Friday, January 8, 2016

Owaka 150th Celebrations

Holiday time, 150th Celebration time, Catlins... YAY!  I picked Mum up early this morning and off we set for Owaka.  We met up with Jenny and Colin, and Glenda and John and took flowers to Grandma and Grandad's gravesite, and to Aunty Margaret and Uncle Buds.  

It was blowing a gale so instead of an outdoor picnic we lunched inside at Jessie Coutts place.  

Next stop was the Centenial Waka.  I love it!  Jessie said there has been a lot of comment and controversy about the material it is made from.  I think it looks wonderful!

Next up a drive up Katea Valley to visit the family homestead... well what's left of it.  I can imagine many fun times spent building huts in the hedge.  Jessie told us how her father had planted all the macrocarpa around her place next door, so I imagine Grandad planted these quite some time ago.

Glenda, Jenny, Colin and I had a good old poke around the old place in the wind.  I even managed to find a cute old bottle to take home for a vase, after a bit of a clean up.

I think these wheels would look fabulous in my garden... but it doesn't belong to our family now so guess its not to be...

Thistles now invade the patch that I am sure would have boasted a fabulous flower and vege patch.

From the road, the house looks nothing but a pile of sticks...

We drove further up the valley past the Cheese Factory and on to the site of the Katea school.

A lasting tribute to those who left the valley never to return...

On our way back out of the valley we encountered a classic Katea Valley traffic jam...

Next stop, Catlins area school for a look at collections from the past and photographs.

As we manouvered between the displays a lady (Dawn) said to Mum, wow, I was in the Balclutha maternity hospital with you, to Mum.  She retold the story to Mum of how she remembered her because she had stayed in Pounawea too long before heading home and had to stop on the way home for the arrival of a precious little baby... well guess who that was?  Me!  

After much searching we were delighted to find photos of Mum and her siblings.  This photo below has Margaret Kean (back left), 

In this photo below we have my Mum, middle row, fifth in; Altha middle row, far right; 

Katea Valley School history...

In the photo below Fred Kean (back row - second from left); Mary Kean (third row - fourth from right); Frank Kean (second row - far left); Margaret Kean (second row - third from right); Eileen Kean (front row - third from right)

Photo below - Kathleen Kean / Mum (middle row - fourth from left); Eileen Kean (middle row - third from right); Altha Kean (middle row - far right)

 Fabulous reminiscing with the Landreth family members.  

We drove up Keatoa Tce for a reminisce, looking at where Grandma and Aunty Bridgy used to live.  Then took in Teapot Land... 1296 teapots on display!

As the sun shone we drove over to Pounawea and up to Aunty Margaret's place!

High tide makes for stunning views at Pounawea...

...a little windy still...

Blue cod at Lake Waihola on the way home was a slightly different experience.  The gates to the lake side were locked for fear of trees falling in the ferocious winds!

And finally a stunning welcome home to Mosgiel!

What a truly magnificent day out!
And would you believe, when I dropped Mum back I noticed a book sticking out of her bookshelf... a book I am sure I have never seen before and just look what it was! MAGIC eh!

That's my reading sorted for this weekend!


  1. Thank you so much Anne for what you are doing for all of us. nostalgia is usually not my thing but I must admit tears appeared out of nowhere when reading and viewing the wonderful photos. I am particularly appreciative of the placing of flowers on mum and Dad's grave.
    Best, Heather

    1. Oh thank you Heather. It was such a fabulous day! We are very lucky to be able to get Mum back to where so many of her memories are... We sat up the top of Ocean Grove and shared so many memories of your Mum and Dad...
      We need to have a cousin reunion I think....