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Memories of teenage years in the 1960s were revived at a recent reunion of Ōtaki friends.

Janice Roxborough (nee Jorey) organised the reunion of old teenage friends at the suggestion of John Harvey and Brian Roxborough.

The gathering began on October 13 at the home of Gerry and Jill Harvey in Manakau. There they enjoyed a meal, a drink or two and a reunion cake, but mostly the opportunity to talk again to friends who were so close, but now mostly separated by distance, both within New Zealand and overseas.

FRIENDS: Back, from left, Peter Hewer (Auckland), Barry Sutton (Te Horo), Stan Giddens (Taupō), Brian Roxborough (Rangiora), Brian Henderson (Levin), Gerry Harvey (Manakau), Jan Roxborough (nee Jorey, Rangiora). Front: Adele Croad (nee August, Waikanae), Vivienne Jones (nee Ekins, Masterton), Anne Sutton (nee McChesney, Gold Coast), Lorraine Giddens (nee Cooksley, Taupō), John Harvey (Ōtaki), Coral Fergusson (nee Morgan, Palmerston North) and  Cedric Hunt (Churton Park). Absent: Terry and Kathy Knowles (nee Arcus, Ōtaki), Bill Arcus (Australia).

Photo Ōtaki Today

“We had a great weekend together and we’re planning to do so again every three years – election weekend again,” Janice says. “It was great for us to be able to meet again, just like the gang of old.”

The group drove past the homes where they once lived, and visited the cemetery where some of their family members, friends, schoolmates and people they knew in the community lay. There were also visits to the museum, to cafés and other familiar haunts.

A Saturday lunch barbecue was organised at Ōtaki Beach, just as they did so many times in the days of old. However the weather intervened and they headed to John Harvey’s home – the “party house” in the 60s.

A meal and drinks followed on Saturday night at the all-too-familiar Railway Hotel, with Sunday morning at Ruth Pretty’s café in Te Horo, then farewells and a late get-together for those still in Ōtaki.

“There were lots of wonderful, happy memories and friendships rekindled – very precious, “ Janice says. “I miss Ōtaki more now that I have got older.”

The friends took time to remember those who had since died, including Roger Jones, Stewart August, Wayne and Judy Richards (nee Martin), and Errol Croad, bringing a tear to many who had such fond memories of growing up in Ōtaki more than 50 years ago.

Janice’s parents, Eddie and Dulcie Jorey, were well known in Ōtaki. Their applicance store, Ōtaki and West Coast Trading Company, was a landmark in Ōtaki’s Main Street for many years.

In the dunes at Ōtaki Beach on January 28, 1967, were, from left, Janice Jorey, Brian Roxborough, Kathy Arcus, Stewart August, Adele August, Bill Arcus and Roger Jones.

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Memories revived as teen friends reunite



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