Great Barrier Island History

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BUSH’S FAMILY (revised spelling after WW1)

Busch Family as told by Lorna B aged 90, a few weeks before she died. Not all details are clear, the main one being that Lorna may also have been known as Lillian. (This is because it took a number of years before I put many hurriedly scribbled notes into a longer, more readable format.

In the photo Sarah (Mrs Busch) is sixth from left (excluding the baby).

The family was a large one by today’s standards. The eldest was Minnie.  Next was Harry who died at Gallipoli. Charlotte (Lottie married Finn) Anne, Stanley, Lillian, Lorna? Roland, Bob, Doris and Marge who was the youngest.

Minnie helped Sarah in her confinement with Lorna. It was a quick birth after which Sarah asked for a little drop of brandy. Matilda was the midwife for all the other children.

Sarah was a townie who didn’t like boats but would put her fears aside in order to make infrequent visits to town. When she went to the PO for her pension she always sat in the stern of the boat. She never swam. She was married at sixteen.

In the photo, Anne and Doris are standing third and fourth from the right. Robert Hector was a great help in running the boarding house; he died after an appendix operation. At the time he was engaged to a boarder named Agnes.

Lillian (22) was persuaded to marry Ivan Murray (18) who worked in logging. Their marriage ended in divorce, which was not surprising as Lillian was in love with a man in Auckland. The marriage took place in the lounge of the main house. Lillian was married again to Alf Lewis.

Lorna left for Auckland and her sister Minnie’s house when she was twelve years old.  She returned only to help with the boarders during the holiday season. Charlotte stayed on the island. She had twins with the surviving boy named Peter

Pero was the name of the dog. There was a boat called “Merlieu” used to take the boarders fishing. It was bought by Doug Meyer.

The children rowed to Le Roy’s where they walked up the hill to school. They attended every other day as Mr Hunter went to Whangaparapara to hold classes there on alternate days. Some of the children spent an extra year in standard four to keep the school open. Miss Johnson was the Headmistress.

There were four buildings. The woolshed had beds, while another had four bedrooms. When the numbers of holiday boarders swelled to forty, tents were erected to take the overflow. There was a tennis court above the creek. Marge didn’t play; perhaps this was because she didn’t have good health.

When Anne and Stan left and Sarah along with her husband died there was no one to look after the boarding house and it was sold to the Foresty Department.

LIFE AT BUSH'S BEACH Memories by Acushla Adams