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Abstract of James Francis NEYLON, 2008

 Item — Box: 21
Identifier: H00770002

Abstract

JAMES FRANCIS NEYLON

Interviewer: Nancy Burnett Abstracter: Jean Hawkes

TRACK 1

00:00 Interview identification

00.41 JAMES FRANCIS NEYLON born May 1922 at OTAUTAU - maternity home at NIGHTCAPS.

01:26 WREYS BUSH, NIGHTCAPS, OHAI – north west of INVERCARGILL.

02:03 Grandparents – from WREYS BUSH, originally from IRELAND. Many Irish families settled at WREYS BUSH, English families in APARIMA area. Jim's father and mother both brought up at WREYS BUSH. 'Geordies' [People from Tyneside, Newcastle area of northern England] came to New Zealand, worked in mines at OHAI. DUGGAN, CREED, O'CONNOR, FLYNN, MURPHY of WREYS BUSH – Mentioned APARIMA area – Mentioned 04:18 Animosity between Catholics and Protestants. Irish people started convent school at WREYS BUSH. Public School also in the area in 1880s. 04:44 Father – JAMES STEPHEN NEYLON born in 1887 (?), electrocuted in mines in 1948 at OHAI. ROY STEVENS – Mentioned

05:53 End of Track 1.

TRACK 2

00.17 Father went to World War 1 with others from WREYS BUSH – Gunner DUGGAN, Neil McPHEE, Paddy CREEDY. Father wounded. Before enlisting did mostly worked on farms or at flax mill. WREYS BUSH township – Described. Mother was a Honora FLYNN born in 1887, died in 1944 (cancer)

02:38 Father served in war for about 4 years. At Passchendaele, Galipolli. Would not let his son go to war. Sent to Redcastle at OAMARU [St Kevin's College]. Five from NIGHTCAPS – EDDIE and JACKIE BOYLE, FRANKIE PHAIR, SNOW [Jim's brother] and Jim. Barracks on first day, withdrawal from activities – Described. JOHNNY MULQUEEN from BALFOUR – Mentioned

04:28 Jim's father bored for coal at OHAI and NIGHTCAPS – Explained. LINTON MINE – Mentioned. Eventually into mining at LINTON, broke his leg, left with a limp. Mother born WREYS BUSH, married after war. Had three children – Jim, Leslie John ('Snowy') and Irene Mary married Frank THORNTON. Mother's parents owned All Nations Hotel [FLYNN'S PUB] at WREYS BUSH.

08:55 After marriage parents moved to NIGHTCAPS. Jim born at OTAUTAU. 09:26 Memories – raiding orchards at DON SINCLAIR'S and JIMMY PHAIR'S and being chased. Other antics at NIGHTCAPS – Described. No cars. Many accidents, no compensation. In 1940 wages in mine sixteen shillings per day. Mines privately owned. Rabbits used for food, people had good gardens. NIGHTCAPS Show Prize (roll of bacon) – Mentioned. Good variety of vegetables grown – Described. KELLY delivered milk, by horse and cart, for nine pence per billy full. Milk from their own cows.

13:42 House – High Street West, NIGHTCAPS. Area – Described BALD HILL – Mentioned. Catholic and Protestants school – rhyme – Mentioned. 15:00 End of Track 2.

TRACK 3

00:15 Mention of MASONS [Masonic Lodge members ] a number of them in NIGHTCAPS. Problems involved with members employing catholic girls in 1930s. Lot of disharmony. OHAI v NIGHTCAPS FOOTBALL – Mentioned 01:34 House on half acre section in NIGHTCAPS. Good garden, apple trees. Neighbour Clipper McCOY, BONE [nick-name] HUNT – Mentioned

03:09 Most houses around mines built about 1900. Not many built since 1930. Built with wood. Coal ranges. When Jim started in mines in 1941 allowed 15 tons of coal per year at maybe $1.00 per ton. State took over mines. In retirement Jim is allowed 10 tons per year, pays about $4.00 per ton for first eight tons and $6,00 for the remaining two tons.

05:36 As a child played marbles, hide-n-seek in bushes, football, use of local swimming pools. Used railway lines from closed mines to build tracks in McGREGOR DOMAIN to run a train for the children in 1950s.

07:40 Money from mines to create sporting venues in district. Ten cents taken from each ton of coal for MINES AMENTIES FUND. Swimming facilities – Described TINKERTON – Mentioned. Boxing Tournaments at TUATAPERE, RIVERTON, BLUFF, MATAURA, GORE, NIGHTCAPS, TAPANUI from about 1945. Boxing coaches – EDDIE PARKER a New Zealand Champion, JOEY BRINDWELL.

11:16 Family activities – Mother inherited money [a few quid – pounds] allowing children to go to boarding school in OAMARU. Jim and brother went to WREYS BUSH CONVENT SCHOOL about 1932. 13:04 Christmas holidays at RIVERTON staying at the pub. Price of sweets, ice creams, glass of beer – Mentioned.

14:23 Celebration of Christmas compared with present day.

15.00 End of Track 3.

TRACK 4

00:00 Continuation of description of Christmas. Golf Course incident using Mrs HUNT'S clubs. – Described. 01:01 Depression, difficult times. Four pence to go to pictures. Unemployment money ten bob per week [Ten shillings – one dollar] 01:42 Nick names – Jim's was 'Baldy', Brother was 'Snowy' – has book with full page of nick names. Derivation of some nick names, including IRENE CAPPIE – Explained. TED BOULT, HUNT – Mentioned.

05:14 Going to the pictures at NIGHTCAPS – Described.

06:57 Sundays – marched off to church. Behaviour of children in church. Resident Priest for the district. As children got older misbehaviour meant not being able to go to pictures. 08:19 Depression – Jim's wife [Pat Klemick] one of fourteen. Difficult for her family. Easier for Jim's family. Actions taken by governments – Described.

10:59 Education – primary schooling at NIGHTCAPS CATHOLIC SCHOOL. Met PAT at school but she wasn't interested until much later. About 80 children at the school, nuns were teachers and were given a hard time. KELLYS – Mentioned Catholics played 'Publics' at football. Catholic and Public Schools combined in mid 1930s. GEORGE NIMMO, Mr TAVERNER (?) – Mentioned School desks – Described. 14:40 Secondary school – Jim aged about 14 when he went to OAMARU, only went for sport...

15:00 End of Track 4

TRACK 5

00:00 Continuation from Track 4.

00.04 Felt he wasted father's money. Excuses used to avoid school and go into town. RYAN (?) Dentist in OAMARU – Mentioned. MARSHALL'S milkshakes – Mentioned. In OAMARU for four years. Captain of football team.

00:54 End of Track 5

TRACK 6

00:08 Primary school – in 1928 started at Catholic School (St PATRICK'S) in NIGHTCAPS for 2 or 3 years. Then to convent at WREYS BUSH for twelve months. Separate schools for boys and girls at. Conditions – Described Students from HEDDON BUSH, CARRAN, BOYLE, CAVENEY – Mentioned Collected birds eggs from bush, sold them. Blowing eggs – Described. Mrs CAVENEY'S shop, buying of eggs and selling of lollies – Described.

04:40 Money – ha'penny = half a penny, 240 pennies to one pound [one pound = two dollars], Farthing = quarter of a penny, thruppence = three pence, six pence [5 cents], one shilling [10 cents]. Eggs were from thrushes, starlings, blackbirds; not goldfinches or other small birds. Wages of the days – Described.

07:08 Could not recall name for WREYS BUSH CONVENT. Thought St Aloysius was the church. [Catholic church at WREYS BUSH, St Peter's] Six or seven nuns and a priest. FENTIE [this is Father FENTON] – Mentioned. Jim probably was caned or strapped. Father FENTON performed marriage of Jim and Pat in 1946. Confessions – Described. 09:30 WREYS BUSH CONVENT – nuns travelled by horse and gig to NIGHTCAPS. PADDY MUIR, WATTIE BOYLE – Mentioned Meals at convent included porridge. SNOW'S 'accident' in homework room – Described. 11:58 Nuns' good memories and interest in people – Described. 12:44 At WREYS BUSH CONVENT for one year. Some children sent from home to convent at age five, all education done through boarding schools, only home for term holidays. Many Irish families had ten or more children. Bus used to travel daily to INVERCARGILL every day from NIGHTCAPS and OHAI through WREYS BUSH. An aunt of Jim's lived by the garage at WREYS BUSH.

14:50 After a year at WREYS BUSH returned to school at NIGHTCAPS...

15:00 End of Track 6

TRACK 7

00:00 Continuation from Track 6

00:01 In 1946 went to OAMARU for four years. Football jersey was cardinal red and navy blue. WREYS BUSH colour was green, uniform may have been green.

00:59 Schooling in OAMARU – ST KEVIN'S known as REDCASTLE. About 120 boarders, 80 day boys. Later a Co-ed school. Returned home at term holidays. Mrs COLE, dressmaker, lived opposite QUEENS HOTEL – Mentioned Christian Brothers ran St KEVINS, no lay staff. Changes to staffing of catholic schools – Described.

03:38 Adjustments needed going from being taught only by nuns to being taught only by males. Brothers very strict at times. SNOWY hated ST KEVINS and did not return in 1939. PHILIP (Jim's youngest son) went to St KEVINS, played up because he didn't want to go back. ALAN MASON and JIM worked around swimming pool, no brains, message boys. 05:31 Nice buildings at St KEVINS. Long dormitories, coconut matting up the centre of the floor, three stories high – Described. Jubilee about 1954. Hypnotising with 'PASTY' FLYNN. Incident – Described. WAIMATE – Mentioned. BROTHER RYAN – Mentioned 09:31 At St KEVINS. Boxing. Jim not bad at sport. GEORDIE GRAY – Mentioned Played in First XV in 1937 and 1938 as half back, Captain in 1939. Won boxing championships in 1938, lost in 1939. Won cross-country running. 'DIGGER' RYAN, football coach – Mentioned. WAITAKI BOYS, KINGS HIGH in DUNEDIN – Mentioned Didn't play much football after leaving school. 11:39 STAN EAST boxing coach. ARTIE GRANSON (? CRANSTOUN or GLADSTON), father doctor in ALEXANDRA – Mentioned. JIM GRAHAM, father had a hotel [name unclear] – Mentioned. 'AVIE' (?) MARSHALL, boxer – Mentioned

13:36 Left school when about 16. First job at OCEAN BEACH FREEZING WORKS [at BLUFF, SOUTHLAND] for six months – Described.

14:49 Sheffield Shield donated by Sir ROBERT ANDERSON for the whole of the works...

15.00 End of Track 7

TRACK 8

00:00 Works bookmakers took bets – who would win the shield. SHORTIE McLEAN, Australian, took bets for the shield. TIM HOGAN – Mentioned. Jim was a 'skinner' (no one backed him) won the Sheffield against the betting. Lived in the huts when at OCEAN BEACH. About 50 huts, cook house run by Mrs BUTTOLPH. No work Saturdays, home for weekends. Played a season of football for MARIST

01:58 To the mines about 1940. Did not go to war – age and attitudes instilled by father. Mines owned by Co-ops. No state owned mines. WAIRAKI – Mentioned. WATTIE HICKS (?), BOB IRWIN, ALEX McKENZIE – Mentioned. STAR owned by GEORGE and ALEX ADCOCK. LINTON – Mentioned. STAR first to be bought by State who then bought the other mines. Contracts, mechanisation and so on put in place. 04:17 Common for majority of sons to follow their fathers into the mine. No cars in 1940s. 05:09 First day of working at the mines. Conditions – Described. 09.01 End of Track 8

TRACK 9

00:16 Wife PAT – went to school with her. Lived NIGHTCAPS all her life so did Jim. Always had an eye for her, he had a job getting her interested. Married February 1946. Five children – KEITH, JOHN, 'SQUIRT' (KEVIN), ANGELA, PHILIP (about 12 years younger than sister). 02:45 KEITH wouldn't stay at school, left at Form 4. Had been shearing and working in the mines, wanted to fly, father would not sign the papers. Eventually went to ARDMORE [Auckland], aerobatics, returned to SOUTHLAND. Job with as loader driver for BILL HEWITT a top-dressing pilot. Went top-dressing for a CENTRAL OTAGO company, lived in LUMSDEN. Then to TIM WALLIS who trained him for helicopter license. Now has own helicopter. HAUROKO – Mentioned Farming at BRYDONE milking 3000 sheep per day Owns SUNNYSIDE STATION which was O'BRIEN'S, running deer and cattle. Three farms in LILBURN VALLEY milking about one thousand cows. Three farms at OPIO, milking about 2000 cows.

08:40 JOHN wouldn't stay at school, worked in the mines. GEORGE NIMMO, teacher at NIGHTCAPS HIGH SCHOOL...

09:00 End of Track 9

TRACK 10

00:10 JOHN – shearing at MOUNT LINTON. Went to AUSTRALIA, sheared merinos in WESTERN AUSTRALIA. Returned to NEW ZEALAND apprenticeship with EXCELL, builders at NIGHTCAPS, for about two years. KEITH, helicopters and mussel farming. Worked at (freezing) works, married, built three houses at WINTON in spare time. Moved to TIMARU, made ropes, for mussels, travelled to BLENHEIM with them when not shearing. Small factory built employed twelve people, increased to over one hundred. Bought mussel farms in the Sounds. MARLBOROUGH PERNA LTD. KEITH bought HAUROKO from DICKENS as something to fall back on. JOHN only had mussel farming. Sold farms and factory to NEW ZEALAND SALMON and moved into orchards. JOHN had about 35 acres of orchard, removed the trees, planted grapes Winery [SPRING CREEK VINTERS] employing over a hundred. Lives in BLENHEIM. Married daughter of WATTIE BOYLE who had WAIRIO HOTEL. 04:54 'SQUIRT' (KEVIN) – stayed at school, worked at freezing works. Built two houses in WINTON. Now living in AUSTRALIA. Marriage broke up.

05:30 ANGELA – great nature and helpful. Decided she would go to AUSTRALIA – farewell party – Described. ALEXANDRA – Mentioned.

07:53 PHILIP – went to local convent school then to REDCASTLE (St Kevin's College) hated it. In the end went to WINTON. Went to WALLACE COUNTY as a Civil Engineer. Gained a Downer's Scholarship. County helped him through university. HAROLD BOULT, Chairman of WALLACE COUNTY – Mentioned. In AUSTRALIA with BECHTEL (smelter, twice) Did improvements at QUEENSTOWN Airport. ANGELA'S husband is one of top ones in BECHTEL. 11:50 Discipline of Jim's children – Described.

12:26 Jim's courting days – Pat's brother and Jim were bookmaking in NIGHTCAPS. When he was about 22 he took Pat home. PAT KLEMICK one of 14 children of PHIL and NELLIE KLEMICK. He was shy, at the pictures would wait for lights to go out and then slip in beside her.

14:47 After marriage lived at NIGHTCAPS...

15:00 End of Track 10.

TRACK 11

00:00 Pat homesick. Bought a house opposite KLEMICK'S residence. 00.55 Married for about 63 years. After retirement trips to AUSTRALIA in winter, wherever ANGELA was. BOUGAINVILLE, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, BALLOCH PATUN (?) – Mentioned. 02:10 'SALTY' CURTIN – Mentioned Proposed move to WINTON – Described. JULIE MOYLAN (Estate Agent) – Mentioned. Family bought the house in WINTON for their parents. Trying to sell NIGHTCAPS house in 2001 difficult, property valued at $30,000 was sold for $10,000. FISHER – Mentioned.

05:33 End of Track 11. TRACK 12

00:17 OHAI, NIGHTCAPS, WAIRIO – coal discovered about 1881 at NIGHTCAPS. Initially no railway, brought from OHAI to NIGHTCAPS. Mines were where football grounds are. Mine closed in early 1920's. Mining from around 1905 – Described. Mines privately owned, wages seven shillings (70cents) per day, hard work. OHAI mines privately owned until about 1945. Conditions improved when STATE took over mines.

03:30 End of Track 12

TRACK 13

00:05 TINKERTOWN in relation to OHAI and NIGHTCAPS. Number of small mines in NIGHTCAPS area. THE WATTLES, PADDY CREEDY – Mentioned. TINKERTOWN about three miles from NIGHTCAPS – TINKER owned the mine employing about 15 miners. In 1940s one of first to be open-cast, producing a lot of coal, not as good as OHAI coal. NIGHTCAPS mining finished about 1923. Everything shifted to LINTON mine.

01:43 LINTON mine in OHAI. Conditions – Described. Jim started in LINTON mine in 1940. WAIRAKI, STAR, BIRCHWOOD, MOSSBANK mines – Mentioned. MORLEY mine in late 1950's. MORLEY STREAM probably named after a stream in ENGLAND. Condition of stream – Described. ORAWIA and WAIAU – mentioned. 05:22 MOUNT LINTON STATION – shear sixty or seventy thousand sheep. Five or six thousand head of cattle. McGREGOR owned it and had ground in NIGHTCAPS. OPIO ROAD, LENNEKER'S HILL – Mentioned. 06:27 NOEL McGREGOR donated ground for NIGHTCAPS DOMAIN (McGREGOR PARK). Wanted to build track round swimming pool at NIGHTCAPS. Request for money from OHAI RAILWAY BOARD about 1949. Turned down – Explained. HAROLD ATKINSON, JOEY PRENDIVILLE (butcher), WATTIE BOYLE. Visit to NOEL McGREGOR, prior to he and wife returning to ENGLAND, 'gift' of whiskey – Described. Noel suggested might like to make a golf course on 60 acres on top of the hill from the pool – take it. Phone call to JOEY re 172 acres with one hundred and eighty pounds coming from coal royalties. Split the money with OHAI. Mine at NIGHTCAPS open-cast with royalties going to NIGHTCAPS TOWN BOARD. 10:00 WAIRAKI MINE – WAIRAKI RIVER goes through MOUNT LINTON STATION. OTAHU FLAT – Mentioned. 10:29 BIRCHWOOD MINE – BIRCHWOOD STATION. Mine probably named after the ground.

10:39 STAR MINE – privately owned in early days. Origin of name not known.

10.51 MOSSBANK MINE – at OHAI. Used be 70 or 80 trucks of coal on railway line now only 6. 11:44 MORLEY, LINTON, WAIRAKI, BIRCHWOOD, STAR and MOSSBANK had separate private owners until State took over. Contracts given, wages improved. Bonus as much as wages.

12:16 Before State ownership – only supplied a canvas helmet and miner's light. Conditions – Described. Hard hats later, saved a lot of lives. Improved conditions – Described. Bus service half a crown [two shillings and six pence, 25 cents] Miners paid by the ton plus yardage, props and helping trucker Yardage – Explained... 15:00 End of Track 13

TRACK 14

00:00 Yardage is distance worked in process of digging coal. Restrictions and allocations – explained.

01:07 Health – Dust bad. Many with hearing problems due to shots fired to loosen coal. Reasonably fit shovelling coal, working up from 14 to18 boxes per day, filling 180 boxes for fortnight after State took over. 03:43 Truckers, bell system, jigs – Explained.

04:38 Winching – Explained.

06:04 Pillars – Explained.

07.33 Travel into the mine to do shift – Deputies went first to check for gas, etc. Early days walked in, later travelled on trolleys. Jim's job was shovelling coal and trucking them in.

08:38 Private companies didn't treat families very well. Relief Fund – Mentioned.

09.10 Union – strike in 1932-1933, out for seven months. Poverty. Use of special forks. Private owners wanted large pieces of coal, not the smaller pieces (dross) that fell through the forks.

10:52 Relationship between bosses and workers – good and not so good – Explained. Not so bad with State ownership. Majority of bosses were locals.

12:29 Holidays – maybe two weeks, holiday pay.

13:00 Strike – lasted seven months. Rabbits shot for food, farmers gave meat. Tried to help each other. Good gardens for vegetables. Men determined to win and went from day-to-day. Went floundering at BLUE CLIFFS, catch shared. Problems were with shareholders.

14:50 Depth of mines...

15:00 End of Track 14

TRACK 15

00:00 LINTON – main drive over a mile underground. When pillars of coal removed the area was flooded – Explained. How fires occurred in mines – Explained

01:39 Seam of coal – often 300 feet of overburden (soil, stones) on top of seam. Boring, to put a drive from surface – Explained. Thickness of seam could vary from eight feet to thirty feet. 03:06 Coal was originally forest. In some places could see pattern of leaves in coal at LINTON. Sometimes shells.

03:40 Lunchtime and smoko (morning and afternoon tea) – 10 o'clock 15 minute break. Lunch 12 o'clock 30 minute break. Carried own lunch from home – meat sandwiches, leg of fowl. Often swapped food with others. Used to sit on the coal. Later shelters made.

05:27 Ice in mines – LINTON on shady side of hill. Ice would be hanging, easy to break. 05:55 Ventilation of mine – big fan outside top of mine to suck air out – Described. Bradis (?) [unclear what the word is or what the item is] Safety lamp used to check for gas – Explained.

09:25 Superstitions – Not really aware of any. Maybe remembering places where people had been badly injured or killed. Taking into account amount of coal mined, serious injuries and deaths low. 10:10. Training – three days of training including safety.

10:23 After shift – shower before going home. Early days also described. Travel on foot, or by other means, to showers etc – Described.

11:23 Almost everyone smoked. No smoking in mines. Reference to deaths in mine in 1932.

12:00 Types of coal – Mentioned.

12:36 Ohai's bright, shiny, clean burning coal. Possible explanation given. LINTON and WAIRAKI – Mentioned 13:12 Stopping sections of mine using clay – Explained. 14:51 Leisure activities...

15:00 End of Track 15

TRACK 16

00:00 Leisure activities after work... football, swimming, tennis, biking. McGREGOR DOMAIN – Mentioned. Families – 13 or 14 KELLY children, 12 HUNTS, BILL FRANCE 10, KLEMICK 14. KEVIN LAIDLAW, JIMMY MEE – Mentioned. 02:43 'Pie Cart' – origin of name unknown. Transport OHAI to NIGHTCAPS. Owned by OHAI RAILWAY BOARD. Described. MOSSBANK, LINTON, WAIRAKI, STAR, BIRCHWOOD – Mentioned. Use of coal lorries for transporting miners – Described.

05:38 OHAI RAILWAY BOARD – Described. McGREGOR, SPEIGHT, EDIE – Mentioned. Cost of installing railway line – Mentioned. NIGHTCAPS – mentioned. GAVIN BRIGHTON blocking road – Mentioned. OHAI RAILWAY BOARD SCHOLARSHIPS – Mentioned.

08:58 WAIRIO – Mentioned Weighing and rail cartage of coal – Explained. Quantity of coal removed – Mentioned.

13:05 Privately owned mines sold coal to public. State had own clients.

13:16 Accidents – LOU BOXER killed (wife school teacher) – Described. Little protection or help for families. Minor injuries – Mentioned. Dr WOODS – Mentioned

15:00 End of Track 16

TRACK 17

00:05 Dr WOODS delivered Jim's children in NIGHTCAPS. 00:54 Rescue Team – more awareness when State took over. In early days a committee at mines to inspect accidents. Union members included. 02:02 End of Track 17

TRACK 18

00:20 Strike in 1932. Affects on miners and families. Lasted seven to nine months. After strike ten days on, ten days off. Women's actions – Described. LINTON MINE broke strike. Depression – Mentioned. OHAI and NIGHTCAPS CREEKS – Mentioned. Availability of food items – Described. Prices of sweet treats, going to pictures, cigarettes – mentioned. Most started smoking when they turned 16.

04:38 Vegetable gardens – Mentioned. 05:04 Ill feeling towards LINTON miners (strike breakers) lasted for many years. Actions taken by men from other mines – Described. MORLEY STREAM – Mentioned.

06:27 Floods after strike – Mentioned.

07:17 Cause of strike, methods to resolve situation – Described. Dross – Described. Drainage in mine – described. 09:32 Government ownership – about 1947. MOSSBANK first, LINTON probably last. Mechanisation, agreements, trucking contracts – Mentioned. Not uncommon for bonuses to be more than actual wage. Darg system – Explained Truckers – Explained. Allocation of work areas – Described.

13:33 Scraper loaders built. Contribution by engineers – Described...

15:00 End of Track 18.

TRACK 19

00:00 Description of engineering developments continued. Safety committees involved – miners able to make suggestions.

01:27 Majority of miners locally born and bred. Movement away from mining – Mentioned. Miners' Fund – establishment, applications for assistance – Explained. DUGGAN (mine inspector), JOE PRENDIVILLE – Mentioned Food to influence outcome of mining inspectors' visits. ALEX MURDOCH of DOWNERS at TINKERTOWN – 'gifts' Described.

04:22 DOWNER DOMAIN, swimming pool race track, DOWNER provided machinery, miners paid drivers. Suggestion of goods, rather than money, for services.

05:34 DOWNER EARTHMOVING, PAPUA NEW GUINEA – Mentioned.

06:13 ANDY COLLIGAN, FRANK LOCKINGTON (District/Mine Managers), HARRY TINKER, DOWNERS – Mentioned. How materials for playground equipment, etc were obtained – Explained.

07:44 Installation of 800 yards rail track in NIGHTCAPS DOMAIN at swimming pool. Construction of engine and three carriages for children. ANDY COLLIGAN – Mentioned

08:18 Reasons for closure of swimming pool – Explained. TINKERTON – Mentioned. DANNY O'BRIEN (secretary) worked in post offices at OHAI and NIGHTCAPS – Mentioned . JOEY PRENDIVILLE (butcher shop), his brother TONY (secretary of Miners' Union) – Mentioned.

10:28 Government takeover – strict on Health and Safety. OTAUTAU COURT HOUSE – Mentioned. Comparisons between private and government ownerships – Described.

13:42 Mine related illnesses – Mentioned. Eyesight – never said illegal to wear glasses in mines

14:50 Mechanisation...

15:00 End of Track 19

TRACK 20

00:03 Mechnisation – Engineers designed and built equipment for OHAI and NIGHTCAPS. No loss of staff. Production increased.

01:10 Opencast mining 1940s – Described. LINTON – Mentioned. Jim not involved.

02:01 Present conditions. Stripping WAIRAKI MINE – Described. Gully between LINTON and WAIRAKI filled – Described. Closure of mine, reduction of staff – Reason given. FONTERRA, TIMARU, NIGHTCAPS, WINTON, INVERCARGILL – Mentioned. 05:57 Suggestion that OHAI could be re-opened.

06:29 OHAI and NIGHTCAPS townships much reduced. No petrol available at either town – Described. 07:21 NIGHTCAPS Catholic School and High School – Mentioned OHAI Primary School, TUATAPERE – Mentioned.

07:47 End of Track 20

TRACK 21

00:00 WAIRAKI explosion about 1972 – Described (repeated on next track)

01:00 End of Track 21



TRACK 22

00:05 WAIRAKI fire/explosion about 1972. Cause, effects – Described. Flooding of mine and closure – Described. MORLEY took some of the one hundred or so men. Some men to LINTON, HUNTLY (in North Island) or took redundancy. BILL KLEMICK, ARKA KLEMICK, PAT BOOTHEAD, FRED BOOTH – Mentioned WAIRAKI reopened open-cast in 1980s.

04:31 Boycotting the pubs in 1970s – Explained. TE KANI – Mentioned MOUNTNEY of OTAUTAU – Mentioned. Television crew stayed at PEG TAYLOR'S. BOB DOCKERTY married SNOWY BLACK'S MRS (widow). TINKERTOWN, OHAI, PETER WILDING (Chairman of Wallace County) – Mentioned. Price Tribunal's interception.

08:58 'SWANNY' and BLACK FLAG, WREYS BUSH – Mentioned. Duck shooting season – Mentioned. 'PASTY' FLYNN – Mentioned. Incident at WREYS BUSH – Described. MOSSBURN, EGGER/EDGAR HARDY (hotel worker) – Mentioned. FRUIK (?) DUGGAN. Effects of boycott on hotels – Described. EDDIE SWAN – Mentioned. Incident with shag – Described... 15:00 End of Track 22

TRACK 23

00:00 Shag incident continued.

00:23 WREYS BUSH HALL – Mentioned. Write-up in newspaper about boycott. MICHAEL (FLYNN) – Mentioned. Incident with reading glasses – Described. 02:47 Jim involved in 'scraps' – Explained.

03.02 PEG TAYLOR'S place – born in NIGHTCAPS, hotel application about 1954. TOMMY and MICK – Mentioned. ARKA (Jim's brother-in-law) – Mentioned.

04:34 1952 Jim took a spell from mine, went to OHAI RAILWAY BOARD (brother there). Occupation – described. Illegal book-making – Described. Racing at WAIRIO, CLIFDEN, OTAUTAU – Mentioned. BOB TOWNLEY'S, JOEY PRENDIVILLE'S, BARNIE RUSHTON'S, JOCK PURDUE'S, TARZAN FOSTER'S horses trained in NIGHTCAPS – Mentioned. KEITH KLEMICK (Brother-in-law of Jim) and Jim started double-scheme about 1941 – Described. RAY QUINN in DUNEDIN – Mentioned. INVERCARGILL – Mentioned. Agents at OTAUTAU, WAIRIO, WREYS BUSH, WINTON – Mentioned...

09:30 End of Track 23

TRACK 24

00;32 Book-making days continued. Activities, Betting odds – Described. CENTRAL OTAGO – Mentioned. Odds on The Coast [WEST COAST ] different. Jim carried on by himself when war started, KEITH KLEMICK joined Air Force. 'Rat Doubles' – Explained. RAY QUINN'S advice – Mentioned. KEITH (KLEMICK) died 1946.

04:21 Long description of book-making activities with mentions of following people and places... NIGHTCAPS, DUNEDIN Centennial Cup, Culture (racehorse), WELLINGTON, PEG TAYLOR, WYK and ARKA KLEMICK, THEA PRENDERVILLE, JIM ALLEN, BRUSH BROOME at OHAI, JACK LEE, RAY QUINN, Arrest of JIM, INVERCARGILL, DEMPSEY MAGEE, PADDY McGRAIL (policeman), MILLS (Crown Prosecutor from MACALISTER'S) of INVERCARGILL, BILLIE BEERE (shop at OHAI). Court case – Described. Jail sentence for 'Brush' signalled the end of Jim's bookmaking. Income Tax Department's actions – Explained...

15:00 End of Track 25 TRACK 25

00:05 Jim laid off the money, prison if caught.

00:11 Entered mines in 1940, retired aged 64, 7 years outside, year with OHAI RAILWAY BOARD. Thirty-eight years in mines.

01:13 End of Track 25

TRACK 26

00:13 Fire in NIGHTCAPS February 1952 – Described. JOHNNY SINCLAIR (SINCLAIR'S BUILDERS), OZZIE GRANT'S shop, PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, RUSHTON'S SHOP, POST OFFICE, McNAUGHT, OHAI, RAY GUNN – Mentioned. No Fire Brigade. Use of SINCLAIR'S new workshop for community events – Explained. The Hall and GRANT'S shop rebuilt. Venues for Library, RSA and Rifle-shooting – Mentioned. 05:40 Fire in BOWMONT (Sheep Station) down to swimming pool at NIGHTCAPS. 1940s or early 1950s – Described.

07:18 Voluntary Fire Brigade formed after NIGHTCAPS fire of 1952. Still in existence. Also one at OHAI. Mines Amenities Fund – Mentioned. Fire Brigade facilities – Mentioned. 09:10 Roman Catholic saving Presbyterian Church – Mentioned. Relationships between Catholics, Protestants, Freemasons in early days. OHAI strong in Freemasons. Attitudes towards Freemasons – Described. GEORGE NIMMO, TOMLINSON (teachers) efforts to include Catholics in sports teams – Described.

13:02 PAT (Jim's wife) application for job in local store about 1938. Adverse reaction of some locals. CHRIS DOLAN (Southland District Council) – Mentioned. FISHER (KLEMICK) in flats at NIGHTCAPS...

15:00 End of Track 26

TRACK 27

00:06 Application to install gas heater in flat

02:02 End of Track 27

TRACK 28

00:06 Rugby – Importance in NIGHTCAPS, number of players for SOUTHLAND and NEW ZEALAND as ALL BLACKS. All mining families, few if any farmers. GREER'S, JACK STROUDE, MAC McCORKINDALE, MATTIE DIXON and JIMMY, STODART – Mentioned.

01:19 Possible reasons for so many from district being involved in high level rugby. Seven mines in the area. AUSTRALIA – Mentioned. Change in property ownership and population – Mentioned. Combining of OHAI and NIGHTCAPS – Mentioned. 03:30 Jubilee – 450 attended. Five from 1930s. FRANKIE PHAIR, NELSON IRWIN, DONNIE FORDE, WILSON – Mentioned. Event – Described. CHAD CURTIN, ROGER STODART – Mentioned Present players travel to INVERCARGILL, TE ANAU, TOKANUI.

06:27 Jim's 86th Birthday. Advice to other couples. Married for 64 years. Photo in Southland Times for 60th Anniversary. Alcohol a problem for many, also wives working.

12:27 Miner for 43 years. Good occupation, good hours, good comradeship. Particular attention to care of children when miners hurt or on strike. Trouble caused in efforts to fight for rights of miners – Explained...

15:00 End of Track 28

TRACK 29

00:01 Working conditions in mines.

00:30 Closure of freezing works – Mentioned. The need to to be in pension or savings scheme. Suggested in early days of mines, not done – Explained. Support from own family members.

01:30 Success of Jim's family – Described. Keith, AIRPORT Farmland, BROWNS – Mentioned. John, grapes in BLENHEIM, troubles with council – Described. NIGHTCAPS, McNAUGHT, CHRIS DOLAN – Mentioned. 04.12 End of track 29

TRACK 30 00:30 Family – Met PAT at school. Her lack of interest. Marriage 1947. Five children. NIGHTCAPS – Mentioned.

01:49 Wedding Day, 'Tin Canning' – Described. JULIE MORLAND – Mentioned. PAT from NIGHTCAPS, one of fourteen.

03:46 Incident with PHIL KLEMICK (Pat's father) – Described. Conversations on 'Pie Cart' – Mentioned. BOB ADCOCK, JOEY PRENDIVILLE (butcher shop) – Mentioned.

06:25 PHIL KLEMICK a miner at BLACK DIAMOND and SNAKE GULLEY.

06:54 Courting Days – had car, went rabbiting, eeling – Described. TIM CURTIN – Mentioned. Going to pictures, Dancing – Described. FRED BOOTH married MELDA. CHOOK FOWLER married TERESA. DEMPSEY MAGEE married ANNE. Visiting footballers.

09:49 JIM and Pat had five children. KEITH and JOHN wouldn't stay at school – Described. GEORGE NIMMO, INVERCARGILL, BORSTAL FARM, AUSTRALIA – Mentioned.

12:17 End of Track 30.

TRACK 31

00:05 JOHN (Jim's son) in BLENHEIM. Problems with council regarding property. Engineering, grows grapes, apples, winemaking DILLONS POINT, SPRING CREEK – Mentioned. BRENDAN, SHANE, MARGARET and JOHN – Mentioned.

02:27 KEVIN PATRICK ('SQUIRT') stayed at school. Central Southland College. To freezing works. Travelled in NORTH ISLAND with BIGGLES EXCELL. Married. Two children, daughter KERRY. Parted. 'SQUIRT' in BRISBANE, handyman KERRY to CANADA for Triathlon. SWITZERLAND, ENGLAND – Mentioned.

04:25 ANGELA married Civil Engineer, STACEY PERTH, BANGLADESH, BALLOCH PATUN (? spelling of both words), BOUGAINVILLE, DUBAI, BRISBANE, GLADSTONE (Queensland), EAGLE FARM RACECOURSE, BECHTEL – Mentioned.

06:19 PHILIP working under STACEY (brother-in-law)

07:28 Number of grandchildren – 'SQUIRT' has 2, KEITH has 3, ANGELA has 3, JOHN has 2. Great grandchildren – LINDA has 4, JUSTINE has 2. RYAN (Pilot with AirNZ) married but no children yet.

08:49 Over 70's Club formation – Described. HOLMES SHOW, NIGHTCAPS, JEAN WHITE, HENRY McLAUGHLAN, JIMMY MEE, FISHER KLEMICK, MICK McINERNEY, Mrs DONALD McRAE RODNEY BROOKS, PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, JOY and NEVILLE EXCELL, SHARKY EVANS, OHAI RAILWAY BOARD – Mentioned. Council intervention – Described...

15:00 End of Track 31

TRACK 32

00:02 Over 70's Club continued. ANDERS (County Council), BEVERLEY EVANS – Mentioned Letter to Community Council – Explained. O.R.B. [Ohai Railway Board] – Mentioned.

01:50 Calculation of amount of coal mined by each miner in a year – Explained. BILL KLEMICK, MICK McINERNEY – Mentioned. Money 'given' away now, not used for the town. FRANA CARDNO, BRIAN DRUMMOND, CHRIS DOLAN (all from Southland District Council) – Mentioned. Over 70's Club no longer exists. 'HOLMES SHOW' (TV) – Described. JEAN WHITE, Mrs McRAE – Mentioned. Suggested allocation of funds to assist OHAI, NIGHTCAPS and WAIRIO – Described.

07:26 Grid map of town of proposed tidying of NIGHTCAPS. WAMPHRAY STREET, SKIP HARVEY, ETTRICK STREET – Mentioned. Map showing dwellings and empty sections – Described. District Council visit to NIGHTCAPS – Described. CHAD CURTIN, OHAI, TUATAPERE, RIVERTON, FRANA [CARDNO], (Brian) DRUMMOND, Mrs McINTYRE (from MOSSBURN), RODNEY BROOKS – Mentioned. Fund raising – Described Lack of understanding by Southland County Council.

14:24 Jim on Council. Ideas not accepted. MATT DIXON, DAVE LEE – Mentioned.

15:00 End of Track 32

TRACK 33

00:04 Importance of Catholic faith in life. Churches attitudes – Explained. KEITH and JANE'S marriage in Anglican Church – Mentioned. 'Good Doolan' went to Confession – Described. Visits by Father CUMMINGS, priest, from WINTON – Described. 06:08 Priests of early days – Described.

06:29 ARTHUR and NOELINE from CHRISTCHURCH – Mentioned. Party at McCALL'S – Described. CYRIL FORDE – Mentioned.

08:04 End of Track 33

Dates

  • 2008

Conditions Governing Access

Access to oral history recordings is via the Archives Research Room only. We are unable to provide access to this material remotely. Where access agreements allow, abstracts, audio extracts and photographs will be accessible online.

Extent

From the Record Group: 1 folder(s)

Language of Materials

English

Repository Details

Part of the Southland Oral History Project Repository