Learning & Research - Akoranga me Rangahau
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Taranaki Stories

These stories capture the very essence of Taranaki – the people and the landscape.
They record the achievements of those who live here, the struggles of the first settlers, the determination to overcome challenges, those who have made their mark on not only their own, but also future generations.
But the stories are not just about hardship – they are also inspiring, thrilling, mystifying, enlightening and entertaining.


Taranaki Stories

Showing stories tagged as Family.

Mourie’s Parents Reveals Son’s Generosity

by Virginia Winder on 16 December 2009

Graham Mourie's mum, Juan, has been worshipped as the ‘Mother of God’. During a tour of Wales in the 1980s, Juan and husband Colin found themselves revered as the parents of the former All Black captain. Juan laughs at the memory.  "A couple of Welsh boys got down on their knees and said 'Can I kiss your hand?' and asked 'What's it like to be the Mother of God?’"  Colin adds. "They said,...

Piqwifery and Pumps

by Sorrel Hoskin on 14 December 2009

Doris and Bill Gordon's family grew up steeped in the medical profession - so it wasn't a surprise when three of their four children turned to medicine.  "We were surrounded by it," recalls Dr Ross Gordon. "It was in the days when doctors were available for their patients. Our phone was answered 24 hours a day. There was always someone there. It was quite obvious to me from the age of nine or...

Jelly Sponges and Rose Bushes

by Sorrel Hoskin on 14 December 2009

Alison Gordon was only a young woman of 22 when her mother died but she still has lasting memories of a mother and woman ahead of her time. "I am very sure Mother was way ahead of her colleagues in the field of treating her patients as a 'whole identity'... she realised that a person's state of mind, living conditions, relationships etc played a huge part in whatever was causing their 'physical...

The Story of Richard (Dicky) Barrett

by Rhonda Bartle on 11 December 2009

Dicky Barrett was a man who caught everything life threw at him. To escape the slums of England, he signed on as sailor at fifteen to sail the South Seas, eventually becoming one of our earliest traders. When tribal war brought an end to trading, he turned his hand to whaling. As interpreter he acted for The New Zealand Company in the wholesale purchase of Maori land for new settlers, and yet he...

Dear Father, Brother and Sisters

by Rhonda Bartle on 11 December 2009

As a stranger in a new land, far from all things familiar, what kind of details would you wish to share with family left behind?   Letters sent by ship to England by some of New Plymouth's earliest settlers reveal an emigrant life of unexpected pleasures, and a few unwelcome surprises as well.   7 February 1842 From Jane Crocker to her father, Mr Samuel Crocker, Revelstoke, Devonshire....

A Sawmill on Arawhata Road

by Rhonda Bartle on 07 December 2009

Sawmilling in their blood In 1909 Henry and John Bartle balloted for two sections of land at Arawhata Road, Opunake, in order to start a sawmill.  Milling was in their blood as their father William Bartle had been one of the first millers in the district.    After leaving Stibbard in Norfolk and sailing with his family from Southampton in 1890, William farmed land at Koru. Later, he bought a...