Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 35, September 1991

On 3 May 1991 Jim (James Leonard) and Eunice Brown, now residents at Ohinemuri House Paeroa, celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary.

Recently interviewed by the Society President, Mr Arthur Reid and Mrs Mina Jones, Mr Brown recalled some events of his early life. Mr Brown was born in Dunedin on 30 Sept 1897 and attended Albany school which at the time had a roll of 750 (50 to a class). He spoke of several school day incidents and remembered one teacher in particular, a Miss Given who taught him in Standard 2. She was a character loved by all her pupils although he recalls that she strapped the boys for spelling mistakes.

In 1911 Jim left school and started work. He was involved in a contract, ploughing with a team of 30 horses. These were sold in 1915 and he took up shearing before joining the Armed Forces in early 1918. Returning to New Zealand via England in Sept 1919 he went to Auckland and in 1920 joined the Police Force. At the time there was no formal training because of man power shortages and after being fitted out with a second hand coat and a helmet he found himself "on the beat".

Whilst in Auckland Jim met Eunice (Whiting). Eunice was born in Christchurch (14 August 1897) but in the 1920's her family was living in Gisborne. Following Jim's transfer to Gisborne they were married on 3 May 1922. In 1936 he was posted to Waipiro Bay. Eunice found this a lonely place so in 1940 Jim took the opportunity to transfer to Paeroa. He found the people of Paeroa to be friendly and co-operative and he spent the rest of his working days there, retiring in 1960.

Mr & Mrs Brown were formerly members of the Paeroa Caledonian Society and the local Horticultural Society. Eunice, a pianoforte teacher also became well known in musical circles. She often played at social gatherings and for many years was organist at St Andrew's Presbyterian Church. She was also a keen member of the Country Women's Institute.