Com­mu­nity his­tory col­lected in book

Waitaki Herald - - NEWS - By NI­COLA WOLFE

Abook de­tail­ing the lives of Kakanui res­i­dents is due to be re­leased next week. The 380-plus page book, Kakanui’s Peo­ple: 100 oral his­to­ries, fea­tures sto­ries of res­i­dents who at­tended Kakanui School prior to 1960.

The story of each con­trib­u­tor is de­tailed in its own chap­ter, care­fully recorded by lo­cal au­thor Mur­ray McDon­ald Turner and re­viewed by the con­trib­u­tor, over a two and a half year pe­riod.

The project be­gan fol­low­ing the pub­li­ca­tion of Turner’s first book, Kakanui Ru­ral Fire­bri­gade: a His­tory, when it was sug­gested he write a fol­low up book on the town’s peo­ple.

‘‘Ev­ery part of the doc­u­ment are the thoughts, ideas and ex­pres­sions of the con­trib­u­tor, fac­tual or not,’’ Turner said.

Writ­ing the book was a hobby, an ‘‘ ex­pen­sive labour of love with an ex­cit­ing out­come’’ and some­thing he is pas­sion­ate about.

‘‘It was a plea­sure. I love do­ing it, in­ter­view­ing the peo­ple,’’ he said.

Turner does not ex­pect a re­turn from the book and said that fact some­times made him ques­tion the project.

‘‘Any­one who takes on this type of project and ex­pects to make money is dreaming,’’ he said.

‘‘There were times I wanted to give up. Once you get started and start talk­ing to peo­ple, you be­come in­ter­ested in their lives . . . I couldn’t put it away.’’

Turner said one of the chal­lenges of the project was find­ing the list of names of ex-pupils of the school. He was able to find them through some Kakanui Pres­by­te­rian Church parish­ioners.

Both the com­mu­nity of Kakanui and sev­eral busi­nesses in Oa­maru who sup­ported the project were a ‘‘great as­sis­tance,’’ Turner said.

‘‘I’m ter­ri­bly re­lieved it’s come to the pub­li­ca­tion stage.’’

A launch for the book will be held at Kakanui School on Tues­day, Fe­bru­ary 10 be­tween 11am and 2pm.

The book will be avail­able for pur­chase through Kakanui School or di­rect from Turner.

Labour of love: Au­thor Mur­ray Turner has a pas­sion for peo­ple and his­tory, and ea­gerly awaits the re­lease of his new­est book Kakanui’s Peo­ple: 100 oral his­to­ries next week.

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