Tamatea Te Waati ... stories about your grandfather.
At the recent reunion(2002) at Turangi we were asked to compose a verse for a song about our grandfather, Te Waati, but we knew nothing about him. We don't want that to happen for Grandad Tom's grandchildren so I am starting this off and hope that the rest of you will add to it.
Gordon remembers that Dad often went to work when he wasn't meant to: he was visiting him at the Marchwiel house one time on a Sunday evening; Dad had been having a rest and got up and was putting his overalls on and on his way to the car until Gordon reminded him that it was still Sunday ... another time he turned up at the wharf on his holiday; his workmates let him work on until morning tea when they reminded him that he needn't be there and that he wasn't being paid for working!
I remember visiting him at work at the Woollen Mills where he was proudly operating the "carding machine" ... it was noisy, dirty and smelly but he seemed pretty happy that it was operating without a hitch.
He was always working in the garden ... his own, and also the land in our neighbours(Robinsons and the ....) at one time he borrowed Armitt's horse to plant the potatoes at Robinson's ... by the sound of all the cursing I don't think it was all that successful. He was probably the first of the Timaru gardeners to grow vegetables in the front garden ... he always said that "You can't eat bloody flowers!"
In the washouse a copper tub was heated up weekly to do the wash but it also doubled as the brewing tub for Dad's homebrewing; exploding bottles were not unusual especially when he was experimenting with beetroot wine.
He became famous for his homebrew and got so much help with drinking it that eventually he had to develop a brew ... a "honey mead" ... that only he could drink.
Gordon remembers drinking some of the home brew with his mates and then filling up the partly drunk bottles with water ... Dad thought it was Mum who had destroyed his brew because he was drinking too much ...Gordon never admitted it to Dad or Mum!
I used to hide some of his bottles in the wood shed and re-produce them at a later date in the belief that the older they were the better they would taste ...I guess that was not always the case!
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