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Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 54, September 2010

Lawrence Charles Gleadow: 1935-2008

Leila Roberta Alley: 1914-2008

(A tribute by her daughter Pauline Bax)

Mother was born at Thames on December 9, 1914, and named Leila Roberta Gubb, the second of four daughters to her parents Allen and Elizabeth Jane Gubb, who farmed at Robinson Road, Hikutaia.

She attended the Hikutaia primary school and later travelled by train to the Thames High School. She delighted in the story of them upon hearing the train coming from Paeroa, running along the line over the rail bridge over Hikutaia Stream to reach the Hikutaia station before the train. They embarked on the train and it took them to the Thames station and then they ran to school, not always on time.

After leaving school she worked with her father on the farm, milking cows and general farm work.

In 1941 she married Victor Alley and for the first few years of married life lived with her mother-in-law on the Alley farm. She had three children, myself, Bill and Allen, who as the years went by increased by their marriage to Ralph, Jean and Christine. There are eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren, nine boys one girl. She thought she was going have a rugby team.

Always interested in sport she played tennis at the Hikutaia Tennis Club, hockey for Hikutaia, Hauraki and Auckland. She had wonderful memories of her hockey trip to Invercargill with the Auckland team and the many friendships she made and kept from this trip to the New Zealand provincial championships.

Later she took up golf, being a straight down the middle player, and croquet where she played against many of the top New Zealand players.

She did not praise herself much but delighted in fact that she and I played doubles together against Ralph and his partner from Morrinsville in the Thames Valley tournament at Paeroa, Mother's ball was pegged out and I had a few hoops to make which I duly did with her expert help and we won the game.

In later years she enjoyed watching all sport on the television and even horse racing.

She did excellent handwork, embroidery, tatting, sewing clothes for herself and family and any fruit was not left to rot, it had to be bottled, and even this year this was so.

Mum and Dad found Whangamata in the early 1950s and, after January holidays in rented cottage, they purchased a section and built a house where mother enjoyed many holidays. She certainly made us walk from one end of the beach to the other when we were young, probably to make us so tired we would sleep well.

In 1979 my parents retired from the farm and moved to Paeroa, and had many happy years there, helped by the fact that the neighbours were wonderful. Mother was always an early riser and had to collect the New Zealand Herald newspaper as soon as it arrived.

Mother maintained the house and the gardens herself and the broom came out very quickly if there any leaves on the concrete around the front door. After Dad died she took over the vege garden and was delighted with the large potatoes she grew.

She enjoyed a few trips abroad, to Australia's east coast, a cruise around the Pacific in 1972, croquet supporters tour to England in support of the New Zealand team contesting the McRoberston Shield (which is played between New Zealand, Australia and England) and also to Tasmania, Victoria, and South Australia and around New Zealand.

After she joined the Hauraki Friendship Force there were trips and overseas visitors to stay, resulting in many friendships and letters to and fro. Her last trip was in 2004 with Ralph and me to Surfers Paradise and to relatives in the South Island, where no sooner had she deposited her suitcase she was out to see what needed doing the garden.

She was a member or helper for many clubs and groups, but in most she was involved in she was to be found behind the scenes doing the work, either outside gardening or in the kitchen, or sweeping the floors.

She did not gossip or say anything detrimental of anyone. There was always baking in the tins, and her trifle and fruit salad was always made for special occasions, asked for or not. Guess that's off the menu now.

God bless you mother.


Lawrence Charles Gleadow: 1935-2008

(by Bernice Gleadow)

Lawrence Charles Gleadow has born on July 18, 1935, in Paeroa, the youngest child of Charles and Mollie Gleadow and brother of Colleen, Pam and Bettie-Anne.

Lawrence's father had come to Paeroa in the 1920s. He established a building business and built the family home at 6 Andrews Street, a joinery factory behind it and later a sawmill in Taylor's Avenue, where Bunnings' business is now located.

Between 1940 and 1953 Lawrence attended the Paeroa Primary School and Paeroa District High School, gaining his University Entrance examination and playing for the school's first eleven cricket team.

Lawrence left school to work and train in his father's business shortly before his father died in 1954. In 1955, Lawrence completed his compulsory military training as an Royal New Zealand Air Force pilot at Taeri airport, Dunedin, returning to Paeroa to work in the family business. While in Dunedin he met his wife Bernice Currie, who was studying there. Lawrence and Bernice were married at the Khandallah Presbyterian Church on August 31,1957.

During the early years of his marriage, Lawrence spent much of his spare time and weekends building the first Paeroa Scout Hall. Over the years he also built a series of homes for his family in Paeroa: 19 Hill Street, 3 Miller Avenue and 28 Miller Avenue. Between 1960 and 1964 Lawrence and Bernice's three children, John, Peter and Susan were born at the Paeroa Maternity Hospital.

From 1957 to 1965 Lawrence worked with Ron Furze and in partnership with Frank Kinred making joinery and building houses. The old joinery factory behind 2 Andrew Street and accessible from 3 Miller Avenue was the headquarters at this time. The old family home in Andrew Street was converted into flats, with more flats added on later. This provided Lawrence's mother, Mollie, with an income.

At this time in his life Lawrence was an enthusiastic Jaycee, working on weekend projects and being recognised as a Jaycee Senator (Life Membership of Jaycee International). In 1965 he decided to establish Gleadow Timber and Joinery in Taylor's Avenue, on the old sawmill site. He bought the low-lying land from his older sisters, who had inherited it.

Lawrence continued to take an active interest in the Scouting Movement, and both of his sons were involved in it. About 1974 he took the role of Field Commissioner for Waikato and the Bay of Plenty area, and worked to establish the Waitawheta Education Camp, on the site of the Waitawheta School, which had closed. Gleadow Timber and Joinery was sold to New Zealand Forest Products, which opened a branch of the Taupo-Totara Timber Company.

In 1984 Lawrence moved to Wellington to become the National Events Co-ordinator for Scouting New Zealand. Later he took the responsibility for fund raising for scouting and established the Scout Youth Foundation.

Between 1990 and 2001, Lawrence's seven grand-children were born and Lawrence became a proud Poppa. He continued to be a very active man, working for the Scout Youth Foundation, Friendship Force, gaining a Paul Harris Fellow award from Rotary and serving on the Time Share Management Committee.

Lawrence and Bernice travelled extensively overseas, sometimes visiting their son Peter and his family in Vancouver and often staying at the homes of other members of the Friendship Force organisation around the globe.

Lawrence was an enthusiastic person and always optimistic. He enjoyed a lifelong interest in cars and liked to upgrade his vehicle regularly. He also retained his enthusiasm for aeroplanes and from his home in Wellington could tell you what sort of plane could be seen flying over and where it would be going.

Lawrence willingly helped others and learned new skills quickly. His grandchildren would say that "Poppa can do anything"—cooking, building tree huts, etc, computer work, gardening. He could never be described as a "retired builder" as he always had a building project on the go—alterations to his own houses, to his daughter's Susan's home in Paeroa or Peter's in Vancouver and working with a team of builders to construct a new home for son, John, in Wellington.

The final building project which he oversaw—the construction of a two-bedroom apartment downstairs for his home in Wellington—was completed in the year he died.

Lawrence and Bernice celebrated their Golden Wedding in Paeroa on August 31, 2007, they enjoyed a final overseas trip together, including a cruise around the Caribbean Islands.

Lawrence died on July 28, 2008, and his funeral was at the Khandallah Presbyterian Church on August 1, 2008.