Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 55, September 2011

Walter (Wally) Herbert Bellamy: 1918 - 2011

Elaine Barron: 1929-2010

(By Anne Anandaraertz (nee Barron)

Elaine (nee Baeyertz) was born on May 11, 1929, in Remuera, Auckland. She lived in Lucerne Road with her parents Rudolph and Helena, brother John and sisters Helen and Fleur. Rudolph was a well-known solicitor and John, in his latter years, settled in Wanganui after a long career as a gynaecologist working in hospitals both in New Zealand and in England.

Elaine was educated at Meadowbank Primary School and St Michael's Catholic School where she excelled in typing and Pitman's Shorthand. After leaving school, Elaine worked for several firms in Auckland and while working met Sid Barron. They were married on December 2, 1952, at Somervell Presbyterian Church in Remuera.

Sid was in the Air Force during the Second World War and was an aircraft mechanic. After the war he worked in a variety of jobs, including a glass-making factory and later, Motor Specialties in Auckland.

After they married, Sid and Elaine moved to Paeroa where Sid was helping a friend repair milking machines and small engines, mainly motor mowers and chainsaws. It was then that Sid saw the opportunity to start his own business repairing small engines and becoming a Masport agent in Paeroa.

During these exciting times, Elaine put her secretarial skills to good use, typing for various organisations in the Hauraki District. She had in her office Imperial manual typewriters and Roneo duplicators. I remember when I was quite young helping to put the typed stencils on the duplicators and turning the handle for the pages to print. We later progressed to an electric duplicator which meant a lot less effort, but Mum preferred the manual typewriters and we never purchased an electric one.

It was Elaine's interest in history which led to a meeting and subsequent friendship with Nell Climie in the early 1960s when the Paeroa and District Historical Society was founded. Nell was Editor of the Ohinemuri Regional History Journals which were produced and Elaine typed and printed many of these publications. Our friendship with Nell was very special and we continued to visit her at her home and also in Hetherington House until she passed away in 1991.

Since my younger days in the 1970s, Mum and I have been on many trips with the Historical Society. These were always a highlight for us and I enjoyed the company, feeling very special as the only child on the trips.

It was this association and tireless hours producing the Journals which saw Mum being awarded Life Membership to the Paeroa and District Historical Society in December, 1983.

Although Elaine was brought up in Auckland, she always enjoyed living in Paeroa and exploring the surrounding bush walks. With a walking group we climbed Mt Te Aroha and walked the Karangahake Walkway with its many historical features.

After my OE to England and Europe from 1989-1991, I returned to New Zealand and found employment in Auckland. Through a Church which we had joined, Elaine moved to Auckland after 40 years in Paeroa and it was a very difficult farewell to longtime friends. There were many trips to Paeroa after the initial settling in to Auckland.

Elaine lived in various suburbs in Auckland and the more recent suburb where she resided was St Johns, very close to where she started life in Remuera, 81 years ago.

After a series of falls and illnesses, Elaine's health was declining. Following a fall in late November, 2010, she required a partial hip replacement, which was successful, but she did not respond well to the medication and Elaine passed away peacefully in Auckland City Hospital on November 26, 2010.

Elaine's final resting place, after a service at Somervell Presbyterian Church, is the Paeroa Cemetery.

Walter (Wally) Herbert Bellamy: 1918 - 2011.

Wally Bellamy

Wally Bellamy

Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 55, September 2011
Wally Bellamy

One of Paeroa's elite nonagenarian club, Walter (Wally) Herbert Bellamy passed away on June 23, 2011, at the Beechwood Hospital, Brown's Bay, North Shore, at the age of 93 years, with 63 of these years being lived in Paeroa.

Wally was born in Te Aroha on May 28, 1918, to Mabel and Walter Bellamy. Walter was a farmer. He was the eldest of six children: four boys and two girls.

After returning from the First World War, Wally's father was given by the Government-the-of-day, a 50-acre block of land in the Waitawheta Valley, in recognition of his overseas service. The land was covered in scrub and bush and there were no buildings. It was really hard and demanding work to develop the land into a productive farm, but the Bellamy family met the challenge.

Wally was a bright boy with an interest in drawing, but given the family circumstances in the depression years of early 1930s, he was unable to stay on at school past the age of 12 years, and had to leave work on the family farm to help support the family.

After a period on the family farm Wally went and helped out on a farm at Waitoa staying with his Aunty Annie.

When World War Two began Wally was initially delayed in entering the armed forces as working on the land made him part of the country's essential services. However, in 1942, he was drafted into the Army at the age of 23 and saw active service in Guadalcanal and Nissan Island for two tours of duty alongside the American troops. He was away for almost three years with just a week's break between the two tours of duty. His time was spent driving military personnel around as well as driving supply trucks.

When Wally returned to New Zealand and was discharged from the Army, he went back to farming at Waitoa. Not long after he met his wife-to-be Dawn Johnson at a dance in Te Aroha. At the time Dawn was working at Marriott's Grocery Store in Paeroa. She was a daughter of one of the pioneering families of Netherton. They were married in August, 1948, in the St. Paul's Anglican Church, Paeroa.

Wally left farming to work in the Waihi Gold Mining Company's Victoria Battery at Waikino for a short period and then joined Slyfield's menswear store in Paeroa.

Wally and Dawn set up home in Bradley Street where they remained for all their married life and raised their two daughters, Karen and Sue. Sandra became part of the family when Wally and Dawn took her in as a very young baby owing to her own mother's ill health.

In May, 1951, Wally joined the staff of the Hauraki Plains Gazette newspaper as a compositor, setting up type for the newspaper and commercial printing. He became a competent tradesman and rose to be foreman of the production staff for both the newspaper and commercial printing departments. He retired in 1983 following changeover in printing of the newspaper to the computerised system. However, he stayed on part-time for another three years taking the prepared pages of the papers to be printed at Te Awamutu three times a week.

Wally was held in very high regard by the Gazette staff. He was a quiet, understanding boss. He was always there to assist when a staff member hit indifferent times.

Over the years Wally had many hobbies and interests. Hunting was one of them. Many a duck, pheasant or rabbit fell to his keen eye and trusty shotgun. The stories which came from 50 years shooting on the Awaiti Swamp ponds were always a source of merriment when the shooters came together to reminisce over a bottle of rum. Deer stalking and pig hunting were other recreational sports Wally pursued in his younger years.

He loved fishing. It was his main passion, whether surfcasting off beaches or rocks, or from a row boat off the Thames Coast, Bowentown or north of Coromandel. Every Christmas holidays, when the Gazette office closed for a fortnight over the Christmas-New Year period, the Bellamy family went camping around the Coromandel Peninsula.

Gardening was another of Wally's loves. He always ensured fresh vegetables were placed on the dinner table. Even last Christmas, when he was not in the best of health, he was able to continue the service. He smoked the Christmas ham and was also noted for his excellent smoked fish using ti-tree.

After Karen and Sue moved away from home to pursue their interests, when they visited their parents' they left on their return trips with cars loaded with Wally's produce and Dawn's hearty soup. Wally was also a real home handyman. He helped his daughters and their husbands with job around their various homes especially with building projects.

When the grandsons Matt, Benn and Brad came into the Bellamy family, Wally and Dawn were very proud supporting grandparents. They were always ready to "baby sit" during times of sickness and school holidays, especially when Karen and Sue went back into the workforce.

One of those duck shooting stories

One of those duck shooting stories: Wally: "And Graham put the axe to his shoulder and said 'Bang'."

Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 55, September 2011
One of those duck shooting stories

Wally was also involved with the Ohinemuri Acclimatisation Society, Lodge Ohinemuri No. 107 and was one of the early members of the Paeroa Jaycee Chapter. Upon his retirement he took up lawn bowls, becoming competent at the sport.

With Dawn, they became active members of the Paeroa RSA and were on the staff roster of the St. Paul's Church Op Shop.

When Wally reached the age of 75 years he was forced to give up his shooting and driving through failing eyesight. This was a great disappointment, but he accepted the position and was always seen working in his garden. His sight failed to the point where Dawn had to read the newspaper to him. He became an avid radio listener, something he really enjoyed.

When Dawn's health started to fade and had to go into Te Aroha Community rest-home care, Wally looked after himself for some 12 months until, he too, was forced to join Dawn in rest-home care. Over the last two months he and Dawn shared facilities at the Beechwood Hospital, Brown's Bay, to be near their daughters, until his untimely passing.

There was a large gathering of mourners to pay their last respects to Wally at a service held in Forrest Funeral Services Chapel at Brown's Bay on Tuesday, June 28, with the Celebrant being Alice Worsley, the radio and television personality.

There was a memorial service held in the Paeroa RSA and Citizens' Club on Friday, July 1, and this was attended by large number of family and friends. It was conducted by Graham Watton, a long-time workmate and friend,

At both services Wally was described as a quiet, respectful gentleman, a hard-worker and an excellent provider for his family. He quietly achieved and led a simple life.