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McDONALD, Ruth Lillian interviewed by Ailsa Dawson

 Record Group — Box: 44
Identifier: H0450


Ruth McDonald was born in Hawera in 1911. In this interview, Ruth gives details of her father's family, the Dews. She recalls schooling at Ruawai, moving as a result of her father's occupation as cheese factory manager and living at Kakapuku (near Te Awamutu). She married William McDonald in 1930 and drove from the King Country to Southland to live. She lived at Wrights Bush cheese factory and then at Lochiel, managing the Northope dairy factory. She describes the closing of these factories during World War II and the processing of milk into sweetened condensed milk. Ruth describes cheese making routines at Northope, the use of steam heat, the farmers supplying milk and her husband becoming a herd tester after the closure of the factory. She discusses rationing of food and clothing during World War II, the absence of labour-saving devices and family health. Ruth recalls living in Wyndham after the war and moving to Invercargill when husband Bill McDonald's health deteriorated. She talks her children, grandchildren and hobbies.


  • 1998


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McDONALD, Ruth Lillian
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Part of the Southland Oral History Project Repository