Life History Interview
Ray Gethen was born in 1924, in Denton, Gravesend, Kent, England. He recalls growing up in a slum for the first 7 years of his life, living in poverty. Ray left school when he was 12 yrs old to go and work in a butcher's shop. He remembers hunting for rabbits in the countryside known for its marshes, made famous in Dicken's "Great Expectations". He swam in the Thames river and explored the ruins of the 19th Century Rhosherville Gardens. He went on to do an engineering apprenticeship before joining the Merchant Navy in 1945. Ray has travelled the world. In 1953 he came to NZ as a 'Ten Pound Pom', he settled in Devonport where he worked at the Naval Base as a ship's engineer. He's had an extensive career with more travel, and at the age of 70, he was asked to come and work for the Auckland City Council which he did until his retirement at the age of 91yrs! I had the pleasure of interviewing Ray in June 2023.
In 2022 Tapestries was contracted by the Whakatane District Council to undertake a situational review of the status of available housing in the District and the extent of homelessness. The Council sponsored this project in partnership with community service providers and key stakeholders, including Iwi and hapu.
A copy of this report can be downloaded hereMedia coverage here
From 2021-22 Tapestries worked with Foster Construction Group Ltd, based in Hamilton / Kirikiriroa. This company story began in 1946. 'This history illustrates key moments in the shaping of the company which parallel the shaping of Hamilton city.'
As the Waikato Business Review observed in 1995 – ‘Foster Construction had its beginnings in Morrinsville in the 1950s, moved to Hamilton in the 1960s, and has been writing its signature on Hamilton and parts of the Waikato ever since.’ To be published in 2023