Posts by Dinah Dunavan

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    I know it is horribly pedantic thing to point out, but... the Hannah Playhouse was called that from when it was built. From memory it replaced Downstage Theatre, but names being what they are everyone kept calling it Downstage, or was it the company that was called Downstage?
    I was taking drama classes at the time and went along to the opening of the Hannah Playhouse in 197? My favourite memory is being baaa'd at by Lloyd Scott as a sheep in Candide. The stage and audience were mingled so it was a very personal baaa.

    Dunedin • Since Jun 2008 • 172 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Oh, God,

    I know that NZ is not a secular country - like the USA where church and state are definitely seperate, oh yes siree! - but I would have liked to believe that our state schools were. Ha!

    My sister discovered that her children's had RE at their primary school when her daughter came home expressing distress about going to hell, or something like that. So my sister asked that her children be excused from RE.

    The school at that time 'closed' for an hour in the school day and the teachers used RE as an excuse for a break. The students not attending RE were made to sit outside the secretary's office - as if they had been naughty. So my sister would show up at the school and take her children into the playground to play.

    After a while the number of children being excused from RE and playing with my sister and her children increased to a bit more than the school was happy about. So the school board told my sister that she could go to the school and supervise her own children but it was not legal for her to supervise other children as she wasn't a registered teacher. The irony that it was ok for a non-registered RE teacher to 'supervise' the children, or ok for the school secretary to 'supervise' but not ok for a university lecturer and parent, was completely lost on the school.

    It is a very sad indictment on the Ministry of Education that 7 or 8 years later it appears that little has changed.

    When I was training to be a teacher our trainer said that we would each take a turn to start the day's lessons with a karakia. Some of us objected to this, on the basis that bringing any form of prayer into a NZ school setting was not appropriate, also that enforcing a prayer on a tertiary class was a bit paternalistic. We were told that we were culturally insensitive. We did finally compromise on having a choice of prayer, karakia, or little homily to start each day.

    Dunedin • Since Jun 2008 • 172 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: Who was George Hildebrand…, in reply to David Hood,

    Hi David. I had some correspondence over 10 years ago with the Methodist archivist in Christchurch. Sadly they didn’t turn up any new information. But a search of baptisms sounds like a worthwhile, albeit lengthy, endeavour. I’ll suggest it to a cousin with more time to spend poring over dusty ledgers.

    Dunedin • Since Jun 2008 • 172 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: Who was George Hildebrand…,

    If only someone would discover my great grandmother's papers while renovating their Christchurch house and blog about it.

    Great gran was an unofficial adoption, probably in Dunedin, sometime about 1883. I have found some evidence that her adoptive parents had a bit more money than you'd expect a labourer to have at that time (a fancy cart) so I've often wondered if they were paid to take the child.

    Great gran, in her memoirs, said that all the family papers went missing when her husband sold all their possessions while she was visiting her parents. He did send her 50 pounds so that she could follow him to Australia! I suspect she disappeared the papers so that no one would ever find out about her birth, clearly she was illegitimate. But if she was telling the truth, someone bought a sideboard full of my family papers!

    My research leads me to suspect that the Methodist church her parents belonged to, in South Dunedin, arranged the adoption. Churches were arranging private adoptions until quite recently (ie. 1950s at least).

    Dunedin • Since Jun 2008 • 172 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Sponsored post: Speed and Safety,

    I can't speak for Germany or the UK, but in the USA higher speed limits are generally only found on highways, with several lanes and divided. Around rural areas the speed limit, in my experience, is 35, 50, or 55 miles per hour. State Highway 1 in the lower South Island where I do most of my driving is narrower and twistier than most country roads I have driven in the States. A 55 miles per hour road in Washington State feels a lot safer to drive (and walk or ride a bike) than our 100km hour 'highway'.

    Dunedin • Since Jun 2008 • 172 posts Report Reply

  • Feed: My Life in Curry,

    Dunedin once had the most marvellous vegetarian curry place, Anandas. The curries were all made with fresh ingredients and changed depending to what was seasonal. We ate there or took out at least once a week. We were most disappointed when it closed down. A year or two later I met the former owner who recommended Kohinoor curries. At that time our local supermarket stocked them, 3 for $10, but sadly they are now only to be found at the Indian grocery. Not as good as Anandas but better than most. 5 minutes heating and yum, we do miss naan though, the frozen ones are never any good.

    We get the odd goat off our property and I have decided that a Jamaican ginger curry is the best for goat. And I still won't bother with any goat other than nannies, or suckling billy kids. We were told that in some cultures it is macho to eat stinky old billy, but some men will do anything to seem macho.

    Dunedin • Since Jun 2008 • 172 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: Getting There is Half the Fun, in reply to David Haywood,

    It seems like a dream now, but last year when we landed at LAX the immigration man actually joked with us.

    Dunedin • Since Jun 2008 • 172 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Gathered Together,


    Dunedin • Since Jun 2008 • 172 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: The Up-Front Guides: The…,

    Some time in the past, over 20 years ago, I was at a family dinner with a (now former) MP. He talked about supporting choice in abortion law. At the time the new law was being debated he had been warned that his electorate would not support his pro-choice vote. That the (silent) moral majority would be so angry at his stance that he would lose his seat, or his majority would be drastically reduced. The reality was that his majority increased quite substantially at the next election.

    So what does this tell me? That the silent moralist are not in the majority, and/or that election night gains have little to do with how an MP votes on one or more issues.

    It is just weasely for an MP to refuse to state what they believe in.

    Dunedin • Since Jun 2008 • 172 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: When there were…,

    I went in 1980, or was it early 1981. Between 4th and 5th form years. Dad wanted to see a jazz musician, or was it a band?

    We arrived late so camped amongst the cars, which would have been a relief to my parents. Ensuring their innocent children avoided the late night partying and drugs, I guess.

    I have almost no memory of it. Except buying the coolest singlet (I think it had a rainbow on it), sunbathing topless (next to our tent) and missing out on seeing any penises (my younger sister was more observant ) until I sat up from the topless sunbathing at the same moment a totally naked man walk out of the river in front of me! I think I lay back down and pretended I hadn't seen anything, what a drip I was. My friend Sarah was there, but I never found her, she was busy being baptised, which was never my thing.

    Dunedin • Since Jun 2008 • 172 posts Report Reply

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