Educating Mao ※

september 2010

Educating Mao

1 Sept

Subject: first salary today∼How are you feeling?

Dear Dad
You will be pleased to know I got my first salary of about five hundred dollars today. As I haven't worked for it, that is rather nice.

How are you feeling now? Being shaky for a few days after a near catastrophic incident is normal. I am fascinated at the thought of your rushing to the fire with a bucket of water. Did you use one bucket or several?

I did not know I would receive salary today. If I had known I would not have bothered you about money. Still no further communication from the College except from Jackson who was sweeping leaves in the grounds and said:
"We were paid today".
I was so astonished I asked him to repeat it.

Chinese schools often pay out early at the beginning of a semester, because so many of their teachers arrive back from holidays broke and begging them for money. I rushed back to my apartment and got my eftpost card.

I finally found the western style restaurant Good Coffee. I have to occasionally have western good food to keep up my health.
Love from Lloyd

2 Sept

Subject: paul writes to lloyd


Hi Lloyd
I initially deposited a $100 cheque from Frank into your A/C, then I realised there would be a wait of five days for clearance. So I then put in a further $100 cash, Frank has repaid me for that so you owe him $200.

Frank is very frail and ageing fast, Scott has been down for the last two days and today is taking him home to Taupo for the next two weeks. This will also make it easier for the decorators who are repairing the fire damage as it will take some time.

I hope your new job goes well. The apartment sounds very nice, can I suggest you employ a cleaner for a few hours a week, after all the rest of the family do and even Dawn did when she was working full time.

Mother's death as I understand was very quick and painless, as you know her heart was very weak.

Yes John is on sticks, and is in a flat, he is still having trouble with movement of his hands. He goes to hospital every day for physio.


4 Sept

Subject: South Island Earthquake

Mary Dimond

Hi Lloyd
A friend saw your query on and sent it to us. We are all fine here but it was very scary and went on for a very long time. We ran down our stairs to the girls as the house was shaking.

Trevor ended up falling down the stairs but he's ok. We huddled in the door frames for about an hour as there were heaps of after-shocks. Christchurch centre is pretty devastated. Out our way in Sumner every single brick chimney has come down and firemen are going around putting tarpaulins up as the weather is supposed to deteriorate today. We had our chimney taken out about 5 years ago so that was lucky.

I hope you are enjoying China – thanks for your concern

Subject: lloyd writes to mary

Hi Mary
Yours is the first personal report I've got. You said all ok. I imagine you might find structural damage to the house as it is second story. Was stuff smashed in your house and did you lose power and water? It all brings back memories of our Gisborne earthquake. What about the ecoglo factory? What about John and Tam?

September 3 Christchurch Square
September 3 Christchurch Square

We had our first teachers meeting yesterday and I am waiting for my timetable for classes from Monday. China is dull. It just doesn't have the color of Vietnam. Its saving grace is everything is within a few hundred meters away. I don't need under normal circumstances to go into town at all.

The College said it will arrange for me to go to Hong Kong after next week to get my new work visa. The College has been jolly keen about me. I was told by a teacher there is nothing like work experience in Iraq to dazzle an employer!

Subject: mary writes to lloyd

It is amazing, some areas of Christchurch are really bad but out at Sumner its not too bad at all. We've lost neither power nor water, and had no structural damage. We had a couple of ornaments break, that's all.

Trevor went into the factory and everything is fine there as well. John and Tan are fine with just a few breakages and the power out. Mike's (Trevor’s brothers) house is pretty bad with cracks etc. but he has decided to stay in it tonight.

Christchurch central city is really bad with about 120 old buildings either fallen down or in danger of coming down. One of these is the old Repertory theatre where Michaela performed many times when she was younger, so that is very sad.

The worst thing is really all the after shakes – 21 of these have been over 4 on the Richer scale so they are pretty scary. I'm feeling very jittery and despite only 4 hours sleep last night it feels like I still won't sleep tonight. We're all sleeping downstairs so we don't have to try and run down the stairs during the quake. They're saying it's the worst since 1931 Napier earthquake.

No-one was killed but today a light plane went down in Fox Glacier killing all 9 passengers so it's a bad day for the South Island. The weather has been good today but we're bracing for a terrible storm with 150 knot wind gusts, so we hope all the tarpaulins don't get blown off.

I'm off to bed now

Subject: lloyd writes to mary

Earthquakes are like that. They are like war zones. Right now you are Beirut. I was concerned about the factory.

Bishop Sumner was a much loved evangelical Archbishop of Canterbury in the mid-nineteenth century. So you should think of yourselves under his protection. I recall in Gisborne smash smash smash and loss of power. I guess Michael is staying in to keep out looters.

Overseas blogs are expressing surprise that would happen in a ‘white’ country. Start campaigning to keep your theatres. In Gisborne in 1966 earthquake damage was used to destroy the live theatre where I had performed.

I am still waiting for my timetable and have caught a bad cold semi flu after going out in a torrental rain fall with George. He is actually Daniel but he is so like George in Seinfeld.

I had been expecting emails from Paul, Dad, and Scott after I had emailed them. But they have not emailed.

Must away to an early night.

Subject: mary writes to lloyd

Very interesting. The looting was very insignificant by the way. Just 1 liquor store by passing drunks and a pharmacy owner reported some thug types scaring her.

Very downplayed here with only 1 paper and no TV reports of looting. It's much more about stories of miracle survivals and the ‘rebuilding together’ of Canterbury.

Like the sound of George – Seinfeld is a fave show. I hope ur new job goes well. I love my new job teaching at the polytech – 30% of the student are internationals from all over the world which makes it very interesting

4 Sept

Subject: Gisborne Herald Editor Writes To Lloyd

Jeremy Muir

Hi Lloyd,
the John Stroup in Gisborne says he's not the John Stroup of Texas

I'm running your letter just minus the reference to the Israeli foreign minister breaking Hillary Clinton's arm (!?)… unless you can enlighten me on that

Jeremy Goldstein Muir

Subject: Lloyd Replies To Jeremy

Hi Jeremy
Feel free to publish my letter.

A quick internet search found a John Stroup who is a ‘professor of religious studies’ at a christian fundamentalist church in Texas, America. John Stroup is from the christian zionist element in American society. They support right wing zionism to usher in the apocalyptic visions of Book of Revelation. John Stroup says in the column we have to take sides and cannot stay on the side line. I have chosen my side.

Now why have his column in the Gisborne Herald? What possible interest would a Herald reader have in him? Well they might be interested in his background as part of the zionist plan to bring the West into war with Islam. But the column did not reveal that.

I actually don't think the good people of Gisborne are going to be influenced by this sinister implant of his words in print in the Herald.

The business about Hillary having her arm broken was deduction from me. Her immediate public appearance after her meeting with Lieberman first showed her with the bandaged arm. The official explanation was she had slipped and broken her arm in the car park.
Short of a winter snowfall – even then unlikely – that sounds a tall one to me.


Actually you could say Lieberman showed passion and gave her a Russian bear-hug. She was, after all, telling him to exit his home and destroy his community. Even since that fateful meeting, both Clintons have refused to meet him and he is a pariah among American's allies. So it seems a good deduction to me.

I was over hasty with identifying John Stroup.

Letter To The Gisborne Herald published 7 september 2010

John Stroup's column is full of bizarre inaccuracies.

The controversy in New York is over a Moslem community hall not a Mosque. It would have a prayer room which is indispensible as Moslems pray five times day.

Iran is not out to destroy Judaism nor bans the building of Churches and Synagogues. Disfiguring and stoning punishments are rarely laid down and in recent years never enforced.

There is no evidence Iran is plotting to attack anyone. It merely thinks Israel will go the way of apartheid South Africa. Its Jewish population are full citizens.

The President of Iran Ahmadinejad offered to lay a wreath at ground zero but the American authorities refused. The Iranian President asks for evidence on the Holocaust which the Holocaust museums refuse to give.

7 Sept

Subject: paul writes to lloyd

No more letters to the Gisborne Herald.
Unlike you we have to live here.

9 Sept

Subject: Lloyd writes to mary

Hi Mary
I have read you have now experienced two big aftershocks. Reading the words of the Christchurch Mayor, the officials are starting to get unhinged.
It was indeed extraordinary there was no loss of life.

As a conspiracy touch, the Gisborne and the Christchurch earthquakes both had very obscure reports of a death by heart attack at the time of earthquake. After what happened to poor Mum I hesitate to mention it. However earthquakes are not known for inducing fatal heart attacks. Maybe earthquake deaths are not reported in New Zealand as it would greatly damage the tourist industry and give New Zealand a third world image.

I am in a bit of trouble with Scott. He has complained about my letter to the Gisborne Herald concerning Israel's treatment of the Palestinians. As he has urged me, I won't write to Herald anymore. These days newspaper blogs and comments are usually the most interesting part of a newspaper.

I felt tempted to write to Scott that if he found out his neighbour was keeping his dogs permanently enclosed and depriving them of drinking water, he would likewise make a public complaint. But I won't because knowing Scott his reply would be off putting. It would amuse but be completely off target and so unanswerable. A very characteristic Jewish method I might add. The benign one.

You can read my 7 September letter to the Gisborne Herald online by googling gisborne herald newspaper.

Good luck with your jolts!

10 Sept

Subject: sargon press is banned in China

Dear Scott
How are things in Taupo? I haven't received an email from Dad. So I gather Dad is waiting until he returns to Gisborne on 13.

I had my three real estate classes yesterday. The classes are about fifty students. The great majority can barely recite their name, home town and interests. This after years and years of English instruction. I always have a sinking feeling whenever I encounter this. I am in a no-win situation. They are, however, well behaved. I have to pander to their every taste. That is the modern classroom. I once tried to get an ESL job in Iran. But the Mullahs have very sensibly banned the free floating English teacher.

I got a telephone call from Jackson last night. Julia told him that she will be in the College with my necessary documents at twelve pm today Friday. I have booked the slow train to Guangzhou for two pm today. It will be a twenty-four hour journey.

Travelling by train is not very interesting, unlike Vietnam. I hardly see anyone, just scrubby rural industry. Once in Guangzhou, I will try immediately to take a two hour train trip to Hong Kong. Once in Hong Kong, I am really in a new country like Singapore. There are no restrictions on accommodation and Internet use.

I have to submit my passport for a new one-year work visa at the Chinese Embassy in Hong Kong. It shouldn't even be called that! I plan to pay for the new visa on the sixteenth when I receive my next salary and return on the seventeenth.

My Internet site is inexplicably banned in China. I am able to access it in Hong Kong.

I got a surprise email from Frank from Top School yesterday offering me a full-time teaching position in some small Chinese town.
I am not going to tell them to get stuffed. Who knows? Who knows?

Subject: now in Hong Kong

Hi Dad and Scott
I am now in Hong Kong in an impossibly noisy Internet cafe. The slow train took me to another station in Guangzhou. So I ended up in a quite rural part of Hong Kong. Really quite pleasant.

My new passport passed through OK. They looked through both passports. I will now have to find a hotel. Please excuse the letter. It is impossible to work in this environment.

I always find Hong Kong quite an evil place.

10 Sept

Subject: John Stroup writes to lloyd

John Stroup

External Links: | |

The line I like goes something like –

“Israel treats Palestinians better than Iran treats it's own citizens.”

Hard to put a smiley face on a regime that does this stuff.
The only good stuff being said about Iran comes from the “official news” sources. If those guys said anything bad, they'd disappear in the middle of the night, never to be heard from again.

External Link:

Iranians calling for the arrest of the pastor?
Maybe in a repressive regime like Iran, not in America, we value our freedom!
John Stroup

Tradewind Pacifica Ltd
114 Stafford Street
Gisborne NZ

Subject: Lloyd writes to John Stroup

Hi John Stroup
I will go through these online items.

I notice you got the possessive adjective wrong. I always divide writers between those who know the possessive adjective and those who don't. I don't dismiss those who don't but I don't give credence to anything they say unless it can be backed up.

As I have encountered before with Americans, they are so brain-washed by the foreign owned and controlled media they just spend all day muttering endlessly repeated slogans, all half truths or lies, from Fox Television and CNN. Both networks started off promisingly but are now viral carriers from the same international disease. I watch Al Jazeera myself which is to the new dark age what Arabic translations of Greek philosophy were to the Medieval dark age.

I read in Yahoo last night there was a press conference this morning in America where a retired Alaskan Senator and a representative of an international organisation representing thousands of physical scientists reported there is now hard evidence that all three World Trade Centre towers show signs of high explosives. In the land of the free, why is this not being investigated by Federal Authorities? Instead they act to protect the pyrotechnic practices of a mad pastor and his psychotic followers.

I know from personal experience any Marxist or Islamic country not being targeted for destruction by the CIA becomes more liberal and humane over the years. The favourite trick of the CIA is to undermine a country and then when its leaders are forced to take emergency security measures induce an international hue and cry of human rights.

Still I am very happy that you have such strong views and interest in international affairs. And you appear to engage in up front arguments instead of sly ad hominem attacks.

I hope you are enjoying the Gisborne Spring. It is Autumn over here and wet and dreary.
Regards Lloyd

Subject: John Stroup writes to lloyd

Hi Lloyd,
The grammar bit I gave up long ago, I figure that it becomes a problem when I'm not being understood.

I would equate the notion of the WTC being blown up by any other than the generally accepted way that they were brought down with the idea that man never set foot on the moon. Signals can be bounced off the lunar landers, right where they were left, on the moon.

I do accept that there are things going on, agendas, plans for NWO, that we'll never know about.

Spooky stuff.

I like the famous comic book quote “With great power comes great responsibility”. Although I think Socrates' “rule worthy of might”, is probably more accurate. I do believe that this has weighed heavily on many people throughout time, none more that US Presidents and to a lesser degree the American people.

Now, I'm sure we've mucked up our share, but I do think that there is an overriding intent to do good things as opposed to bad. Suffice to say, intentions are good, methods need working on. The protection of free speech and expression is a lofty goal. Yes, there are people that do believe that that pastor who wants to burn Korans is going about expressing himself in a poor way, but the idea of protecting his right to do so is important. That only comes about with a desire to not repress freedom of expression. It is a delicate balance. An insight to where I'm coming from. It's a particularly American view, but one reflected throughout the world. As a matter of fact, I just recently had occasion to look up in NZ's constitution ‘freedom of expression’. NZ feels the same way.

I'm looking forward to the summer, seems as though spring has skipped over us here. I'm feeling less at risk here in NZ than back in the States, There are problems there. Did you catch my column on ETS? Nick Smith had been in town selling the governments position on adopting an ETS. Now there is something fishy going on there.
With the way things are bubbling in the Mid-East, we may not have to worry about it ;-).
John Stroup

Tradewind Pacifica Ltd
114 Stafford Street
Gisborne NZ

Subject: Lloyd writes to John Stroup

Hi John
I knew you were a youngish man by your ‘its’ difficulty. I hold the opinion that clear language is also clear thought.

I have just read your last article in the Gisborne Herald. You wrote as an eye witness of the palpable fear in the United States. It was the same kind of anxiety in the early nineteenth century. There is a term for it I have forgotten.

A large class of people who through education and initiative had risen from the peasantry. They lived in terror that a single mishap would sink them into destitution and public disgrace.The ethos of the time blamed poverty on personal failing.

That is identical now. The difference is it is now a general sinking feeling not a rising feeling in the middle class. Also wealth then was based on industrialisation. Now it is based on consumerism. The new victims of malnourishment are the obese. They haunt western cities as the starving once haunted western cities. Mal does mean just bad.

I myself share that feeling. It is helped I have no dependants. One reason being I have been unable to support dependants.

I know we don't see eye to eye. But I always enjoy comment in the Herald that rises above cabbages or street kids.

I have been forbidden by my family to write any more letters to the Gisborne Herald.

13 Sept

Subject: in Hong Kong∼ripped off at hotel∼How is Scott?

Dear Dad
I hope you are now back safe and sound in your home. I hope the house is now nicely fixed.

I am now in Hong Kong. I managed to find my former district in Nathan Road. I was horribly ripped off at a hotel on my first night. However now I am being charged about twenty dollars a night. I went today to the Chinese Embassy to renew my visa. Unfortunately when I got there, I discovered it was night time. I had slept around the clock!

That was catching-up time from the slow train. I will go back there tomorrow morning. This sleep-in should not cause complications.

Hong Kong is so built up. It is a difficult city – at least for me – to navigate. However it is very much a British city. Neat and orderly.

How are Scott and the grandchildren?
Love from Lloyd

14 Sept

Subject: flew back home∼house repairs not completed

Dear Lloyd,
I flew back into Gisborne yesterday to find the house repairs not nearly completed. There's plenty of people milling around but they don't seem to be doing what needs to be done. It's a fatal mistake to leave a job not finished. It's too easy for the workmen to move off to another job and so your job gets shunted down the list to the end of the queue. I was in Taupo 14 days giving them plenty of time to have everything completed by the time I got home.

Scott and his little girls were very good to me and made me most welcome. They couldn't have been kinder and Scott's a great housekeeper. His house runs like clockwork. He took me all over the prison farm and told me some strange things. We discussed books and he was most interested in the biography that Mark Twain modelled his Huckleberry Finn on. I couldn't remember who the American folk hero was. Could you enlighten me?

Our Christchurch family are getting over the earthquake and Mary will be here on the 26th.

Love and best wishes from

Subject: new visa Friday∼Davy Crockett's biography

Dear Dad
I had imagined Scott taking you home. I know the feeling of people messing around when you have no physical presence.

I have been told I should have my new visa by Friday. Unfortunately there are two technical mistakes on the invitation letter. I will have to do some very sweet talking when I go in to the Embassy tomorrow. I went to the embassy today and returned via the harbour ferry.

I will talk more later. The american hero's name is Davy Crockett.

Davy Crockett

You should ask for his biography.
Love from Lloyd

15 Sept

Subject: Becky here for lunch∼very cold at Taupo

Dear Lloyd,
I expect you are now back in your apartment as am I. Becky was here today for lunch and she is very pleased at the state of affairs. All the new curtains and wallpaper has brightened everything up considerably I am now on my own and I have a pleasant woman of mid-forties who arrives here at a quarter past eight each morning and cooks my breakfast, cleans the bathroom and toilet and makes my bed, She is a pakeha and very willing and agreeable. I pay her $20 an hour – that is better than going into a rest home and paying $800 a week for very indifferent treatment. At least I am my own man here.

It was very cold at Taupo. Scott and his family are wonderful. He manages alone to look after and guide his family all by himself and the home runs very smoothly. He is an extremely good housekeeper and he looked after and cared for me very well. I drove all over the Waikato visiting his farms – he has a big responsibility. It is a 24/7 job but he is virtually his own boss and can work his own hours. He has 12 more years of service until he can retire on a good government pension. Isobel, his youngest will then be 17 and at university and Scott is looking forward to that day!

I have lunch with Paul and Dawn on Sunday

Tell me all about your classes and of other teachers.
With love and best wishes
From Dad

17 Sept

Subject: received my new visa∼returning to China

Dear Dad
I have now received my new visa and will be returning to China on Saturday.
Love from Lloyd

19 Sept

Subject: return to Gongji∼one night in a Hong Kong park

Dear Dad and Becky
I am sorry I have been out of communication. I am returning tonight to Gongji from Guangzhou with the new visa. I had a bit of a rotten time. The College did not pay my due salary as I was out of the College. That caused me to spend one night in a Hong Kong park.

Hong KongThis is not Auckland so it was quite safe. Just a few friendly Asians and black men. Even the grass was soft. I found water in a near by catchment area. Julie lent me sufficient money to get me back to College.

Then when I got to Guangzhou in China, I just missed the evening train. I slept one night in front of the railway station. That is a common practice in China. However my back is now a bit sore.

I return by I think the fast train tonight. Don't worry when I am moving about in China. Because of their laws, computers are very hard to access.
Love from Lloyd

20 Sept

Subject: back in my apartment∼one class tomorrow

Dear Dad
I am now back in my apartment. Unfortunately I missed Monday's two classes. It was the College's fault as I would have returned from Hong Kong a day earlier if they had paid me my due salary. If I receive music about it, that is what I am going to make as my excuse.

I did dally in Hong Kong and missed the Gongji train by about half an hour. I would have caught it if I had known the time table and not beeen advised wrongly. But everything is in Chinese. I have one class tomorrow morning.

I see the pakeha lady makes your breakfast. Were you becoming concerned about the kitchen hazards? I suppose she makes the porridge.
Love from Lloyd

21 Sept

Subject: Mary arriving∼the old phone∼family gathering

Dear Lloyd,
Tony Ford was here unexpectedly yesterday. He got the day wrong. He had the problem fixed very soon. I am now on air. I sent a letter off to Scott and to you a day early. I do like to get mail from my family. It eases the burden of loneliness a great deal.

Mary arrives here at 4.30 on Saturday. She will stay with me. Beverley made up her room today. Beverley is an excellent housekeeper – she doesn't need to be told what to do and is very willing. On Friday she is making an apple pie for Mary's Saturday dinner. I already have the curry made and in deep freeze.

Yesterday Dawn brought Gordon and Shanta to visit. She also brought a new telephone that has been on order from the War Pensions. Hearing aids in the ear squeak and squawk at the receiver's end so the speech can not be heard. All a very good idea but unfortunately something was wrong with the works and the reception was not as good as the conventional model it was replacing. Very disappointing so it has gone back this morning. Gordon fixed the old phone up in the computer room and it works much better. G & S are a very pleasant couple

We have a gathering at Eastwood hill Arboretum on Sunday morning. The theme is “how best we remember Mum”. If you would like to contribute by e mail I will read it out. Only the family will be there. We will return to town for lunch.

Love and best wishes from

Subject: class went well∼overdue salary payment

Dear Dad
Just a quick note before you go to bed. I had my class this morning. I thought it went well. They were all girls. I had on me twenty five nz dollars that I will post to you later to top up my bank account for iServe. I showed them my stylish passport.

I have just met Julia and she will arrange for my overdue salary payment next week. It is the three day moon festival now so no more classes this week. All these missing classes I will make up later. However at the beginning of October, there is a week semester holiday with no classes catching up.

The visa was photocopied by Julia. So everything seems in order. She was a bit annoyed I was such a long time out of the College and spent so much money. Economic refugees have to put up with that sort of stuff. I told her facetiously I did not go to a massage parlour.

You should say you are back online not on air. That is broadcasting.

The Eastwood hill meeting is a lovely idea. Not everything about the post-modern world is bad as Mum would have agreed. I will send an email.

I read that Act Party is going through turmoil. That Garett fellow sounds quite an evil number.

I read all your emails. As long as the computer says sent, it has been sent.
Love from Lloyd

22 Sept

Subject: International Post is unreliable∼Eastwoodhill

Dear Lloyd,
I have your e mail sent 21 Sept. I note you intend to repay the $25 by Post. Do you think this is wise? International Post is so unreliable I think you could lose it. If you send money you should register it. Keep this in mind anyway. I had a letter from Scott yesterday, he and Elizabeth (his 10 year old) will be here on Saturday

I phoned Eastwoodhill yesterday for permission to cut the grass under our tree but was refused permission. I thought that was very unkind and no way to build up goodwill with the public at large. I expect it is written into the Constitution somewhere.

I think the ACT party is on its last legs with the Garett episode. Incidentally he is a Gisborne man being born and brought up here. Also as a 2 year old he was chosen for the model of the new Captain Cook statue which is now standing at Waikanei Beach.

Our lounge is looking much more home like with its pictures, wall plates and ornaments back in place. Gordon did it for me yesterday. Being so very tall he was ideal for the job. He ran out of hooks so Paul will finish the job later on.

Tell me more about the college and its staff and pupils – all very interesting

Love and best wishes from

Subject: clicked send, nothing happened∼family gathering

Dear Lloyd,
I have just completed a nice long letter to you and clicked "send" in the normal manner but nothing happened. The letter never went into the send box and I don't know where it is. It is certainly not on the screen. I am getting very angry with this computer. My letter was advising you not to send money by mail. It is too unreliable.

Mary arrives here at 4.30 on Saturday and will be staying with me. Scott and Elizabeth (his 10 year old) arrive by car on Saturday and will stay with Becky

We will go to Eastwoodhill on Sunday morning to scatter the ashes and then back to town for a gathering for lunch. Mary will stay a week with me. That will be nice.

Garett was brought up in Gisborne and as a 2 year old was chosen as the model for Captain Cook statue now standing at Waikanae Beach.

Young Nick

Becky comes here for lunch today. This is a regular performance

Ben and Megan set off for Perth on Friday

Love and best wishes from

Subject: letter arrived∼iServe payment

Dear Dad
Your previous letter arrived. This has happened before to you. Your computer should say letter has been sent.

I may send money directly to my bank account. I want to send enough for a year for iServe. That will save you from bother.

So you will have Mary with you for a week. I don't think you are completely lacking company.

It is very quiet at the College and nice and sunny. I have been going through my files in preparation for eventual updating onto my site.

So Sunday morning is the big day. What exactly is the time of the scattering NZ time? Who exactly will be there?

You mention Garrett was the model for the Cook statue. In your email you said he was two years old. That is a mystery to me. Why choose a child for an adult statue model? Do you mean Young Nick?

23 Sept

Subject: 12 year old Young Nick Waikanae

Dear Lloyd,
I noticed the typing error before I sent the letter and tried to correct it but the Backspace button refused to work. Thank you for your letter. I was sitting in the sun at the double doors reading it when Beverley arrived. She makes my breakfast and generally cleans up at 8.15 a.m. The statue is of Young Nick.

It is a good idea to send your money directly to your bank account. Send the bank an email to notify you when it arrives,

On Saturday morning at 10.30 we all meet at Eastwood hill (all the Gisborne whanau) and then we return to town for lunch. It is as Mum would have loved it. I hope your contribution will arrive in time.

Tell me more of your fellow teachers and your students. You seem to have found the College a pleasanter atmosphere.

Best wishes and love from

24 Sept

Subject: eulogy∼dinner with a student∼Casanova

Dear Dad
I hope this eulogy is ok. It is always the thought that counts. I know everyone will be longing for a cup of coffee. Who exactly will be there? I wish I could be with you.

I had dinner yesterday with a College student. Not one of mine. It was interesting to hear how mind-controlled the young are. But the older generation appear not to believe anything.

I am now reading and enjoying the memoirs of Casanova online.
Love from Lloyd

Eulogy for Valmai Audrey Gretton

Eastwood Hill was always Mum's favourite place to visit. I sometimes heard her say that if she had had the opportunities young women have now, she would have made botany her career. She single handily turned a desolate paddock on our orchard into a splendid woodland park that all owners and visitors to the orchard have enjoyed. She often said she noticed plants in their search for light and water showed a real intelligence. I don't doubt her words for a moment.

Now for eternity her physical and spiritual imprint will live on at Eastwood Hill. When Eastwood Hill no longer exists, Mum will still be here. Her descendants of her family here now will come to remember her legacy.

27 Sept

Subject: family gathering∼Elizabeth read eulogy∼Paul was m.c.

Dear Lloyd,
We have had the family gathering for the scattering of Mum's ashes. It all went off very well except for the weather which was very cold. Those attending were Paul, Dawn, you (in spirit), Scott & Elizabeth, Bruce & Becky, and we all had a little to say as each scattered the ashes.

Little Elizabeth read your eulogy beautifully. Your last paragraph was a masterpiece and was received with applause by the family. It is as Mum would have liked. In fact I am sure she would have praised the whole proceedings. I was very proud of you all. I was by far the worst performer and had to hold up proceedings while I regained control. Saying goodbye after 63 years was hard.

Paul was m.c. and led off with an account of how as an 18 year old he took notice of what his mother said when he proposed abandoning the Farm Cadet scheme after about 3 years. However that letter changed his mind for which he was thankful.

Mary said how impressed she was of Mum's ability to control things when she accompanied her to a high peak in the Southern Alps for cell phone coverage to Gisborne to direct our builder of our house in Stout St when he had a problem with the building. She herself nearly had a breakdown with just a kitchen to build.

Scott's talk was very good. He spoke of being caught when he was fourteen by a traffic cop for riding Ken Cooper's farm bike on the road without a licence. Mum wrote such an appealing letter to the transport dept. saying that Scott was rising each morning at 4 a.m. to milk Ken's cows to make some money to help him along at university in the future.

It was such a good letter saying that Scott was not a motor bike hoon but a very hard worker travelling from gate to gate on the farm. What Mum didn't know was that he was really going to the store to buy a packet of cigarettes.
Love from Dad