memories  1960’s . . . . .  page  3

On the morning of June 29, my brother and I were quickly getting ready for 7-am Mass - as it was the feast of St Peter & Paul. Dad was on his way to work and as he opened the kitchen door to leave he let out a moan. We went to see what it was - and saw it snowing. Snow was just covering the grass. All day it snowed and it was very cold. We did the usual exciting thing at school - snowball fights and making snowmen. By the end of the day the snow was about four inches thick, and it was still snowing.

I remember at bed-time, I could hear dripping noises and water running along the spouting and guttering and I imagined that that would be the end of the snow.

Quite early next morning I woke to an uncanny silence. I flipped up the blind to see snow up to the level of the verandah. The road was covered and to me this was fantastic. It was snowing heavily. I went out to the lawn and measured 14 inches with my ruler.

We walked to school almost up to our knees in snow. Snow fell all day with short breaks. Fog would gather on the hills and then it would snow again. It was a Friday and after giving a puppet presentation for some marooned nuns from Westport, we were allowed home. The remainder of the day was spent by me walking in the snow all around town.

The snow stayed for weeks as it got foggy and frosty for a while afterwards.


 As a gesture of interdenominalisation or more plainly a gesture of goodwill between the churches in Reefton it was decided to place a large cross on Holmes Hill for all Reefton to see. Rev. Bruce Spence played a large part in this plan. The deer recovery helicopter flown by Phil Melzer put the cross in place, and eventually power was used to illuminate it at Easter and Christmas. At the time of writing in 2006 the cross still stands.

Early in 1967, the first appearance of a t.v set made its way into W.P Schroeder’s shop on Broadway. Reception was poor but that did not stop small crowds of people gathering to look at the programme at night in the shop window.
A T.V society was formed with a signal transmitter being placed at the Reefton look-out.
Reefton’s social habits changed abruptly with the arrival of television. Children’s work began to suffer at school. Audiences at the pictures reduced dramatically. Evening church services became restless events especially if ‘Dr Findlay’s Case-book’ was due to begin and the service was taking a little longer than usual. At least with there being only one channel to watch, everyone was able to discuss programmes easily. Families ate at the table less often and so on. Watching Bill Toft and Paul Savage reading the news, and “Town and Around”, were highlights.

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BY tony fortune

Rhonda Kearns at 22 Mace Streeet

Peter Jan & his sister Eva