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NZ Lifestyle Block - - Your Letters - Lau­rie Ea­gle, Waikato (abridged)

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.

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