Only transport was a horse-drawn gig

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LOOKING BACK

Each month The Ensign talks to older residents about memorable moments they’ve experienced. This month Jenny Dillner speaks to Resthaven Village resident Eleanor Logan (98).

Pram-pushing, feeding medicines; being part of the whole process was such a pleasure.–Eleanor Logan Born in the family home in Tuturau while her father was getting the cows in, Eleanor Logan (nee Galt) said her father popped in to see if mother was all right, only to find a baby girl on the bed.

“In those days there were no phones, no cars, and for the first few years the only transport was a horse-drawn gig, and a motorbike with a side-chair for transport.”

This was 1921, and it was not until 1925 that their home had its first telephone installed.

Altogether, the Galts had five children.

All were born in the family home except for the last one, Mrs Logan said.

Mrs Logan, who went to Tuturau School from the age of 5 until she was 14, said she thoroughly enjoyed her education.

In 2016 Tuturau School celebrated its 145-year jubilee.

“I remember starting school and being in the same class in 1926 with Ron Dickie, then we were both at the jubilee in 2016.

“That was a special memory, as he passed away recently.”

In those days you could leave school at 14 and with the Great Depression, Mrs Logan left school in 1935 to help on the family farm.

“I stayed working on the farm right through the war until I was 28 years old.

“My love of the land and all it produced .. I still had the desire to do something else.”

Having dreamed of being a nurse all her life – even while milking the cows – Mrs Logan headed to Dunedin to train as a Karitane nurse.

The practical skills learnt on the farm were invaluable during her years working as a Karitane nurse, she said..

Mrs Logan, looking back on her life as a mother-care nurse, she had a variety of cases.

In those days a Karitane nurse was bonded to a family and she would live with them anywhere from two weeks to two years.

“We had one day off a week from 10am to 10pm that night, so that we would be home in time for the night feeds.

“Pram-pushing, feeding medicines; being part of the whole process was such a pleasure,” she said.

In 1955, together with a friend, Mrs Logan sailed to Great Britain on the Southern Cross to embrace an overseas experience.

She said because she was trained in New Zealand under the Dr Frederic Truby King’s Society for the Promotion of the Health of Women and Children (commonly known as the Plunket Society), she was welcomed with open arms when working in the United Kingdom.

“Truby King’s work is what I wanted to do.

“What he started here, he was a legend in his teachings,” Mrs Logan said.

Mrs Logan did return home briefly after three years for her sister’s wedding, only to return for another four.

“The second time I was in England I worked for two years in a private home, then changed tack to work at Harrods in their linen hall for another two years.

“Sitting in church, just before a hymn was announced I had the feeling I needed to go home.”

Arriving back in New Zealand in 1963 at the age of 42, Mrs Logan helped her mother nurse her sick father, then went on to work in the Reserves Depot, gardening.

Love blossomed after meeting Tom Logan at a ball in the Otama Hall when Mrs Logan was 46.

After meeting in July, they married the following January and had 18 years together before Tom died.

“We were in Scotland researching the Logan family, when Tom was diagnosed with leukaemia.”

“He never returned home.”

“I was so fortunate to have met and married Tom and have those special years together.”

Truby King’s legacy, widespread in New Zealand, Australia and Britain, was the doctrine of feeding by the clock.

When he died in 1938 he became the country’s first private citizen to be honoured by a state funeral.