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SMITH, Susan interviewed by Edith Ruddenklau

 Record Group — Box: 44
Identifier: H0375


This interview was commissioned by Women's Division of Federated Farmers for a project entitled Pioneer Women. Susan Smith describes her family background and their emigration to New Zealand. She recalls early Otara, living in a 'bungi' (tree fern house) at Otara. She recalls the use of peat for fuel; her grandmother's cooking - sad cake, carrageen pudding made from seaweed and collecting carrageen during World War II for Greggs Ltd, Dunedin. She describes other farm tasks, including rabbiting, killing pigs and making blood pudding. Susan talks about accidents; poor communications; dependence on horse transport; marriage to a lighthouse keeper, giving detailed description of life on lighthouse stations at Waipapa, East Cape, Teri Teri, Manukau, Cape Saunders, Nuggets, Dog Island, Puysegur Point and Centre Island from 1910 to the 1950s and bringing up a family on lighthouses. She mentions the Correspondence School. Susan recalls Government Service boats, shipwrecks; precautions on lighthouses during World War II and describes in detail lighthouse codes and signals (morse code and signals). Susan mentions the wreck of the `Star of Erin' off Waipapa and recalls large earthquake at East Cape Island and cracking of island. She recalls eruption of White Island from East Cape (actual date unclear) and casualties and describes Papa Rock, mail boats and transport.


  • 1990


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SMITH, Susan
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Part of the Southland Oral History Project Repository