Waller and Montgomery County Stories Generally
Media and Reference Materials
Contact: Nick Wallingford - email@example.com
The following two letters were provided by Joyce Montgomery, via Stephen Parker. The copies I have are photocopies, but are nearly clear enough to transcribe it all.
The first letter is from Grace MacKenzie (nee McIlvride), who had married Alexander McGregor Mackenzie and moved to India, to her sister Christina ('Tina') Prouse nee McIlvride. Tina was Grace's older sister, about 3 years older.
Names mentioned include Grace and Tina, Sandy (Grace's husband), one of their cousins Grant McIlvride (son of George and Janet McIlvride), Tina's daughter Grace and her daughter Christobel, and Tina's husband Richard Prouse. Tina's letter also refers to her mother Isabella as being at the centre of the family in-fighting.
Days Bay Wellington New Zealand 19-6-28 My dear Tina, I am on a 6 months' holiday to New Zealand and arrived home on the 22nd May (the anniversary of your wedding) and will not be leaving for India before the 1st week of November. No doubt you will wonder why I am addressing you after so many years silence but necessity has no law. Some few days before our dear Cousin Grantie died he asked Sandy & I to take care of a large photograph of your dear little Gracie and her child, which he intended sending to her from Inida but as he knew he could only live a few days more, would we promise to do the needful, and when we had the opportunity either send it to Gracie or take it to New Zealand and give it to her with his love. I have brought the photograph with me and write to ask of you will you kindly allow me to call on you and make the same over to little Chrystobel, seeing dear little Gracie has left us for ever, if it is not convenient for you to have me call on you will you very kindly permit Chrystobel to come to the Levin Railway Station and take delivery of the photograph as I intend visiting a friend in Wanganui whose brother was married from our house in Aywer two years ago - On learning from you I will arrange my plans accordingly & I do hope you will meet me half ways and thus enable me to carry out my promise to poor old Grantie. Hoping this finds you and yours doing well dear Tina - I remain Your affect. sister. Grace MacKenzie
Weraroa House June 23rd 1928 Copy of answer Dear Grace Evidently necessity knows no law or I would not be *writing to you* (struck out) answering your letter. It is a pity you should go to so much trouble over that picture and I don't see that any of your arrangements need be upset or interfered with on account of it. If you address it to me at Levin Railway Station and book it at Wellington Station it will come through alright - so you won't have any more trouble about that. If this does not meet with your approval I haven't any other suggestion. You mention my meeting you halfway. To me there isn't any halfway. When you were to leave NZ 40 years ago you certainly did not think me or mine were worth the trouble of seeing and bidding goodbye to. If my late husband and I had not gone to a good deal of inconvenience and trouble to come to Wainui you would have left without seeing any of us. Did you go halfway then? And I need scarcely remind you of the *reception* (underscore) we got on arriving there. Now the whole thing is in your own hands to do as you like about it. It does not make any difference to me what you do or what you think. It is many years since I troubled about you or what you did but this I do tell you I want no more your rows and troublemaking. I am a peaceloving woman myself and have always lived at peace with my own family and neighbours. But there are some people who never seem happy if they are not over the ears in rows. Mother was one of them and some of her family have kept it up pretty well. Now you know my mind about it - and you are free to please yourself. I remain Your Truly Christina Prouse.Copies of the original letters