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Abstract of Patrick DAVIN, 2021

 Item — Box: 28
Identifier: H01860002


Patrick (Pat) Davin

Interviewer: Rebecca Amundson

Abstracter: Laura Davies

First Interview: 24 August 2013

Track 1

00:00 Interview identification.

00:30 PATRICK ALOYSIUS DAVIN born 15 September 1917.

01:15 Recalls love of reading history but dislike of schools – ran away from MARIST BROTHERS SCHOOL in INVERCARGILL.

02:00 Recalls employment at sheep station TE ANAU DOWNS – worked for the CHARTERS? – worked as Sheppard and milked cows – also worked on other farms around SOUTHLAND.

05:19 Recalls INVERCARGILL as a DRY TOWN – compares to DUNEDIN – could get ALCOHOL in WALLACETOWN and BLUFF – Mentions the BLUFF REGATTA.

07:00 Describes cost of TOBACCO – Recalls story of driving a team of horses in HEDGEHOPE and accidently lighting a new watch on fire.

08:55 Describes attending the BLUFF REGATA with family – Mentions PUBLIC TRANSPORT - BLUFF HILL – Mentions his Aunt Annie from MAKAREWA.

10:50 Recalls his MOTHER attending TODDS AUCTION ROOMS in INVERCARGILL on Wednesday half-days – Recalls his MOTHER’s home-made MEDICINE for RHEUMATISM – gin, sulphur and gunpowder – Mentions DRINKING.



Track 2

00:00 Describes RABBITING with his BROTHERS DAN DAVIN and MARTIN DAVIN – Mentions FERRETS and TODDS AUCTION ROOMS – Recalls a train passing with ROYALTY, possibly DUKE and DUCHESS.

02:15 Recalls love of READING about HISTORY and the ROYAL FAMILY.

03:50 Recalls the pet FERRETS – tell story of FERRET getting caught in a rat trap.

05:15 Describes property in MORTON STREET, GEORGETOWN, INVERCARGILL – partially in town and in the country – his FATHER worked as a farmer and on the railway, shift-work – Recalls looking after COWS – Describes animals on farm.

07:55 Recalls DOGS on the farm – Mentions SCOTTS PADDOCKS – DOG stole MEAT from the BUTCHER in CENTRE STREET – Mentions TRAM.

09:45 Recalls GEORGETOWN – story of buying liquorice and being stopped by the POLICE – Lists SHOPS in CENTRE STREET – Confectionary, dairy, cake shop – Recalls being giving a shilling to buy cake for guests.

11:30 Recalls his FATHER’S VEGETABLE GARDEN – would share with NEIGHBOURS – gave rhubarb to grocers MCLAUGHLIN? and MCKENZIE at the corner of MORTON ROAD and CENTRE STREET.

13:37 Lists some SCHOOLS around INVERCARGILL

13:52 Recalls a girl he loved called LILY LEE – Mentions RANFURLY SHIELD – caught LILY LEE with his rival at the train station.


Track 3

00:00 Moved to DUNEDIN and then WELLINGTON.

00:31 WORKED on a farm on SEAWARD DOWNS – earned 15 shillings a week – Recalls attending local DANCE and had to MILK COWS afterwards, fled the farm and ended up in EDENDALE, went to WRIGHTS AND STEPHENSONS – then worked at HEDGEHOPE.

02:26 Recalls his BROTHER DAN DAVIN was in SACRED HEART COLLEGE in AUCKLAND – Recalls his BROTHER MARTIN DAVIN – Recalls he slept in a double bed with MARTIN DAVIN and DAN DAVIN and TOM DAVIN slept in another double bed – Recalls PRANKS his brothers pulled, especially DAN DAVIN.

05:45 Recalls house in MORTON ROAD – still standing at time of interview – house would be 100 years old now – cost his MOTHER and FATHER 900 pounds to BUILD – Mentions his SISTER’S rooms – Recalls bath and shower habits – MOTHER would pickle vegetables in the BATHROOM.

08:08 Recalls the BUTTER and CREAM made at MORTON ROAD.

08:35 Describes his CHILDHOOD BEDROOM – Mentions Oscar Wilde.

09:35 Describes BROTHERS and MORNING ROUTINES and FOOD – TOM DAVIN was the eldest, then DAN DAVIN, then MARTIN DAVIN, then PATRICK DAVIN – mother preserved eggs – Recalls Father trying to make salt-cured bacon, fat would drip onto the eldest brother TOM – Describes who sat where at the dinner table

12:25 Recalls M? Walsh, cousin of MOTHER – come to house for midday meal – also had a parrot that sat on his shoulder.

14:15 Continues describing seating at the dinner table – Mentions eldest sister EVELYN would make toast in the morning


Track 4

00:00 Recalls story of girls who were part of a CATHOLIC religious group called the CHILDREN OF MARY.

01:08 Recalls FATHER spoke GAELIC was from IRELAND – attended ST. MARY'S BASILICA – Mentions speaking GAELIC and IRELAND.

03:04 Recalls TOYS of his CHILDHOOD – enjoyed TOY BOATS – Recalls childhood friend and neighbours named KIELY WOOD? – had a reunion in ROTORUA – talked about other residents or MORTON STREET – PORKY JONES – WORLD WAR II story told to him by KIELY WOOD.

05:55 Recalls the first book he ever read TREASURE ISLAND – MOTHER never had time to read.

06:35 Recalls story of FATHER and BLUFF OYSTERS – FATHER was good with ANIMALS.

08:55 – Recalls last visit to INVERCARGILL and LILY LEE – Mentions his AMERICAN WIFE who had died the year previously.


Track 5

00:00 Recalls his family was fortunate during the DEPRESSION

00:25 Recalls memories and describes his older BROTHER DAN DAVIN – calls him mischievous, intelligent, kind – also recalls the relationship MARTIN DAVIN and DAN DAVIN - would talk with DAN DAVIN when he returned to NEW ZEALAND from OXFORD

03:25 Recalls visiting DAN DAVIN and WINNIE DAVIN in ENGLAND – Describes little cottage in DORCHESTER on the grounds of an ABBY.

04:25 Describes the personalities and relationships of his siblings – Recalls stories about MARTIN DAVIN and DAN DAVIN – [MARTIN DAVIN’S daughter was in the room and interjects about a RIFLE and FERRETS]

05:50 continues stories about BROTHERS. Recalls story about having to wear old WORLD WAR I army surplus clothes to school – MARTIN DAVIN and DAN DAVIN would change their CLOTHES on way to SCHOOL –

06:35 Explains about SCHOOL UNIFORMS and the style of wearing socks – Recalls TEACHERS at MARIST SCHOOL – Mentions his stance on RELIGION


SECOND INTERVIEW: 25 August 2013

Track 6

00:00 Interview introduction

00:15 Recalls SCHOOL DAYS – mentions he was left left-handed and was made to switch to being right-handed – Mentions His FATHER was transferred to INVERCARGILL from GORE when he was an infant – Recalls story about throwing bullet blanks into the fire in the CLASSROOM - Mentions his sweet tooth and he would keep jellies in his desk.

03:58 Recalls story about TEACHER BROTHER MARTIN and KIELY WOOD?

05:45 PARISH PRIEST would visit the SCHOOL and give lessons about bible history – FATHER HOWARD – Recalls stories about CORPORAL PUNISHMENT at SCHOOL – mentions his brother TOM DAVIN and INVERCARGILL HIGH SCHOOL and DAN DAVIN being DUX.

08:55 Describes how he WALKED TO SCHOOL in all seasons in INVERCARGILL and AFTERSCHOOL CHORES on the farm

10:25 Recalls MILKING COWS

11:00 Recalls his MOTHER and the COAL RANGE and water tank providing hot water in the house – mentions how his mother was always busy with DOMESTIC CHORES.

12:05 Recalls evening ENTERTAINMENT at the house – had a PIANO – sister MOLLY had piano lessons – the eldest EVELYN has SINGING lessons – READ a lot – Mentions RAILWAY LIBRARY.

13:30 Recalls his FATHER travelling outside areas around GORE – he would go the RAILWAY STATION to get his FATHER’S PAY - £10 -£12 – he lost it and had to go search for it.



Track 7

00:00 continues recalling CHILDHOOD FRIENDS – SCOTTISH FAMILY lived next-door – twin boys FRANK and LESLIE – would explore

00:45 CONNOR STREET, INVERCARGILL was considered RURAL when he was a child – Mentions METZGERS BUSH - Recalls DAN DAVIN would explore in the bush by myself and would collect BIRD EGGS – DAN would also venture out with MARTIN DAVIN and sometimes TOM DAVIN and would shoot and targets and SMOKING.

03:10 Describes METZGERS BUSH in INVERCARGILL and surrounding area – TISBURY CHEESE FACTORY – Recalls visit with Cousin and how the area has changed – Recalls the beaches in OTATARA – OERTI RIVER – Mentions TIMBER MILLS.

05:38 Recalls how he would travelled to OTATARA with ADAMSON brothers and LINDSAY RILLSTONE? – rode BIKES in the sand DUNES

06:50 Recalls his brother TOM DAVIN left to WELLINGTON for a job and got SCARLET FEVER and PERICARDITIS and his eventually recovery.

08:25 Mentions DAN DAVIN at 16 got a scholarship to SACRED HEART COLLEGE in AUCKLAND – Recalls how the home changed after the departure of his brothers.

09:20 Recalls how hard his MOTHER worked with CHORES and JOBS – Recalls his MOTHER washing and preparing her old FRIEND for BURIAL.

10:35 Recalls story of travelling to OTERAMIKA ROAD, Invercargill with ADAMSON brothers – got a TOOTHACHE – Mentions MR BUTLER DENTIST.

11:55 Recalls his love of DANCING – SMITHS HALL in DEE STREET, INVERCARGILL – got sick from Alcohol and his friends sneaked him back into his house.

13:34 Recalls his brother DAN DAVIN – remembers DAN DAVIN came back from AUCKLAND with a revolver – DAN came back from AUCKLAND and attended OTAGO UNIVERSITY – mentions WINNIE.


Track 8

00:00 Recalls DAN DAVIN writing letters home – his MOTHER was afraid the DAN DAVIN would go to the SPANISH CIVIL WAR.

01:15 Describes political beginnings of WORLD WAR TWO – Recalls DAN DAVIN joining and went to and OFFICERS TRAINING SCHOOL and transferred into the NEW ZEALAND DIVISION in WORLD WAR TWO – mentions he doesn’t remember the details – his PARENTS were worried.

04:00 Recalls story about his FATHER giving him Half-crown coin – Mentions going to the PICTURES would only cost a shilling – recalls his FATHER working. Around the HOUSE – continues story about taking RHUBARD to GROCERS.

07:42 Recalls CHRISTMAS – he was the only one who ever got a CHRISTMAS STOCKING – mentions the history of some customs – had a CHRISTMAS DINNER – IRISH VISITORS.

9:30 Recalls visitors to the house on MORTON STREET – his MOTHER was from SOUTHLAND – Recalls his GRANDFATHER DAN SULLIVAN had a farm in MAKAREWA – Describes MAKAREWA – DAN SULLIVAN worked on the QUEENSTOWN RAILWAY to WINTON – Describes different RAILWAY LINES in SOUTHLAND – Mentions GORE – his GRANDPARENTS would come into TOWN in a GIG – Recalls story they would bring a boy from MAKAREWA and park out the back of the CRITERION HOTEL – Describes the CRITERION HOTEL.

13:40 Continues description of the CRITERION HOTEL – Describes TAY STREET – the HOTELS were DRY and would sell ALCOHOL unofficially.


Track 9

00:00 Recalls story of FATHER taking him to the CRITERION HOTEL and how there was a large KEG of BEER – recalls HOMEBREWS and ALCOHOL around INVERCARGILL – BLUFF was considered a rough area - Recalls another story of his FATHER and a BLACKSMITH in WOODLANDS and a KEG of BEER –

02:48 MOTHER hated ALCOHOL – Mentions BARMAIDS – recalls WORK available for WOMEN – MOTHER was tolerant of ALCOHOL on CHRISTMAS and EASTER.

04:39 Describes being allowed a SHANDY – WHISKEY was almost unheard of – only in the form of a HOT TODDY, explains – tells joke about an enema.

06:07 Describes TRANSPORT – never had a CAR as a child – COUSINS on WOODLANDS would come to MORTON STREET on SUNDAY and had a CAR – seeing the car was a thrill.

06:55 Describes Cousin’s family – MOTHER’S SISTER – married to MICK CONCANNON? – Mentions tragedy within family – Mentions one name PETER CONCANNON who was around Pat’s age – also PADDY CONCANNO?, TOM CONCANNON?, MICK CONCANNON? – TOM CONCANNON? was well known in WELLINGTON – Recalls story about TOM CONCANNON?.

10:45 Recalls story in 1946 and the LAW COURTS and THOMAS PATRICK CONCANNON? Or THOMAS SCULLY? – Mentions house in BARNARD STREET and Mother-in-law


Track 10

00:00 Recalls COUSINS coming for AFTERNOON TEA on SUNDAYS – story about driving down the country rounds to the RACES.

01:22 Recalls putting a statue of MARY on the lawn proceeding a picnic before an event like the RAILWAY PICNIC or REGATTA.

01:52 Recalls story about his SISTER’S MOLLY’s bike – she worked at AITKENSON? AND ROBERTSON, wallpaper and paint merchants on TAY STREET opposite the INVERCARGILL TOWN HALL – paid 15 shillings a week – mentions Invercargill was a good town for BICYCLES and bike cost.

04:40 Recalls having fights with his BROTHER MARTIN DAVIN – used to steal his BROTHERS CLOTHES

06:51 Describes going to CHURCH with the FAMILY – Sundays and the first Friday of the month they went to MASS – Recalls having his FIRST COMMUNION – Recalls story of DEAN BURKE? – would walk to CHURCH with is BROTHERS.

10:00 His MOTHER from the SULLIVAN family was RELGIOUS – the family didn’t eat meat on FRIDAYS due to CATHOLIC traditions – would eat FISH from BLUFF – his FATHER would also collect mushrooms – also mentions BLUFF OYSTERS.

12:25 Continues recollection of attending CHURCH – his father would meet and talk to IRISH immigrants – his FATHER was from GALWAY.

13:45 Recalls his brother DAN DAVIN returning to New Zealand as an adult and visiting him – DAN never learnt to DRIVE – would visit FAMILY – describes DAN DAVIN as entertaining.


Track 11

00:00 continues talking about DAN DAVIN – Recalls of a story that DAN DAVIN would always tell about poet DYLAN THOMAS – always thought of DAN DAVIN as being mature and older – mentions RELIGION within the FAMILY – describes how DAN DAVIN was like his MOTHER and FATHER – mentions DORCHESTER ABBY.

03:55 Tells JOKE about a young man who joined a religious order.

06:33 Recalls differences between CATHOLICS and PROTESTANTS in INVERCARGILL during his CHILDHOOD – mentions there was competition between different SOUTHLAND SCHOOLS – was problems between the two RELIGIONS later when people got MARRIED.

8:35 Recalls WHITECOMBE AND TOMBS wouldn’t employ a CATHOLIC – a number of INVERCARGILL firms would also not EMPLOY a CATHOLIC – INVERCARGILL was mostly PRESBYTARIAN METHODIST – discusses RELIGION.

10:32 Recalls going into TOWN – MORTON STREET was two miles to the INVERCARGILL POST OFFICE – mentions BOER WAR MEMORIAL and FIRST WORLD WAR MEMORIAL.

11:49 Recalls going to the MOVIES weekly – mentions going to see DRACULA – his BIRTHDAY GIFT would be a shilling or six-pence – Recalls a story about talking to the gas man lighting the streets.

13:43 Recalls getting ELECTRICITY and getting an INSIDE TOILET.


Track 12

00:00 continues recalling getting and inside TOILET.

00:35 Recalls HOLIDAYS in WOODLANDS and MAKAREWA – visited cousins named DOLLEY? – Recalls his uncle HARRY DOLLEY? and his AUNT ANNE and his cousin EDMUND – cost a shilling to visit on the bus.

03:50 Recalls trip around EUROPE with his wife MILLIE with DAN DAVIN – also recalls travelling to UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and mentions his SONS.

05:10 closing of interview.



  • 2021

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