HOME ON THE HILL
I WAS quite taken aback to first read your comments on Mangatangi and Monument Road and then Murray Reid’s article (Is this the prettiest road, June/the history mystery, July 2015).
As a young lad in the early 1950s, my parents sharemilked on a farm in front of ‘Porcupine Hill’ as we knew it (pictured below). I was about six years old, one of six kids, and the next one to me was a brother two years older.
Monument Road was just metal in those days. A Baths Transport truck came through every morning to collect the cream cans from all the farms.
In the school holidays my brother and I roamed all over Porcupine Hill chasing wild goats. We eventually caught one and brought it home, only to be told by our father to take it back and release it.
In those days the hill was entirely covered in bush and we spent all our holidays exploring it. The only instructions our parents gave us were “be home for tea”.
We explored all the caves and discovered maori pits and many historical areas of the hill.
So much for being mollycoddled and OSH safety rules. As I remember, it was a fantastic way to grow up and develop enough nous to become a responsible adult.
I am in my mid-60s now and look back on those years as a very integral part of my growth. I am very thankful for the experiences as I am sure they enriched both my brother’s and my own life.
We left the district when I was about eight years old but the fond memories will stay with me forever.