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MEMOIRS

MEMOIRS COVER

I am writing these memoirs so that those coming after me will know what information I have or have been able to locate about each person. 

This information is as it was supplied to me or as I remember it – how I saw life through my own eyes or how I felt at the time of these events – and what I may have learned from the experience. Other family members may remember some of the incidents and yet see it all from a different perspective. That is life. It is to their benefit to learn from their own experience. 

My late father – Edgar Donald Norman Miller – kept a very detailed diary from late 1937 (when he joined the lighthouse service) until he died at Gold Coast Hospital on 13 October 1994. He kept this diary right up until a few days before he died. 

Please remember – This is MY story. 

In Store Price: $30.00 
Online Price:   $29.00

AMAZON

ISBN: 978-1-922229-04-5   
Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 272
Genre: Non Fiction/Biography

EBOOKS
Ebook version - $AUD9.00 upload.

Cover: Clive Dalkins
Photo courtesy RNZAF.


 

 

Author:
Jocelyn Groom

Imprint: Poseidon
Publisher: Poseidon Books
Date Published:  2014
Language: English


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Author Bio


Jocelyn May Groom was born at Tauranga, New Zealand on 24 April 1938.  She was the eldest daughter and first child of Nancy May (nee Papps) and Edgar Donald Norman Miller. 

Her first home was at Cape Maria Van Dieman Lighthouse where she lived from 24 August 1938 until Friday 19 January 1940. 

Her next home was at Puysegar Point Lighthouse where she lived from 9 December 1940 until 10 January 1946. 

She then lived at Moko Hinau Lighthouse from 30 January 1947 until 18 January 1950. 

Next she moved to Baring Head Lighthouse on 28 May 1950 until 22 August 1952.  This was to be the family’s last Lighthouse. 

The family then moved to 12 Agathis Avenue, Mairangi Bay where Jocelyn went to Takapuna Grammar School. 

On 15 April 1956, having joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force, Jocelyn went to RNZAF Station, Taieri which was just out of Dunedin. She spent some time there and at other stations in NZ and then on 8 January 1959 she left for RNZAF Station, Lauthala Bay, Fiji.  She returned from there on 7 December 1959. 

On 26 December 1959 Jocelyn married Philip Leonard Garner at Mairangi Bay. 

There followed living in various places around Auckland and the birth of four children – David John Garner, born on 14 August 1961, Christine Lorraine Garner, born on 5 July 1963, Katherine Annette Garner, born on 28 December 1964 and Margaret Elizabeth Garner, born on 27 March 1967. 

On 12 July 1971 Jocelyn and Phil were divorced in the Supreme Court in Auckland.
 

Nancy May Miller died on 10 June 1972.
 

On 15 December 1977 Jocelyn and the four children left New Zealand on board the ship Shota Rustavelli bound for Sydney, arriving there on 19 December 1977.   

After a couple of nights with her brother Donald in Berkeley Vale they then left for Brisbane on the train. 

Jocelyn lived at various addresses in the Southport area for the next few years and was employed first by Anthony Woinarski, then by Price Waterhouse and finally by McConaghy & Co, all of them Chartered Accountants. 

On 17 November 1984 Jocelyn married Arthur James Groom at Bundall, Queensland, Australia.  On 11 August 1987 she left Arthur Groom and moved to 10 Petra Street, Southport, where she still lives.  She and Arthur have not divorced. 

Edgar Donald Norman Miller died on 13 October 1994. 

Jocelyn retired on 28 February 2003, but went back to work a couple of days a week on 17 July 2003.  She kept doing that until 18 December 2008.

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Notes to Memoirs

 

I am writing these memoirs so that those coming after me will know what information I have or have been able to locate about each person.

 

This information is as it was supplied to me or as I remember it – how I saw life through my own eyes or how I felt at the time of these events – and what I may have learned from the experience. Other family members may remember some of the incidents and yet see it all from a different perspective. That is life. It is to their benefit to learn from their own experience. 

Please remember – This is MY story.

 My late father – Edgar Donald Norman Miller – kept a very detailed diary from late 1937 (when he joined the lighthouse service) until he died at Gold Coast Hospital on 13 October 1994. He kept this diary right up until a few days before he died. I have used a lot of these dates in my story – I wouldn’t have remembered the actual dates if wasn’t for Dad’s diaries. I have also used some of this information in my story and some of it as a ‘memory jogger’. I have also kept a diary, from when Dad died until the present day. (Some of the earlier years are somewhat sporadic.)

 Some of the information was taken from the book “A Kind of Starlight” – a story of my father’s life, written by James Hector Sutherland, Dad’s first cousin once removed. At this time, the book has never been published.

 Some of the information has come from the book “Green & Golden Island” by HJ Sutherland and EDN Miller.

 I have received some information from my cousin, Colleen Yardley.

 Some of the information has come from the Ashley Family Tree written by Alison Ashley Anderson, and some of the earlier information was supplied by LaVerne Markart of Georgia, USA, who is my third cousin – our great grandmothers were sisters.

Also used was the book “New Zealand Lighthouses” by Geoffrey Churchman.

 Another source of information was the website

www.newzealandlighthouses.com (list of lighthouses.)

 I have obtained more information from my siblings, which I have used in this story. Any information obtained from them relates to their story and/or their children and grandchildren.

  

Jocelyn Groom


Elizabeth Chirnside

 

(My Paternal Great-Grandmother)

(My Paternal Grandfather’s Mother)

 

 

(There are no known photos of Elizabeth Chirnside.)

 

Elizabeth Chirnside, who was the daughter (the fourth child) of Christian Gray and John Chirnside, was born in Greenlaw, Berwickshire, Scotland on 11 October 1835.

 

She had seven siblings (two brothers and five sisters):

 

            Margaret

            Agnes

            John

          Elizabeth     (My Great-Grandmother)

            Christian (Christina)

            Jane

            James

            Catherine

 

Elizabeth gave birth to an illegitimate daughter (also named Elizabeth) in 1857.

 

In 1862 she emigrated to New Zealand on the Pole Star arriving in Napier on 9 February 1862.

 

Of her siblings, Agnes, Jane and James also emigrated to New Zealand: Agnes on the Pole Star at the same time as Elizabeth; Jane as an assisted migrant on 25 September 1865 on the King of Italy. James went to New Zealand later.

 

Elizabeth married Peter Miller at Napier on 16 July 1862.


Elizabeth and Peter had four children:

 

James Thomas               17 May 1863                    (My Grandfather)

Christina                            1866

John                                   1870

Margaret                            1875

 

(I can’t find any information on where or when she died – maybe she went back to Scotland. When I get back to the Family Tree hopefully I will find out.)

 

*[1]


Peter Miller

 

(My Paternal Great-Grandfather)

(My Paternal Grandfather’s Father)

 

 

 

Peter Miller was the son of Margaret (his father in not known at this stage). He was born in 1829 in Chirnside, Scotland.

 

He emigrated to New Zealand in 1862. (It is possible that he emigrated on the same ship as Elizabeth Chirnside – the “Pole Star”, which arrived in Napier on 9 February 1862.) I will eventually be going back to working on the Family Tree, and will hopefully find this out.

 

He married Elizabeth Chirnside on 16 July 1862 in Napier, New Zealand.

 

Elizabeth and Peter had four children:

 

          James Thomas                   17 May 1863                    (My Grandfather)

            Christina                     1866

            John                            1870

            Margaret                     1875

 

He died at Mangakuri, New Zealand, on 9 August 1906. He is buried at the Otane Cemetery, as there is not a cemetery at Mangakuri.

[2]

Charles Hutchins

 

(My Paternal Great-Grandfather)

(My Paternal Grandmother’s Father)

 

 

Charles Hutchins was born in Magdalen Laver, Essex, on 20 June 1836. He began work at nine years old on a farm. Later he was apprenticed to the gardening trade.

 

He married Maria Gates in 1863 in Penge, England.

 

When he was almost forty he emigrated to New Zealand with his wife and family of two girls and one boy: Lizzie aged eight, Alice (my paternal grandmother) aged six and James aged ten.

 

The family arrived at Napier in the ship “Inverness” in 1875. For twenty-one years Charles worked at his trade of gardener, farming a small block at Woodville and travelling as agent for a firm of nurserymen at Taradale. In 1863 Charles founded an orchard at Omokoroa. When Charles Hutchins and his wife moved to Omokoroa the other members of the family stayed in Hawkes Bay.

 

At some stage a case of kerosene weighing about eighty pounds had fallen on his right leg and partly crushed it. He got about with the aid of two sticks and a wooden support on which the knee took the weight and the lower leg rested. His son-in-law James Miller had devised and made this wooden leg and kept it repaired too. After many years of using the support, Charles became impatient with it and threw it down the bank. Thereafter, though his leg was weak and he needed the two sticks, he was able to get around more comfortably. He was not much help in the orchard. He pottered around, he kept a small flower garden and he was ever ready to offer advice and comment.

 

In planning the orchard Charles misjudged and planted apricots, peaches and plums. Fine, if he had been able to deliver the fruit in good condition to the Auckland markets.

 

When his son-in-law (James Miller) had a heart attack while cutting wood, Charles had his back to the woodheap and with this and his deafness, he had neither seen nor heard anything amiss.

 

After James Miller’s widow, Alice, and their children, Elsie and Norman, left Omokoroa, Charles was left homeless. He was shuffled from Wharepai to Mrs Rose Deveron’s and back to Wharepai.

 

The sad, bewildered old man, now over ninety, lost his mental health. He was not easy to control. He died on 1 December 1928 and was buried in the cemetery at Kihikihi on 3 December 1928.

 

Charles was a small blue-eyed man – the eyes twinkling with mischief sometimes. He knew how to exercise patriarchal authority and to express forthright opinions; he had made up for his scant education.


[1] Information received from Laverne Markart, USA

 

[2] Information from death certificate

 


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