A time to celebrate

Our first May meeting was a celebration of the long years of service to the club from Joy Knox and Shirley Jackson. Joy was President of our club for seven years, won the Deserving Philatelist Award, and exhibited Antarctic material. Shirley was our tea person for twenty years (a fine record that our present tea boy, Kris Hamilton, aims to beat!). Bruce Chadderton paid tribute to the fine efforts of both Joy and Shirley.

Bruce then went on to give a talk and display relating to his maternal grandfather. Richard (Mick) Thornbury was born in 1910 to a farming couple near Winton in Southland. Mick left school at the age of 13, and developed as a fine rugby player. He made the Southland rugby team, and in 1938 was captain of the team, at a time when Southland held the Ranfurly Shield. (Southland won the shield in 1937, and lost it in its first defence, to Otago. Southland won the shield back from Otago in 1938, and succefully defended it 11 times, until losing it, again to Otago, in 1947).

In June 1940 he was enrolled for military service, and did PT training at Burnham Military Camp. Not surprisingly, he played rugby for the Army. Bruce displayed a pair of cinderellas issued to raise funds for the army territorials at that time. In July 1943 Mick was off to Egypt, leaving behind a pregnant wife. Christmas cards and censored mail from the Middle East formed part of Bruce's display. This included an airgraph. Because of the quantity of mail being sen home by overseas troops, a system was devised whereby letters could be filomed, sent home, and printed out, cutting down on the bulk of material to be posted. Bruce also had on display various army documents - service book, pay books, etc., that had belonged to his grandfather.

Mick caught typhoid and became very ill. He ended up as a driver for the Army, and drove the Army rugby team around the Middle East. In 1946 he returned to New Zealand.

This was an interesting little talk, showing how just a little philatelic material, along with other documents and photographs, can be turned into a really interesting display. The meeting concluded with drinks and nibbles.