Community history collected in book
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.