At a recent members’ meeting of Hawke's Bay Founders, an excellent turnout of 74 members learned of the fascinating family histories of five new members.
Hosted by Paddy Bayley, Hawke's Bay Founders president, the afternoon meeting held at Theatre Hawke's Bay provided new members with an ideal opportunity to be warmly welcomed and to meet with existing members.
The format for these meetings is well established from previous years. New members received their membership certificates from Paddy Bayley (see photo and caption). Dariel Evans, an associate member and Rae Povey, a returning member, also received membership certificates.
Following announcements of Founders business and news by Paddy Bayley, Kath La Rooy, Hawke's Bay Founders Vice President, invited new members to present their family histories. Jim Judd, Michelle Hirczy, Jim Hall, Helen Rowe and Margaret De Le Haye provided fascinating glimpses of the lives and experiences of their families' ancestors as they made their way to New Zealand and settled in this new land.
A farming background in Britain was a common theme of their ancestors, as was the taking up of farming as the families settled in New Zealand. Trades and shop-owning were also mentioned as occupations for the settler ancestors. Some notable facts included an ancestor who was Lord Mayor of London in the mid-1500s, and from another presenter, an ancestor who was a bigamist with families in New Zealand and in the United States. Attacks by Maori on a settlement were also mentioned, and from another presenter, the main reason for a family emigrating was because of the imposition of a 'window tax' in England which proved the last straw.
Hawke's Bay Founders members greatly enjoyed these talks which were followed by a sumptuous afternoon tea and the opportunity to meet and chat.
New members of Hawke's Bay Founders having received their membership certificates from branch president, Paddy Bayley (left). From left, Elaine Prakash, Betty Judd, Denise Jones, Michelle Hirczy, Christine Hardie, Kevin Clark, Lois Ward and Lynn Eyles.