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Half a Sixpence

My Story


Pauline Davey

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Pioneers were not all at the turn of the 19th century. Pauline Davey grew up in Wellington as a Protestant in an all-girls Catholic boarding school. One of three children, in a broken marriage, childhood holidays were to be looked forward to and remembered with warmth and affection. Times at Grandmother’s home in Lower Hutt, at Aunt Cath’s small farm in North Auckland and Uncle Joe’s cottage at Mokopeka Station in Hawkes Bay were oases of normality for three kids from the city and provided an introduction to farm life which was to prove invaluable later. At a roller skating rink, in Wellington, Pauline met future husband Colin, although they did not hit it off a chance meeting a few years later kindled a romance. They moved to the Wairarapa where Colin worked as a shepherd on Wharekahau and Pirinoa stations where their children were born. Colin, an avid outdoorsman and hunter, supplied the Wellington restaurant trade with venison before it became commercial. A missed shot brought Mandy a Red deer fawn into Pauline’s life with  Pauline becoming mother to the weeks-old wildling. This began a remarkable relationship carried over six years and Pauline recalls this close bond between her and a wild Red deer based on love and respect. Colin took on new challenges at  Oparau and Moturoa Island in the Bay of Islands. Mandy moved with them and kept everyone, locals, visitors, tradesmen as well as Pauline and Colin on their toes. Pauline writes with candour and honesty about the ups and downs of her life, always with an eye for humour when the simplest situations take on marathon proportions with unexpected results and life and farming activities all have their challenges and funny side. Their move to Rotorua was a complete change. Working seven days a week in a superette saw them embarking on their first successful environmental battle followed by years of similarly satisfying conservation projects through work and retirement at Ruato Bay, Rotoiti.