Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 31, September 1987

By L. Deverell

When the ghastly five years World War I came to an end, a terrible influenza epidemic raged in many lands. It was known as the Spanish flu and thousands died.

Great good fortune came my way, as I was invited to holiday on a very attractive seaside farm some ten miles south of Waihi on the highway to Tauranga. In the early pioneering days of the Katikati settlement, this property was occupied by General J.F. Stoddard 1878 and because of the conspicuous twin-coned hills close by, the farm was called 'Pyramid Farm'. My introduction, at the height of Summer, made the enchanting homestead and rambling layout of the cowshed and undulating fields an everyday delight.

The Rolfe family with two well-grown boys and two girls, provided the labour to hand milk 18 cows. The well built cow shed was completely covered in and during the wet, cold weather, the herd could be dry and warm which proved most satisfying as I witnessed over a period of three months.

There was very little motor traffic on this highway then - hack and horse-drawn vehicles were most popular. With four working team horses, one trap pony and three hacks, quite a few acres were earmarked for their upkeep. When rounding up the cows, the tinkle-tinkle of the cow bell which some cows had, was most attractive in the high titree covered tracks near the steep bushland.

The boys were keen shooters with a shot-gun and a pea rifle; the country abounded with quail and pheasant which, with fish caught handy, made a variety at mealtimes. With home-made butter and excellent home-made bread, it was all greatly appreciated.

Ample wood lay everywhere and it was a constant duty to keep a good supply handy to the kitchen.

Radio and Television were not invented and would have been quite unnecessary to our happy, busy routine. We had a variety of games and always very interesting books to enjoy in the peace and quiet of evening.

In conclusion, I recall the peaches, figs, plums and the mulberries which, when ripe, were delicious.