know why but I always had a love of sailing boats right from when
I can remember, of course there was no way I could have one as things
like that were for the rich Gorger folk only. In New Plymouth, Mount
Taranaki stands tall right on the coast and often a strong wind
blows down from the mountain. One day a friend and I made a trolley
out of junk and took a bed sheet from home. Then we set up a mast
and yard and got the wind behind us and away we went down a long
busy road toward town.
still remember cars swerving out of our way as we sailed along at
about 30mph, and people in buses and walking on the footpath all
having a good look as we rumbled by. All good things come to an
end in the shape of a Black Maria, as once again the police paid
my parents a visit.
father sharpening blades for the milk factory
the 1960's the whole extended family moved south from Taranaki to
a small village where grandfather and dad got seasonal work for
a big milk powder factory.
looked after the boilers that drove the factory machinery and father
sharpened the big blades that scrapped the dried milk from huge
steam heated rollers.
village was sort of run by some of the local farmers, who happened
to be of a religion that didn't allow radio, television or alcohol
for their brethren. They were also against a youth club for the
young folk whose fathers worked at the milk powder factory. Being
a young teenager with nothing to keep me occupied, getting into
trouble with the local Mushkro was easy!
often go across farm land to a river with my jukal (dog), where
I'd tickle brown trout or we would catch a shoshai (hare). More
often than not I'd be wagging school and the riverbank was my classroom.
One day however I did go to school which meant catching the school
bus to the city some miles away. That afternoon I arrived home and
straight off noticed my jukal was not there to greet me.
I went indoors my parents sat waiting for me, I knew then that something
was wrong. They told me my jukal was mulo (dead), he had broken
his chain that morning to follow me as I left for school but then
he wandered off down the river it seemed.
farmer who'd had a bit of trouble with village dogs attacking his
sheep, happened to spot my dog (who was a Husky, big and powerful)
so this farmer gave my pooro jukal both barrels from his shotgun.
many occasions my dog and I had crossed farm land with sheep everywhere.
Not once had my jukal, the best pal I had ever had, even looked
like troubling them. I was heartbroken, and to this day have never
this time I was getting into strife with the local mushkro, as I
began kicking around with a couple of the village bad boys. We did
a little house breaking and the like until one day we decided to
break in to the village store. That night I climbed onto the store
roof which was 30ft or so off the ground, then I lowered myself
through a skylight and shimmed down a roof support and then unbolted
the back door for my pals to come in.
pals who were older than me and went straight for the money till,
I was more for the fags and the like. Unbeknown to us the police
had been alerted to our presence and had the place surrounded. Suddenly
all hell broke loose as the police banged on the doors yelling 'we
know your in there come on out'.
in his nvay uniform.|
day we all appeared before the beck (judge), but because nothing
had been taken the store owner decided not lay charges. The judge
said if we ever came up before him again it would be borstal. He
than suggested the armed forces might be the best place for the
likes of me.
Navy soon sorted me out and I came to enjoy my time at sea, although
I'm glad there weren't any wars that we'd have to fight at that
time. Four years after joining the navy I was on leave and was run
down by a drunk driver, I spent almost a year in hospital and was
invalided out of the navy as my injuries were permanent.
Bob's story continues »