Library.
F1189 [laugh]
F1190 So it took us a long time to get //together,//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
F1190 he was [laugh], he was away for a long time, we //er, eventually married when we were fifty-five,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 so nobody can say we did anything in a hurry.
F1189 Mmhm. [laugh]
F1190 Yes, yes, and he never wanted, we went to, //you know I met -//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
F1190 he was in Auckland, //I was in Wellington working by that time.//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 And we went off to Australia //because I got//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
F1190 a job over //there, and he was the one that was totally engrossed in Australia.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And he di- - he came back here for holidays, //but he never wanted to come back to New Zealand,//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 whereas I would, I very happily came back to //New Zealand.//
F1189 //Yes, uh-huh.// Oh, right, //now that's//
F1190 //So that's -// //isn't it? Yes,//
F1189 //interesting, isn't it? Mmhm.//
F1190 yes.
F1189 So, you, I take it you always wanted to be a librarian, then, having //started//
F1190 //I -//
F1189 working in there //part-time? Mmhm.//
F1190 //well I think that was it, erm,// it wasn't something //that anybody//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 suggested as a career.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 It didn't exist //as a career,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 there was no training //here,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 anybody in libraries did English //exams,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and when I went to work at the library, of course I never thought about it //as a career, it was,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 i-in a way it was a bit of a lark. //One of my//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 friends was working there, to make up her age until she was //old enough to go into kindergarten//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 training. And one of my other mates and I were - we went down to the library every //day of course,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 because Otago Girls' was just above //the library -//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and, Lola looked out of the window and said `Why don't you two get a job after //school? It's great fun.`//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 And I can remember Noleen and I looking at each other //and thinking, `Here, what a lark.'//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm,// //mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //And we went and we got this job,// and we got it for three weeks.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 Well meantime, of course, she discovered that she had music lessons after //school and all the rest of it.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Well I didn't - and at the end of the three weeks they said would I like to stay on.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 And I'd loved it, //I really//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 enjoyed it, and I worked in the //holidays.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 But it was a mixture of loving it, and not enjoying //university,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 that when the job came up I thought, `That's what I want to //do'. And I knew I didn't want to teach,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm. Mmhm.//
F1190 we had all these schoolteachers in the family and we never wanted to have anything //to do with school-teaching, [?]which you[/?] realise//
F1189 //Mmhm. [laugh]//
F1190 quite early, //that you're not going to//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 be school-teachers, //there's enough of it,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 `cause my aunts were.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 But yeah, I just didn't look anywhere //else, that//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 was it, and it just suited me. //And of course//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Archie Dunningham was the librarian and he was an inspiration, if you didn't want anything to be too //hidebound,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 he was always changing things, always thinking and - it was just, it was just a terrific place to be.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 You know the training was probably as brilliant as you could get anywhere.
F1189 Mmhm, //So this was not,//
F1190 //It was absolutely marvellous.//
F1189 uh, this was not official training but //training, was it? Mmhm.//
F1190 //Some of it was, um// yeah, they had oh long before I went there, Miss Bryant, who was the deputy //librarian//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 when I was there, had written a course for reference //work, because//
F1189 //Right, uh-huh.//
F1190 there was nothing else //offering, eh,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and they were busy inventing a training course, which was the General Training //Course, which//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 I started taking //after I s-,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 I got the full-time job.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 And Mr. Dunningham ws deep in that, and so were the others. But there were also - right through all my years, we had sessions of //training within the library.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And the the deputy was really expected to be the person //that ran that,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and I did for years, and so //did my deputies.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mm.//
F1190 So there was always an element of learning //in that place.//
F1189 //Mm.// And what kind of things were you reading at that time, as a young woman, you know, //for for pleasure?//
F1190 //Oh, erm// a lot of //fiction,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 erm, autobiography, quite a lot of //history.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And of course, I was reading for //university,//
F1189 //Yes, uh-huh.//
F1190 through until I was //you know, sort of in my mid-twenties.//
F1189 //Uh-huh. Mmhm.//
F1190 But all sorts of things - travel, //biography,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 all the sort of English //literature,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 just anything. That's the thing //about being//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 in a library, you saw ev-, all this new stuff //coming in.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 So of course, you were deep into it. //And of course,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 in that, those first years, when I was... working in the library, it was wartime, and there was a huge amount of wartime stuff //coming through, and//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 the demand was //colossal.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And then after the war, I was actually in charge of the Commercial and Technical Section, and all the great inventions of the War //were coming out.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 You know, plastic was being written //up, and th-, atomic energy, and//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 to be in charge of that //sort of department//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 at that time was just //very exciting.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Then people began to get into New Zealand history, because we'd come up to our centennial in //nineteen//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 forty, and there was a very strong, um, publication //series in that.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And then Dunedin was coming up to its centennial in nineteen forty-eight, and it wrote itself up in //great detail,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and there's a l-, huge //I mean there's always publications//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 going on around here. Half the world is an amateur //historian,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 busy doing things. //So there was all that coming in,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 so it was all fascinating, erm
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 people like Peter Buck eh, er, `Vikings of the Sunrise', talked about the Polynesian
F1189 Mmhm, //mmhm.//
F1190 //travels through the Pacific.// I can remember reading all those,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 and that was all part of //my department, so I was, I was lucky, it//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 it was great.
F1189 Did-did most books, I mean, fiction titles as well as //non-fiction,//
F1190 //Hm.//
F1189 did they come from Australia, at that //time, or was there anything t-...//
F1190 //No, mostly from Britain.//
F1189 they came from //Britain, did they? [throat], Mmhm.//
F1190 //They came from Britain, and they came from America, we// had big dealings //with,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 we had, you know, agents, //that we used.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 George's of Bristol was one of //them.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Um, but we we used Whitcoulls, which was //big and who wa- is our,//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
F1190 doing most of out indent //for us.//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 But there was a very good bookseller called John [?]Hyndman[/?] //in Dunedin//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and he did some - `cause we tried to give local //booksellers//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 er, but we also had Baker and Taylor, //who were the big American//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 um, book suppliers.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 And we got a lot of books from //America,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 huge numbers, but, and a lot of children's books //came from there too.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.// I just wondered how y-, how you would've managed during wartime, //you know with the, erm, shipping, yes, uh-huh, mmhm.//
F1190 //Well that was difficult, I mean sometimes it got shot down and you didn't get it.// But
F1189 Mmhm, //mmhm.//
F1190 //we imported v-v-// via Britain, //and,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 a c-certain amount of Australian...
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 Er, uh, the things that you see least in bookshops here would be Australian literature and Canadian literature.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 They just don't appear in each other's //places, and er,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 New Zealand finds it difficult to sell into Australia.
F1189 Uh-huh?
F1190 And, er - when I go to //Canada,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 I take a bundle of New Zealand novels and //I read them//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 on the way, and [?]Ennika[/?] takes them, and she hands me a bundle of Canadian, //I take the bundle of Ca-Canadian to Britain,//
F1189 //Is this your friend? Uh-huh, uh-huh,// //[throat], mmhm//
F1190 //and I hand them over to Elizabeth or somebody,// and she hands me a whole bunch of //of//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 British stuff.
F1189 [laugh]
F1190 So we move this Commonwealth //stuff around the, around the country.//
F1189 //Uh, ah, uh-huh, uh-uh.//
F1190 But we we bought
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 books wherever we could get them. And, we used the British National Bibliography //once it started coming out,//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.//
F1190 we went through that every week, //and,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 we not only ordered the books, but we ordered the printed //cards.//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 And when we b-brought from America, we ordered, Library Congress printed cards.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 Erm //an- -//
F1189 //So what was// the most popular type of fiction then, going out of the library //in in the wartime//
F1190 //Oh, I think that -//
F1189 years? //[throat]//
F1190 //In the wartime,// I think, probably, there w-, it was still very popular //th-//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 the really popular stuff would be erm Westerns and detectives //and f-, romance novels.//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 But in the serious fiction erm, the people like Graham Greene, //and Evelyn Waugh,//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 they were //h-hugely popular during the War, Somerset Maugham,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 miles of others. //The names disappear, don't they?//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//

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Interview with Mary A Ronnie, Part 1, for Scottish Readers Remember Project. 2020. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved May 2020, from http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=1673.

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"Interview with Mary A Ronnie, Part 1, for Scottish Readers Remember Project." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2020. Web. May 2020. http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=1673.

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Interview with Mary A Ronnie, Part 1, for Scottish Readers Remember Project

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Year of recording 2009
Recording person id 1189
Size (min) 92
Size (mb) 447

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Recording venue Interviewee's home
Geographic location of speech Dunedin

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Transcriber id 1221
Year of transcription 2009
Year material recorded 2009
Word count 19851

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Interview

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Participant id 1189
Gender Female
Decade of birth 1950
Educational attainment University
Age left school 16
Occupation Research Assistant
Place of birth Ayr
Region of birth S Ayr
Birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Glasgow
Region of residence Glasgow
Residence CSD dialect area Gsw
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Journeyman joiner
Father's place of birth Ayr
Father's region of birth S Ayr
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Domestic
Mother's place of birth Ayr
Mother's region of birth S Ayr
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Mother's country of birth Scotland

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