Family ties drew Roma Wynyard to Australia and the ex-Blenheim mum is happily settled in her adopted country eight years on. Roma’s eldest daughter Ang and partner Lee migrated from Blenheim to Perth in 2005 with their then two children, having their third child five months later. Roma and her two younger daughters Carley and Rhea followed in 2006.
Setting up home in Quinn’s Rocks then Merriwa, 36 kilometres north of Perth, Roma had a short break from work but within a month had a job telemarketing.
After a short stint there she secured a medical receptionist position and did that for three and a half years.A crucial difference she noticed living in Perth was being so anonymous, having come from a small town where she was well known. ‘‘I did miss having people to say hi to, wave to.’’
Romance has changed her life further and now Sydney is her home where she lives with partner Nunzio Randazzo, Sydney-born from Italian parents.
The couple met via the internet and are currently renovating their Sydney home together. Nunzio works in sales, while Roma works as a housekeeper/nanny for a family she loves.
‘‘I love Aussie, particularly Perth and Sydney. The summers in Perth are fantastic, as long as you have air conditioning and live close to the beach.
‘‘Sydney, there is so much to see and do. It’s an exciting place and it will be our home for a long time.’’
Born in the Bay of Islands, Roma moved with her family to Marlborough aged 2. Her late father Alex Wynyard was sole teacher at Manaroa School in Pelorus Sound.
In 1970 the Wynyard’s moved to Howick Rd, Alex starting a teaching job at Whitney St School where he stayed for more than 20 years, while Helen taught at Redwoodtown Kindergarten, having started that job while living at Kaituna.
Whilst at Howick Rd Alex and Helen had two more children, Waina and Marama, whom both reside in Sydney also.
Helen went on to make a major contribution in the Marlborough community, particularly in Maori education.
She taught kapahaka at St Pat’s Hall and various schools during the 1970s in a voluntary role with Lou Stafford, and was heavily involved in various community organisations.
She taught Maori at Marlborough boys’ and girls’ colleges and was instrumental in getting a new kohanga reo up and running in Taylor Pass Rd in 2000.
Helen and Alex were also heavily involved with the Wairau Pa Marae.
Both Alex and Helen made significant contributions to Marlborough Athletics, Helen serving in several official capacities and Alex helping out as a marshall. Helen passed away in 2004, Alex two years later.
Roma left school in 1982 and then the next year became a mother for the first time.
A few weeks later she was off to work, doing various jobs from customer service, child care and aged care.
She has very fond memories of growing up and living in Blenheim, where she enjoyed many adventures with family and friends based at their Howick Rd home.
‘‘Playing with the neighbourhood kids until dark and coming home for tea. Feeling safe playing with your friends and sport.
‘‘Played lots of sport and travelling with teams. Mum and dad driving our Ford Falcon behind the team bus.
‘‘Having aunties to stay with who weren’t blood relatives like Aunties Lou Stafford, Biddy MacDonald, Darkie Roberts, all deceased now. I felt like we were all one big family.’’
Moving to Perth and leaving the security of her home town with her children was a big punt for Roma in 2006, but it was a calculated move and as it turned out, a good one.
‘‘Life is good. I’m pretty happy.’’