William's history is complicated. I don't know anything of his early life but he eventually married Emma in Rochdale and they had three sons (one of whom died in infancy). Out of somewhere they made a crucial decision when my grandfather was very young (8 or 9) to move to New Zealand from Rochdale in the early 1900s. Basically -the farthest point away from Rochdale. The other end of the earth. Not like moving to Scunthorpe or something.
|WNP, GNP, Christina, WNP, Deedoo, DMP, Ross |
on the steps of Reimers Ave house.
My memories of my great grandfather are exclusively of him in his house in Reimers Ave, Mt Eden, Auckland until his death in the mid 1960s when I was 9 and Ross was 7. I don't have any memories of him coming to our house in Royal Oak or of his meeting us anywhere. The photographs of him holding me as a baby confirm that the minimal contact was always at his house.
It was a house he shared with his son Harry (my grandad) and his daughter-in-law, Christina. I'm not sure why he allowed them to move in with him. Whatever the reason he had us as frequent visitors. Every Saturday morning, mum and dad would load us into the family sedan and we would drive the short distance from Korma Ave to Mt Eden. That's every Saturday morning until...well... just every Saturday morning. When my grandmother died we still visited the house until my grandad moved to the Masonic village. Then we visited him there until his death.
|From second from left: GNP, Harry, WNP. Photo taken |
around July 26, 1949 (dad's 21st birthday party).
|WNP, Grandma and Harry (Deedoo)|
During none of these times did we encounter William that I can recall. He had a room at the front of the house (remember it was his house) and he must have stayed in there, or else he was out but he was pretty old by this time so I doubt that - did he even have a car? Not sure, but we didn't come across him at all and we never went into his room. Never ever. Not once.
Ross will have far more vivid memories but to me he was always a shadowy figure, just on the edge of my childhood consciousness. I certainly knew he was there but we kept out of his way (or he lept out of ours, not sure which).
Our dad we called 'dad', our grandfather we called 'Deedoo' (I can't remember why but it suited him exactly), but our great grandfather had no pet name. We obviously didn't call him William or great grandfather; so we didn't call him anything! As I say he was a shadowy presence.
So I didn't ever get close to forming a relationship with him. Looking at other photos of him it is obvious that he did get out - bowls for instance and he was by all accounts a pretty social guy (you can tell that from his photos on this post) and my dad (and mum) got on well with him so it's all a bit strange really.
So a guy I never really knew. But...I feel a real bond to him. We share the same initials, we look similar (strong Purdy genes and that old Apples thing again) and we share overlapping history.
Love and peace - WNP