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A short story by Rose Thomson

I am a granddaughter of William Anthony Meates who was one of the four men who found the reef. It was his wife, Rose Meates, who named Waiuta from several names sent to them from the Post and Telegraph Department. My grandparents also applied to start a school and, by bringing in a relation from Kumara to supply the number necessary for a teacher, were successful.

A short story by Margaret Sadler

One sunny afternoon in the middle of winter four preschool Waiuta kids, Margaret Sadler, Michael and Brian McGuinness and Sandra Pope, decided to visit the town’s Olympic size swimming pool. The swimming pool was covered in ice – a great opportunity for the four friends to try out figure skating. The afternoon mine workers were heading up to the Prohibition. Luckily for the kids they were spotted, the bus was called to a halt and the kids talked gently to come off the ice. Later that evening the McGuinness brothers were telling their mum, Gwen, about the adventures of the afternoon. Apparently the ice was making funny noises.

A short story by Edna Schroder

My grandmother, Anne O’Donnell, was just sort of overseer at the Empire Hotel in my time I suppose. I can remember her having a whole lot of fowls following her everywhere, and from what I can remember they didn’t have a great deal of work – the daughters took over the parts that she had done. I had an aunty that did the cooking, and another aunty who was barmaid, and my sister, when she left school, was a waitress. There was another cousin, Jean Cameron. My uncle, Paddy O’Donnell was the big chief. My grandmother was always happy to see anyone coming and going. Anyone that played up, she would get the walking stick to chase them. I wouldn’t remember what hours they kept, really. I know there was a policeman there, Mr Neary, but I think he was pretty easy on them. My grandmother would see to it if they hadn’t been home for their meals. She’d say “Go home and yous can come back after tea if yous want to”.

A short story by Bert Bannan

I left school when I was 14 years of age in 1924 and worked for my uncle Tom as a butcher for five years, going up to Waiuta three days a week. After that I drove a tractor on the trolley line to bring the logs in from the bush for the Blackwater mines sawmill for 10 years. Many a rough ride I had too, with the stones that the school children placed along the line.