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Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 35, September 1991

On 17 April 1991 Vic and Leila Alley celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary. They married at the Methodist Church, Paeroa on 17 April 1941.

Mr and Mrs Alley are former residents of Hikutaia, both having been born in that district. Leila (nee Gubb) is one of four daughters of a well known farming family and Victor Alley is a descendant of one of the district's most notable pioneering families. Both grew up and went to school in the district.

Recalling her school days, Leila said that at the time she did not think much of the red-headed boy, Vic Alley, who was a year or two ahead of her and thought he was "a bit of a nuisance". Like most of their classmates, Vic and Leila went on to Thames High School, travelling every day by train - the boys in one carriage, the girls in the other.

Mr Alley remembers what a busy train line it was when he was a boy. "There were three trains each way, every day. Those train journeys to school were great - we had a lot of fun - got up to the usual hijinks but often used the time to do our homework."

The Hikutaia district was noted for its sporting achievements and folk new to the district would be surprised to find it had three senior rugby teams. It also had a wrestling club, basketball, hockey and tennis teams, and Hikutaia was also a force to be reckoned with in any competition.

Alley Memorial Park, the site of many sporting venues, was bequeathed to Hikutaia by the Alley family and is a tribute to their generosity.

Once he left secondary school Vic went to work on his father's beef farm and for many years was Bill Alley's drover. Mr Alley senior eventually built a cowshed so then there were cows to milk.

In his youth Vic was a keen rugby player and progressed through the grades, mainly as fullback. Leila played hockey and she emerged as one of the district's great players, again as fullback, gaining representative honours on many occasions. Now days Vic enjoys a game of bowls and Leila is a dedicated croquet player.

Few young people had cars in the 1930's so their activities were confined to the community. The picture theatre and weekly dances at the local hall were regular musts. It was there that Victor Alley and Leila Gubb became more than mutually acquainted.

The outbreak of the Second World War affected the lives of many families in the district and curtailed much of the entertainment. Mr Alley received his call up notice to the Army and his reporting day was to have been 17 April 1941. This was the planned wedding day but permission was granted to delay his departure for three weeks.Mr Alley served in the Mounted Rifles.

The Alley family holdings, Main Road, Hikutaia, were eventually divided among its sons and the couple farmed on their own account until their retirement in 1979. They raised three children, Pauline, Bill (now deceased) and Allen and have eight grandchildren and one great grandson.