Skip to main content

Abstract of Martin (Marty) KLEMICK, 2020

 Item — Box: 28
Identifier: H01810002


Martin (Marty) Klemick

Interviewer: Jenny Campbell

Abstracter: Laura Davies

Interview: 28 June 2013


00:00 Interview Identification

00:07 END OF TRACK 1


00:00 Interview Identification

00:40 MARTIN KLEMICK born 27 November 1935

00:50 Interview agreement

01:25 Born in the MATERNITY HOME in NIGHTCAPS – parents were PHIL KLEMICK and NELLY(?) KLEMICK – 14 people in his family; seven girls and seven boys – MARTIN is the youngest – two left: BROTHER in CHRISTCHURCH, GERARD KLEMICK and himself.

02:08 MOTHER’s maiden name was ELLEN WELSH(?) – Lived in NIGTHCAPS – four in the family, two girls and two boys.

02:24 FATHER (PHIL KLEMICK’s) was from WAIHOLA area – Father’s grandparents came from POLAND – two children in family.

03:00 Has NIECES and NEPHEWS all over New Zealand and a few in Australia

03:25 Recalls how his Mother dealt with all the children during his CHILDHOOD – never all in the home at once – most were married by the time Martin was born – family was close – Older girls spoilt the youngest girl – Brothers worked in Mines

05:01 Attended the convent ST PATRICKS in NIGHTCAPS for SCHOOL – then NIGHTCAPS DISTRICT HIGHSCHOOL – left school at 15.

05:26 Recalls working at the MINES in NIGHTCAPS – shift work – never went underground at the MINES until the age of 16

06:22 Recalls working for a year at the MOSSBANK MINES in OHAI – entrance in gully – had to pull the coal under the OHAI NIGHTCAPS ROAD – Mine closed while her worked there – Details

07:41 Recalls working at LINTON COAL MINE – Miners mostly lived locally - Depth of Mine – lowered down in a trolley and then walked – shovel was left where they worked – Describes

09:53 SAFETY REQUIREMENTS – had breathing masks in later years – knew it was a risky job – VENTILATION - DUST – FUMES off the explosives – Details

11:20 EXPLOSIVES – fumes – everybody had their own ammunition, carried it down in the tin everyday – Details

12:20 Recalls the physical aspect to MINING – Had to produce 10 tonnes of coal with shovel – 20 boxes – had put up SAFETY props – Details

13:10 Went to work in the PIE CART – left NIGHTCAPS at ten past seven, arrived back just after three – took own LUNCH and TEA – Recalls cans of tea then to flasks – negotiated with UNIONS in regards to tea

13:55 Had to be in the MINERS UNION – Recalls the UNION inspectors

14:30 Recalls MINE MANAGERS – ANDY COLLAGHEN(?), local – considered one of the best managers in the district – worked at the mines for a number of years

15:00 END OF TRACK 2


00:00 MINE MANAGERS continued – change of managers caused issues

00:45 Where the COAL went – Freezing Works – Dunedin – 5 to 6 steam trains would leave NIGHTCAPS – coal sold in large quantities – never thought they would be sold in bags – coal sheds

01:44 WAGES for the coal miners – slightly better than the average wage – would occasionally help local farmers

02:45 Lived with his father when he started working – his FAMILY HOME is one of the oldest in NIGHTCAPS – Describes location – his father [PHIL KLEMICK] built the house – Describes house

04:00 Describes living with father and some of his siblings – moved then to flats – never married

04:56 Recalls SOCIAL ACTIVITES – tennis – rugby – swimming – SPORTS in OHAI and NIGHTCAPS - Recalls DANCING and MOVIES in OHAI and NIGHTCAPS

06:35 SHOPPING in NIGHTCAPS – Recalls thirteen shops – butchers – confectioners – grocers – drapers – billiard room

7:30 SCHOOL– ST PATRICK’S had forty to fifty pupils – teachers were nuns - built new schools – recalls class sizes

09:10 Current state of the COAL MINES in NIGHTCAPS – previously worked in three mines LINTON MINE, WAIRAKI MINE – caught fire – MORLEY MINE – Recalls MINING at MORLEY MINE and describes the mine – MORLEY was a gassy mine – had gas lamps, would read the flame – there were later modern battery additions – deep mine 11:32 END OF TRACK 3


00:00 WORKING at MORLEY MINE – continued – problems with working at depths – government owned mine – STATE COAL – worked there circa 1950 – worked for approximately 38 years

01:55 Describes the change if MINING over the years – worked with pick and shovel

02:27 Describes LINTON MINE

02:50 Recalls working at MORLEY MINE – mined length and width of football field in one area – approximately four men worked on the area at one time – could hear the roof bolts fail and knew it was time to get out - Describes the underground MINES like a township with different passages going off in different directions

05:12 Worked with different men while MINING – pillars always had to have two men

05:45 RETIREMENT and REDUNDANCY from the UNION and STATE COAL – also worked for a time in the Railway due to HEALTH ISSUES

06:45 Recalls life working in the MINES – kept you fit – did not think about the RISKS – ACCIDENTS that happened – strong UNION

08:50 – FRIENDSHIP and binding from working in the MINES in OHAI and NIGHTCAPS – the NIGHTCAPS and OHAI RUGBY match was always the biggest in the district

10:11 END OF TRACK 4


  • 2020

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.

Conditions Governing Use

This material is copyright of the Invercargill City Libraries and Archives. In accordance with agreements held with interviewees, it is strictly prohibited to reproduce (copy) oral history recordings, abstracts, audio extracts or photographs without prior written consent. Applications for the reproduction of these recordings and associated materials, in whole or part, must be made in writing to the Southland Oral History Project Coordinator, c/o Invercargill City Libraries and Archives.


From the Record Group: 1 folder(s)

Language of Materials



Repository Details

Part of the Southland Oral History Project Repository