Visiting New Zealand On arrival in New Zealand with my wife and seven year old son, as migrants from England on the night of the 12th of April 1973, travelling Via Tel Aviv, Beirut, Bombay, Hong Kong, Manila, Sydney, Auckland, and finally Wellington, we were very tired.



The Whitsunday Islands This year Carol and I are celebrating our Golden Wedding. A special year for us both. We decided to start off our years celebration with a holiday on Hamilton Island, this is one of 74 tropical islands in the Whitsunday island group, midway between the tropical coast of Queensland and the Great Australian Barrier Reef.



Land of Contrasts - Australia is a continent with an incredible varity of flora and  fauna. From the oceans to the mountains one can witness sights and sounds,which cannot be observed anywhere else on Earth. Saying that, nature's many creatures some of which display incredible beauty, to survive have adopted defence systems, which are fatal to humans. Observe, but do not touch !  

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Arthur with computer


Carol in Kitchen



Noosa and Beyond - Please click on the title to read article.



A Week in the Life - Please click on the title to read article.



Boom Netting - Please click on the title to read article.



New Year Down Under - Please click on the title to read article.



Thelmaīs 80th Birthday

Thelma's birthday party

Thellies Birthday Party

Recent photo of Carol and myself, taken on 18th December 2001 at Thellies 80th birthday party!

Thellie is the lovely little Aussie lady giving me a kiss !

There were 35 guests at the party .

This was the first party to start us off for Christmas !

Happy Birthday Thelma from everyone over here, god bless.




A Trip to Cairns

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Life Over Seventy

Ephram Bridge .Paradise Point 20-07-01
The latest taken only yesterday at Paradise Point (Ephram Bridge & Sovereign Island .)

The ones taken at the Masked Ball where I took first prize , for Best Dressed Male .
1st Prize . 08-07-2001
This was about 3 weeks ago .

My other mask which I produced later in the evening

Arthur's other mask !  01-07-2001

This had three of the old ladies running off to the loo.

Where they locked themselves in and stayed there from Monday till Saturday !

Cos nobody knew they were there !


What do you think of our lemons ?

Winter Lemons 21-07-01

We have over 100 in our garden and my three neighbours can have the rest !

We have made lots of Marmalade & Lemon Curd .


Although you sent the pictures for Gillian and myself, its nice to see you enjoying life down under, keep it up old mate from all ďup aboveĒ.

Do you remember the Lemon Curd we used to eat on our bread in the fifties, great stuff, went down well with the dripping.




Kinka Beach - Coral Sea

Coconuts Kinka Beach Sunlovers lodgeHere's some photo's for you from Emu Park & The Singing Shipour trip up North . Kinka Beach is where we stayed.

800 klms from the Gold Coast ( Note the sign for the falling coconuts )

The Singing Ship is on a bluff overlooking the Coral Sea .& the Gt. Keppel islands .

 When the wind blows it acts like the strings of a harp .We could here it clearly from where I was taking this photo of Carol under the coconut palm .

 No. 3 is to make you feel better The Box jelly fish is the deadliest in the world .
Box Jellies !
At best it will scar you for life . At worst you will die before the ambulance gets to you ! But ! One must take the good with the bad !



Standing on the Rock of the Bay

The geological rock strata in Wellington New Zealand are somewhat different to what we were used to in Norfolk, England. None of your blue glacial clays. However there is a common rock which has a certain degree of instability especially when wet. This was described to me, as rotten rock .It is in many cases very easy to remove with a digger, but some of it is fairly hard and can be quite large in size. At approximately 1 a.m. in the morning in the middle of June 1981,which is mid winter in New Zealand, after three days and nights of incessant wind and rain from a Southeasterly direction, which was driving into the rock face which towered 100 feet above our home in the bay. We retired to bed without giving it much thought. After all, the house had stood there since 1891. Ninety years without incident. At around 1 a.m. I was awoken by a tremendous crash. My wife Carol, a heavy sleeper, slowly awoke and was transfixed by the sight of her dear husband, naked and appearing to be suspended 3 feet in the air, before hitting the deck and disappearing into the hall! You guessed it, a large rock weighing around 3 hundred cwt. Had dislodged from the rock face 50 ft.above the house  and had crashed through the back wall, taking the brand new toilet cistern, pan, hand basin, plus the window frame and the toilet door straight out into our newly decorated hall!  My major concern was our young son Paul. His bedroom was immediately across the hall from the toilet. Paul was handicapped and confined to a wheelchair, so you can understand my concern. With Carol helping Paul. I quickly dressed and dashed outside to the (Toby) or stopcock, to turn off the water which was pouring out of the broken pipes and flooding the hall. I then dialed the emergency services and asked for the fire brigade. I quickly explained our plight i.e. I had no idea if in fact there were other large boulders in the rock face, which could possibly follow the first one and cause even more damage, plus the fact that we had our young son stricken with cancer. Could they possibly help us? I was dumbfounded when I was told . It does not come under our jurisdiction, and I would have to contact the police. I then phoned the police control in central Wellington. Only to be told it was not their problem either! As you can well imagine, by this time I was to say the least, getting a little hot under the collar. What the hell am I supposed to do I said, climb up the cliff face with a hand torch? (I had a vision of emergency service officers with a powerful spotlight checking the cliff face to reassure us, or at least give us advice, after all this sort of thing doesnít happen every day.) Look, said the police control sergeant, leave it to me. I will get someone to have a look at it.

At 3.15 a.m. we heard a vehicle pull up outside. It turned out to be a council truck. The driver dressed in heavy weatherproof gear produced a powerful hand torch. He stated he was the night emergency man. After directing the beam up the rock face, he leaned against our outside porch, rolled a cigarette, lit it, and looked at me. Well I said expectantly, what do you think? Itís a bit of a mess he said.  I know that said I, but what can you do to help us? 

I havenít a clue he said. I was asked to have a look, and I have done just that, I guess you will have to wait until daybreak. With that he climbed in his truck and drove off into the driving rain. We spent the rest of that night in the front lounge overlooking the harbour. In the morning I contacted a mate of mine, a private builder. Plus the insurance assessor. Between us we split the rock and removed it from inside the hallway. The assessor told me it was an act of god and therefore the company would not pay  .So we had to except that, but I had to admit that I was a bit puzzled that if this were so, what had we done to displease him so? The outcome was that three weeks later we received a fairly hefty bill from the Wellington city council, for services rendered .I immediately phone the police control centre. Look I said I asked for your help and I thank you for that. But Iím telling you now, I will not pay this bill, and if they proceed any further I shall immediately contact the news media. Forget all about it Mr. Bensley. We will take care of it. So I did, and heard no more about it. We lost Paul on 16th May 1982. and After a two year period of adjustment, sold our lovely home with its million dollar view. and Its forís and againstís and moved to the South island to make a new start.

(A footnote to this story. I am sure that if this happened today things would have been much different, with an immediate response from the emergency services.)

Arthur. E. Bensley


Moari Fish Hook

Pauls Moari Fish Hook . 27-02-2001This is a press picture of Paul taken 28th.October1976 with the Moari Fish Hook.

This was the week we moved into our home in the bay with high hopes for the future. Paul had ventured under the house with his dad and found this fish hook amongst the original Marram grass when the house was built in 1891 there was a Moari settlement here in Karaka bay long before the Europeans arrived. After taking the hook to the Dominion Museum in Wellington, it was identified as a pre European fishhook made from a carved outer covering of native wood inlaid with Pau Shell (Known as Abalone in the U.S.A.) The barbed hook was made from human bone. and the whole thing bound with locally grown flax.

Used by the local Moari as a lure towed behind their canoes to catch Kawhai, or Australian salmon as it is known in O.Z.
Carols Catch in Tasman Bay N.Z -2
Press photo attached of my wife Carol hauling in Kawhai on Tasman Bay Nelson, South Island New Zealand 1994.

After we lost Paul we presented the hook to the Dominion museum on Paulís behalf for his school friends and the public to view on permanent loan, for as long as it was on display.



Report from paper

Storm - 2001 -2Squall Causes blackout

A SEVERE electrical storm blacked out large areas of the Gold Coast last night.The lightning also triggered hundreds of alarms, causing chaos for police and securitv services.

An Energex spokesman said the storm, which struck the Coast about 9pm, blacked out large areas from Labrador to Broadbeach.

At Eagleby. police said, a house lost its roof.

In northern NSW, a severe storm uprooted trees and powerlines and tore roofs from homes.

The town of Casino was hardest hit, with major power blackouts and hospitals and nursing homes evacuated.Lightning and hail caused extensive damage and winds of up to l5Okmh were recorded along the coast.Residents were told they could be two (lays without power.

The State Emergency Service said six people were injured when the storm hit the Woody Head Caravan Park at iluka, near Gralton.

Casino resident Donna Pilling  said  two storms met over the small town and undownpour of rain, hail and sheet lightning.

She said 44-gallon drums were blown around the streets, and windows throughout the area were smashed by huge lumps of ice.

"Ambulance,  SES and firemen were every-where. This is the worst storm I've seen in 12 years," she said.

"We were given a storm warning but we weren't expecting anything like this."

Players and officials rushed from the field and spectators ducked for cover 19 minutes into last night's women's soccer international at Carrara  when  lightning struck near the stadium.

 I thought it was all sun and beach Arthur - Ron



Karaka Bay.  Wellington

427 Karaka Bay  -2This was the first home we purchased in New Zealand.  As you can see by the photo, the house was very close to the water. A wonderful position with a million dollar view. Like all properties it had a few problems, which one only finds out after one has moved in. Some of these are very funny, whilst others are definitely not .We carried out the usual searches before purchasing, but of course these did not show us, that in fact the home was built on an earthquake fault line! After consulting an old book from the library. I discovered that in 1851, an earthquake had lifted the whole of the coastline in Karaka Bay eight Feet! I often thought, that if we had another severe earthquake and this area subsided to its original position before 1851, we might finish up with our feet in the Bay! In fact as an exercise, I have stood on our sun deck and with a fishing rod, cast my line over the rocks into Wellington harbour. The house was built in 1891. The oldest home in the Bay. and because of this, it had the best position! It was in a hell of a state, and my wife Carol and I worked nine years, weekends and nights after work, to get it as we wanted it. After we had been in the house for a few nights, we awoke in the early hours to the sound of something moving about in the hall. Grabbing a torch and wearing nothing but a pair of gumboots, I peered down the hall, which was 38 feet in length, to see a Possum just going into our Lounge! He leapt up the wall and disappeared through a hole into the roof! Then through another hole into an overhanging Karaka tree!     I told you the house was in a hell of a state! But thatís not all .A few nights later we were again disturbed from our slumber by the most unholy screaming, not unlike the sound of a new born baby. Only this time it was coming from under the floor! To cut a long story short it turned out to be a pair of Penguins who had decided to make their home here, long before we moved in! The outcome was that I had to climb under the foundations with a torch and a broom after removing the skirting and floorboards in our kitchen, where My son Paul and Carol my wife, were waiting with a sack, to pop them into when I gave them a gentle nudge with the broom! After this we drove them about two miles away into the next bay, gave them a lecture never to return, and released them. (You guessed it.) They were back the next night! These were the Little Blue Penguins and they mate for life. It took us about six months to get them to leave. Taking them in a sack to different bays and pleading with them to find another home. At last I hit upon an idea which I thought would work. When next they popped up through the floor, instead of putting them in the sack, we gave them the freedom of our home, to explore at their will. Carol and Paul sat on the floor in the lounge, Whilst I sat on the floor in the hall. They waddled about from room to room first peering around the door with just their heads sticking out! Then Pete the male Penguin hopped up onto my lap, had a peck at my shirt buttons, then made himself comfortable and settled down! For the last time I placed Mr. and Mrs. P. in the sack, drove them around to the next bay, said goodbye, and they never came back.                                                     

If you find this of interest Ron. I will continue the saga at a later date.

Enjoyed it Arthur, waiting for the next part.



Mata & Carol Making Lei's Raratonga 1978 12 -11-2000A photo taken of Carol on Raratonga Helping Mata whom we were staying with . Here you can see Carol and Mata making Lei's for decoration on All Souls day . Note Carols Lei or florel garland head dress , the flowers are again Frangipani . The dogs name was Pilot , and Paul loved to cross the road to the Reef with Pilot ,as this dog was very skilled at digging up Ghost crabs in the pure white coral sand .


Arthur Paul & Carol  Raratonga . All Souls Day 1978  11-11-2000 I have attached a photo of the three of us taken when Paul was recovering from his first of several operations for cancer. This was taken on all Souls day, 1st November 1978. We were on Raratonga. A south Sea island in the Cook Group in the South Pacific. Paul at this time had lost the power of balance hence the reason we are holding him. The interesting thing is, once a year, on All Souls Day, the Islanders deck the local cemetery with floral garlands of Frangipani as seen in the Photo. Then after dark, they place candles on the graves of departed love ones and then proceed to have a feast, with a place and food laid out for the departed.  In this way they feel that they are all together at least once every year.

I think you will agree Ron, that the cemetery in this photo is a far cry from the somewhat dismal affair we are used to in Europe . One other thing we noticed at that time, was that in many cases the family graves were in their front gardens. One other point of interest was that the church was built from the Coral from the reef, surrounding the island.


We all have both good and bad times in this life.

Many years ago I had cause to spend some weeks in the company of a very kind and considerate man. His name was Leonard Broadway, he was at that time, the managing director of (Castrol Gt. Britain). I have never forgotten something which a close friend of his, Lord Beaverbrooke told him which he always kept in mind, during times of trouble.

Always face the sun, and let the shadows fall behind you

Carol and I have had some hard times Ron. But have had to conquer them and remembering these few lines has always been a great help.


Having lost our youngest girl, Bethany, we feel your pain, we always take her a present for her birthday on the 6th November to her resting place in Stokesby. We took her a colourful windmill this year from our holiday in Germany. Chris our youngest boy has the same birthday so this must not be a solemn occasion. Ours is not the only pain as a part of the Gorleston crematorium portrays, its near my mothers grave. You left a few years ago Arthur, its not as cold as it used to be, unfortunatly grief is the same whatever the country or language.

I am not afraid to say I did shed a few tears reading about Paul, loosing youngsters is always sad, but we knew them and loved them, although for a short time, they were ours.

Ron & Gillian



G"day Ron

Thought I would send you a few photo's taken over the years in N.Z. just to give you some idea how our lives have changed over the years since 1973. 


Paul & Carol on our Balcony in Karaka Bay 16-10-2000Paul, Carol & Jinks

Carol and our son Paul with our first cat Mr Jinks on the balcony the day we moved in . Wellington harbour in background .

427 Karaka Bay  -2Harbour

The harbour is over three miles wide at this point .Thats me rowing out into the middle to tie up to the bouy you can see to the left of me half way across for a spot of fishing

Paul & Carol on our Balcony in Karaka Bay 16-10-2000 Arthur & Paul Fishing

The next one was taken just after Xmas whilst on a camping holiday on Cape Runaway on the North Island Arthur & son Paul, he was seven at the time.

Boy did we catch some great fish up there !

I was working in the building industry at this time and when I asked how much time we would get off for Xmas. The boss said.How much time would you like?

So I took six weeks !

When I went back to work ,there were still a few who had not yet returned !

Things have changed since then Ron !



In the Spring of 1994 ,two of our best mates, Alan & Linda Archer who live in Otaki on the North island of New Zealand Flew over( The Ditch .) Or The Cook Strait, which separates the North & South Islands to spend a little R. & R.with us. During this period we decided to spend a day on Rabbit Island. This is a large sand build up, at the mouth of the Waimea river, 15 minutes drive from our home in Nelson, with a good surf fishing beach and it can take a good three hours to walk right around the island.

Arthur & Alan on & the Ray 0n Rabbit Island 1994  18-10-2000It was low tide when we reached the most remote part of the island and in one of the large tidal pools trapped by the receding ebb, we spotted this large fish shown in this photo. After pulling it from the water I used a Priest (in this case a Coca Cola bottle to club the fish, ( Note . A Priest is a term used by competion anglers to club their catch & usually is a length of wood with a weighted end thereby killing the fish without loss of blood, as every ounce counts in a competition).

As it was such a remote spot and as we did not have a knife, I decided to use the broken neck of the bottle to cut off the wings of this large Ray. With the first cut I felt a nasty jolt in my arm. I thought at first it was a nerve, which as we all know, can happen at times. On the second attempt I was knocked on my back ! I then realised that what we had caught was an Electric Ray ! I have been informed that the Electric Ray can give out up to 240 volts of electricity !

The outcome was we regretfully had to leave our catch to the seagulls and it was Pizza instead of Fish & chips for tea that night !

I remember reading an article many years ago about the Electric Rays in the lagoons up towards Darwin where horse's at that time, had been known to die after having accidentally stepped on an Electric Ray in a shallow lagoon receiving a large enough jolt of electricity to knock the horse unconscious thereby causing the horse to drown in the shallow water .


Thanks for the advice about horses, if I see a dead drowned horse I'll be sure to look out for a Electric Ray.

Picture the scene in the late 1800's.

A horse drops dead in Gorleston High Street in a puddle, and every one out with their spades and someone shouts:

"Keep looking, its got to be about here somewhere, Bloody Electric Ray"


Headline in the Paper

"Pearl Insurance is not Insuring Horses Anymore all because of Electric Rays."


ďA Tip for Campers

A good source of electricity, no generator when you go camping just find an Electric Ray and look for its label, it must be 240v. Warning to Americans, please find one rated at 110v.Ē

But I'll take your advice and stay away from them.

I have put this on the pages as well, as a warning to others.




Barra  in the Sounds 1992 2Just an afterthought have a look at me in early 1995 fishing in my boat in the Marlborough Sounds , on the South Island of N.Z. Note the bearded wonder & his Barracuda , these are a bloody nuisance ,as when you hook a decent fish ,you have to get it up quickly or they chop it in halves



Australian Citizenship Ceremony2I have attached a shot of Carol & I at our naturalisation ceremony with Gary Baildon the mayor of the Gold Coast, who carried out the ceremony. It was good fun ! First the Banana Blenders, a large group of male singers, who sang Waltzing Matilda, among other Aussie songs. Then the ceremony followed by a snack of Aussie meat pies, Anzac biscuits, and the traditional Cakes known as Lamingtons, they are a small sponge square, chocolate coloured and covered in coconut. We also had the traditional Aussie Vegemite Sandwiches and a nice cup of tea. Finally we each received a native shrub in a pot , we had a choice ,so choose Lilly Pillys ,these are now in our garden .



We are dead opposite to you in the U.K. 22nd. June being our shortest day. So this is our mid Winter. Yesterday it was clear skies, sunshine and 22degs. Celsius. So we picked up my cousin Philip Burgess & his wife Muriel (Philips father Wilfred was the landlord of The Bellevue Tavern on the quay) and we drove over the border into New South Wales. Spent some time watching the Surf boarders from Point Danger Lighthouse. These guys are some of the best in the world. Mark Occhilupo the world champ, who is competing at Jeffreys Bay South Africa at this moment, is a Gold Coaster. After this we drove down to the Tweed River, sat and ate fish & chips on the river bank, tried a spot of fishing, caught 3 large swimmer crabs, one black Bream & an Angel fish ! A great way to spend a winters day ! Today we played Bowls. Tomorrow they forcast 23 degs. so we'll head out again ! If you are interested I would be happy to post you some info on this coastal strip .



We left the U.k. in April 1973 , living & working in Wellington New Zealand until we retired in 1984. We them moved to Nelson on the South Island, bought & sold a few houses and spent our lives out fishing in our boat, Swimming & tramping in the Bush and the mountains of The Abel Tasman National Park.

Although I was only 55 & Carol only 53 ,We saw no reason to continue working , as we had lost our son Paul & so decided we would spend the rest of our lives enjoying ourselves, as he would have wished us to. After 11 years in Nelson, we began to notice the cold winters. The snow capped mountains were beautiful to gaze at, but this meant we had to spend a lot of time in the forest with a chain saw cutting logs each year ! and so we rented our home for six months & headed for Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast of Queensland ! This made up our minds, so we sold up our home in Nelson & moved to The Gold Coast in June 1995. We rented a very nice modern apartment for six months near the water in Runaway Bay, & after this we purchased a Villa here in ( Emerald Gardens .) This is an over Fifties Resort & we love it here . Two years ago Philip Burgess & his wife Muriel came over for six weeks, they enjoyed it so much they went back to Gorleston, sold up and are living here in a luxury apartment in Runaway Cove ! just 5 mins. drive from us ! As for the climate, this East coast of OZ is subtropical, this means plenty of locally grown Pineapples, Bananas, PawPaws, mango's etc. We have 70 klms . of coastline with an average of 287 days of sunshine each year. Average summer Temp. 19 to 29 Degs.Celsius . Average winter temps. 19 to 21 Degs .Celsius . So we are a bit spoilt for choice. We are now in the middle of our winter and today they forecast 22 Degs. So.. here we stay !



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