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IVAN BROWN's story

This account has been adapted from "Browns of Kyeburn Peninsula" by Wally Brown, his son - to whom many thanks



Ivan was brought up after the death of his mother by his uncle Bill and Aunt Jane Anderson in Patea, and left school at 12 in order to become an apprentice butcher with Ramsbottoms at 7s 6d (75cents) a week. Scouting was high on his list of priorities during his teens, and in 1941 with two other scouts he completed a bike trip to Auckland. They rode south to Wanganui, then headed up through the centre of the island, over the Paraparas, past Mount Ruapehu, Lake Taupo and on to Auckland, arriving two weeks later.

He joined the army as soon as he was old enough and went to Waiouru for his basic training then becoming a radio operator for the Navy, spending time on Stephens Island in the Marleborough Sound as a lookout before going overseas. He served on board HMS King George V as one of only four Kiwis all of whom were radar operators, and was amongst the first occupational forces to land in Tokyo when Japan surrendered in August 1945.

After the war he went hedgecutting with his brother Eric, and married Olive in 1948, continuing hedgecutting woth Norgates of Rahotu, to whom they sold their machinery. Eric and Ivan had an account with the Bank of New South Wales, and through them they were invited to Australia to design a hedge cutter. It was Ivan who went over and drew up plans for a machine to cut and mulch their hedges - still in use today.

In 1951 they moved to Patea and Ivan returned to the butchery trade with the Patea Works, and stayed with them until the works closed down in 1981. Olive enjoyed playing bowls, both indoor and outdoor, whilst Ivan loved the sea, surf swimming and skiing in his younger days. He was also a great fisherman, bringing home sackfuls of schnapper* one day and 60lb of whitebait the next.

They raised their family of four children at 7 Manchester Street, Patea

* Schnapper: A fish (Chrysophrys guttulatus) , having a large bony protuberance on the nape when fully grown and prized as a sport fish and food fish.

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