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Keen to reconnect . . .


In 1969 when I was seven years old and living in Scotland, a New Zealand radio station arranged for a satellite call between my mother and her sisters — Rosemary Thodey in Gisborne and Gillian Inglis in Auckland.

After this phone call (the time lag was enormous) it was arranged for us to fly to New Zealand in 1970. It was a humungous undertaking — Scotland-New York-LA-Honolulu-Nandi-Auckland (not as easy as today). We stayed in Auckland with Gillian and then drove to Gisborne via Taupo and Rotorua.

I remember many little things about Gisborne. We stayed at Rosemary’s and John Thodey’s farm in Patutahi. I remember breaking walnuts with my cousin Tanya Thodey on the deck of the farmhouse. I went horse riding with a Miss Lysander who trained horses. There was a smorgasbord restaurant in Gisborne next to a river (I think) where we ate at least twice.

In the 1980s Rosemary brought Tanya to the UK and travelled around visiting relatives. That was the last time I saw her.

When Rosemary died in 2017 I managed to speak briefly with Tanya on a mobile phone but the number no longer exists.

I am trying to track down my cousin Tanya now. I would love to bring my own daughter to Gisborne when we are able, to let her see what made such an impression on me all those years ago. There are also several other cousins in Scotland who would love to see Tanya.

I would be most appreciative of any help in making contact.

Mark Dixon, Ayr, South West Scotland