Father: Mother: Born: 20 May 1876 Matakana, New Zealand Husb: Joe Torkington (1876-1936) Marr: December 1899 Leigh, Rodney, New Zealand Died: 24 Jul 1951 Buried Whangateau Cemetary, New Zealand.Was the daughter of the closest thing the locals had to gentry--Charles Septimus Clarke. Her marriage to the undesirable Torkingtons must have caused some family distress. His children were Alma Winifred Maud (``Alma'', 1900-1971), Agnes Mary (``Aunty'', 1903-1980), William Arthur (``Arthur'', 1905-1981), Frances Eileen (``Eileen'', 1908-1988), John Herbert (``Jack'', 1910-1944), Ernest Joseph (``Ernie'', 1912-1995), Charles Edward (``Ted'', 1917-). Died 15 years after her husband, some of which time she had her children (Ted and Ernie living with her.
Alvin is unsure how long went between Minnie's death and the sale of the house, Ernie might have been living there. Ernie and Pearl and Ted and Dorothy were both living there at the same time as Minnie. But in the end, Ted and Dorothy moved out in disgust. An impossible situation with kids and cats and chooks in a house built for three or four people. It may be that Ernie and Pearl stayed on for a month or two or twelve. [Ask Ted] Alvin's mother, Alma, selected the bach's site because of its view. This was while Minnie was still alive. The kids (Ted through Alma) were hassling Minnie for places to build houses on the farm of which there was roughly 100 acres left. There were numerous proposals, one of which was to divide the farm into seven. Then everyone started bickering about who had the best or worst seventh. Then, in desperation, the wit of man and women came up with a scheme of having a place where you could build a bach. They decided to do the road frontage from Ted's place down to the bottom well and divide it into sections for the family. Then someone said ``why divide it into seven? Why not divide it into 14 half-acre sections'' the unspoken plan being to dispose of the remaining seven half-acre sections. The reserve was compulsory.
Trudy: Did she enjoy it?
Ted: I think she really did enjoy gardening, and she was a good gardener. Her mother was a Clarke, and the Clarkes were pretty good gardeners.
Trudy: So then your father died, did you have to lose the farm?
Ted: Ernie and I ... the farm was in Mum's name, but we sort of kept on working there for a while. And then afterwards I went to Auckland, got a job in Auckland, and worked there for a while. Had different jobs, delivering coal, working in the firewood yard, and a few things like that. And afterwards I worked making coathangers, and did quite a bit of driving.
Ted: Well, ok.
Trudy: Who was living there? You, Grandma, Mum, ...
Ted: Pearl and Ernie. A whole house of kids. And Ernie had built an extra bit out there. They lived there, and had a room in the house as well.
Trudy: They had their kids and the start of their family too.
Trudy: He left it to the estate?
Ted: No, he didn't leave it to the estate, he left it to Grandma and to Uncle Harold individually. So I bought this bit up here off Grandma for 200 pounds, if I remember rightly. And we had been crayfishing for quite a while, and I suppose we worked fairly hard, and we were getting on top of things quite a bit.
(from Trudy Astwood's interview with Ted Torkington, 1998)