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Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 35, September 1991

By C M Harper

Mrs Nell Climie has recently had the pleasure of meeting up with an old friend now living in New Plymouth and with whom she was able to share "The Turner Family Saga" written by her in the early 1980's. With the acquaintance renewed, Mrs Climie is now corresponding with Lady Mary Matthews whose husband, Sir Russell Matthews, established the Pukeiti Rhododendron Park and was honoured by the Queen for this.

In one of the letters Lady Matthews was very impressed with the fact that Mrs Climie was able to put her recollections down so clearly at the (then) age of 80 years. Lady Matthews also told Mrs Climie that she had paid her the compliment of using her best writing paper which she only used for special people, such as Dame Whina Cooper, who she admires very much.

Lady Matthews had lived in Thames in her youth where her father was a bank manager. After she had visited Mrs Climie in Hetherington House, she recalled in one letter that there were Hetheringtons in Thames who were "very tall men". The Hetheringtons had a drapery shop there and she recalled that her father had once said, "Put your son into 'rags', that's where the money is!"

Mrs Climie shared her letter from Lady Matthews with a recent meeting of the Waihi Historical Society when Vice President, Mr Terry Dunkley, recalled that he had known Sir Russell Matthews in New Plymouth when Sir Russell was a Director of Ivon Watkins Ltd. in the late 1950's.