A book full of Cardwell St memories
When Beryl Parker and Patricia Tee finally decided to put pen to paper after 70 years they had no idea their project would take on a life of its own.
The lifelong friends have been digging up the family roots of the early residents of Onehunga's Cardwell St - where they grew up - for a book for their families.
Mrs Parker, who lived at No 13, says the book has been a real labour of love.
"The best bit about it has been bringing us all back together. It has been over 70 years for some people."
When Mrs Tee, who still lives in Onehunga, came down with bronchitis she thought the best way to occupy her time would be to take a trip down memory lane.
"When Beryl came to visit me she said I could just about write a whole book with all the memories I had written about and that was that."
Other former residents and their families jumped on board to contribute stories and photos.
Few people will remember a time when two cars driving through Onehunga in one day was considered heavy traffic, but this bunch do.
"It was such a different time. The children in Cardwell St played together out in the street and we knew all of our neighbours."
"How many people would know their neighbours now?" Mrs Parker says.
"No one thought to lock their doors when they went out. Anyone could enter a house and help himself or herself to a glass of water."
The former Epsom Girls Grammar students would spend hours flying kites and tobogganing down the slopes of One Tree Hill on nikau palm sleds.
The friendships formed on that street have lasted a lifetime, Mrs Parker says.
"Even though our lives have taken different paths, when we meet it is like a reunion of brothers and sisters."
To their surprise, the 74-year-olds have started receiving requests from others interested in getting their hands on a copy of the book.
But for Mrs Tee, who lived at No 6, the book was just a great opportunity to show her family where they came from.
"We take it for granted that our children know about their family history. It's given us something to pass on to our children and grandchildren," she says.
"My childhood and adolescent years in Cardwell St were some of the happiest times of my life."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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