Robertshawe, Nancy Grace

Production date
13 Nov 1992
Oral history. The life of Nancy Robertshawe. Born Nancy Grace Wilson in New Plymouth, she describes her childhood, her early memories of St Marys Church, the shopkeepers frequented by the family, schooling at West End School and at New Plymouth Girls High School.
Gained a University Scholarship and attended Auckland University College. Married Noel Robertshawe, Vicar of Thames. Had six children. Spent 21 years at St Marks Parish, Wellington. Died aged 94 years in 1997.
Interviewer: Pamela Hart.
Date: 13 November 1992.

Object detail

Production date
13 Nov 1992
Subject person
Item list

  Part 1

Research tapes

Tape 1 (033): Talks of childhood. Earliest memory Granny King, mother of Truby and Newton. Describes small things of everyday life such a father bring home sweets for them and gas mantles in the dining and drawing room.

034:Talks of the neighbours Cat and Mrs Brokenshire and the Gilbert family. Mentions George Bertand - at that time a teacher. Describes life as a child - spending pocket money, deliveries of groceries and meat, going to school at 6 years old, scarlet fever, describes school - (West End). Went to NP Girls High School.

Tape 2 (035):Talks of attending NPGH - uniforms, biking to school, teachers, subjects. There for two years. Father appointed magistrate in Auckland and so moved north and continued schooling at Auckland Girls Grammar. Describes teachers, subjects etc.

036:Continues talking about Auck Girls Grammar. Speaks of visiting Grandparents at Makuri. Describes farm. Went to Auckland University - describes building etc.

Tape 3 (037):Life at Auckland University continued. Involved in the Student Christian Movement. Describes conferences. Developed important friendships during this time. Talks of the types of clothes worn. Chinese immigrants. Evening dances, Literary Society.

038: In her third year of University, Father died - talks of change in financial position. Took up teaching. Talks of Great Grandfather Hirst and Anglican Church of NZ. Coaching Latin while studying for MA. Took up teaching position at Thames High School. Describes school and community involvement. Describes Thames - a gold mining town.

Tape 4 (039): Visits and holidays at Titirangi. Talks of friends including Lucy Smith nee Cranwell who gave a property in Anawata to the Auckland University Field Club - also author of book Botany of Auckland. Talks of tramps and excursions with old university friends. Spent two years in Thames before taking a position at Takapuna High School. Describes call from Noel Robertshawe, vicar of Thames - invitation to dinner and his proposal of marriage. Preparations for the wedding.

040: Describes wedding preparations. Married at St Mary's, Parnell by Bishop Averill. Describes visiting relatives during honeymoon. Describes life as the Vicars wife (Thames). Six months later Nancy and Noel set off for England. Talks of voyage and arrival at Plymouth England. Talks of various places in UK and describes Rosemond's birth in London.

Tape 5 (065): A continuation of earlier recordings. Moved back to New Plymouth Jan 1958. Bought Victoria Road. Talks of her children and what they were doing at the time. Talks of golfing, the Festival of the Pines, locally produced plays. Comments of Evensong and St Mary's, of the Mothers Union and a prayer circle. She mentions various cousins still living in the area - the Hirst Clan. Talks about the Victoria Road House.

066:Husband died 1970. Joined the NP Girls High School Old Girls, and various other organisations including choirs. Talks of relatives. Taught Bible Class at St Mary's for about 12 years. Involved in Mother's Union, Guild Fairs. Great friendships in the archdeaconry - parish dances etc. Talks of sons - Ralph and John getting married.

Tape 6 (067): Husband's illness and subsequent death. A time of adjustment - talks of the loneliness. Took up croquet and joined the West End Croquet Club. Talks of grandchildren and great grandchildren - of her 80th birthday party and plans for her 90th. Talks of her daughter Ros and her education career - principal of Diocesan School Hamilton and later of St Mary's Stratford.

068: Talks of just having celebrated her 90th birthday

Tape 7 (069):Talks of the history of the church - Rev Bolland; the building of St Mary's and its extensions. Describes how her family is represented in the church through gifts and memorials.

Date: 13 November 1992

Interviewer: Pamela Hart

Abstraction: Mary Donald

  Part 2

Master tapes

  Part 3


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Public comments

Nancy Robertshawe was born Nancy Grace Wilson, and was the daughter of John Edward Wilson (1873 - 1923) and Emily Martha Bracken Hamerton.

- Jo Clegg posted 5 years ago.

There is a glaring error in the above account. Nancy Robertshawe’s father was NOT Frank Edwin Wilson, Mayor of New Plymouth between 1929 and 1927. She is a distant relative, I think. The surviving daughter of F. E Wilson was Rosemary Nancy Fendall nee Wilson, my mother. There was another daughter, Lois, but definitely Nancy Robertshawe was not a daughter. If you want any further confirmation please contact Alaric Wilson, a surviving son of F.E.Wilson. He lives in Frank Wilson Terrace.

- Felicity Baillie (nee Fendall) posted 5 years ago.

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