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Owen James Pope
Rosalie Marion Pope
Frank Walter Pope

Helen Pope
(nee Ferguson)
Frank Pope b 22/9/1881

Owen James Pope
Santa Claus
Rosalie Marian Pope

Alan Pope, Rosalie Pope
(Front) Frank Pope,
Owen Pope

Brothers Ian, Alan,
Owen (Front) & Frank

Walter James Lee

Early Years

I was born in 1946 a time when New Zealand was coming to terms with peace following World War Two and the dawning nuclear age.

When I reflect on the personal attributes of my family and those we grew up with I believe the physical environment of Southland combined a strong blend of characteristics to make the individual.

The conditions facing people, and what they had to do to first survive, then profit, were unique to a growing country.

The family home at Haldane See Map was far from luxurious but the pleasures of the Pope family outweighed creature comforts. Our strong link with the land and a oneness with it did two things. For some like myself it pushed us out in to the world to seek new adventures elsewhere. But for my parents, Margaret and Frank, Haldane was centre enough of the universe.

Growing in Haldane was an adventure. Life for my brothers Frank, Ian Alan, my sister Rosalie and myself revolved around the farm routine. Luxury was a roll of bacon in the larder and a Saturday movie at the Haldane Hall 800 metres down the road. I remember quite vividly now one of those great childhood insights during an interval when I was enjoying a raspberry drink and thinking what sort of farmer grew raspberries for living, a good one. At least I got that sorted out!

The farm was bought in 1944 from Bill Connor whose grandson Reg practices law in Nelson forty minutes drive from Anathoth where we farm now. Over the next five years Dad, with help from the family cleared the land using gelignite to sever the roots and horses to pull old stumps free. Once stumps had been gathered they would be burnt. Often we would put potatoes in the fires and eat them for lunch. While hard work, the process achieved its aim with the odd hiccup.

Hear Audio

While the variety of ringing tones for cellphones seems to be synonymous with life today, for my family it was a party line, number 8H which was 4 short rings for the Pope's. Radio was the electronic entertainment of the day with its serials like "Dad and Dave".

future beliefs anathoth family Introduction parents faith education career early years