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NZ Letters - Letter 1

Wakefield Gully Road,





Dear Mum & Dad, Margaret & Peter,

This is the second letter I have written to you, the first, I did not get around to posting it to you, as it was very hurried and a horrible scrall, besides I got yours this morning.

I arrived here safe and sound on Tuesday morning about 8 am after a very nice quite trip over. The ship rolled quite a bit and I am still a bit rocky myself, even today, if I turn my head fast.

The first day I slept nearly all day up on deck in the sun and went to the pictures at night, they started at 8.15pm and ended about 10 o’clock, they were held up on deck in the open I could see O.K. but couldn’t hear a darn thing. Saturday I slept most of the time when I wasn’t playing deck quoits or deck tennis went to bed early as there was nothing much on.

Sunday there was pictures on with a dance from 10 pm till 11 pm so I went to both. The ship was rolling a bit that night, it looked as though every body on the dance floor was drunk, the way they were getting around. Sunday was overcast with patches of sun now and again.

Monday was the same only they had a “Mad Hatters Ball” on at night time. I went to it but every thing closes down at 11.30 pm and you don’t get any late nights.

I Went and introduced myself to Mr. Hibbert on Saturday, he was a very nice chap, most obliging and wanted to know if there was anything he could do just let him know, but I didn’t need him. The two chaps in the other bunks were not to bad. One was about 28, a cane cutter from Queensland coming over here on a working holiday. The other was a Pommy he didn’t say half a doz. words the whole trip across. In general there were quite a lot of young people on board.

Oll and Marg (Mr. & Mrs. Olson) were at the ship to meet me when I got off. They are a lovely bright couple, bits of doers the both of them. I did not have any trouble getting through customs. He just asked me if I had any gifts or anything to declare—answered “No”, & walked out. He drove us out of the main town itself a bit. Oll went to work & Marg and I came home. In the afternoon we went for a drive all around Wellington & suburbs took two photos of the city itself. This is all so far. By G its ruggard country jut around the city the mountains rise straight out of the harbour. The shops and main stores are very dirty and untidy especially the butchers shop they a filthy. The shop assistants couldn’t care less whether they sold any thing to you or not.

I received a few Bon Voyage telegrams from different ones—Uncle Ken Aunty Nan & Jennifer—The Walker, Catherine & Marion. One from Eva the girl I took out from Mosman just before I came away & also one from Glenda Felton.

Last night we sat up and talked till 11.30 pm then went to bed. Marg had 9 blankets on my bed and a rug at the end of it if I should get cold during the night—just slept with a sheet all night did not wake up until 9.30 am as I was tired I felt lousy about getting up so late so I will set the alarm to-night.

I went for a bit of a walk to-day by myself over a mountain range to the main road & thumbed a ride into the city. Went to the Dept. of Labour & Indst. & found out about the fruit picking 5/4 per hour you get paid over time at over time rates they mainly supply – beds – hut – cooking utensils. Then went to the Lands & Survey and got some maps of both Islands, then went out to Lower Hutt about 6 m. out looking for a motor bike they wanted 35 for an old A.J.S. 500 cc single . I would have had to spend about 25 to get it in any reasonable condition so did not get it. Thumbed a ride back home then. It has been quite hot to-day about 85 I would say and not a breath of wind.

Well that is about all the new for the present we are just going to have tea now so will finish up, write again soon.

All my love John XXXX.

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