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RAYMOND FRANCIS BROWN's story

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



The sad death in 1931 of Ray's father when Ray was only a lad of 10 meant that he left school early, after standard six, in order to help his mother on the farm. During WW2 he served about two and a half years with the army and the same time with the air force, including thirteen months overseas as a wireless operator. To qualify for this he taught himself algebra and morse code - in order to pass the exam he had to achieve 80%, but did so successfully, and became a leading aircraftsman.

Ray and Beryl went share milking at Midhurst and Rahotu before leasing the Hall family farm at Oeo, South Taranaki in 1954. They could manage to live off milking the cows but Ray decided to fatten pigs as well which enabled them to buy the farm in 1964. Their success clearly continued, for in 1972 they bought the farm accross the road.

Ray built his own sheds and piggeries using prefabricated 2 inch thick reinforced walls which he made himself. He laid newspaper on the floor, boxed the wallsand poured the concrete on the newspaper. When the wall was cured he stood them up and locked them into position, using the same technique to build their house, still in use in 1991. He also built his own campervan, starting with a Dodge car chassis and a Bedford truck engine, repowering it a few years later with a Falcon car engine. He hand built the body and interior. Ray, as with so many of the Browns, was a keen fisherman, trout and surf, and enjoys jet boating, whilst Beryl is a keen bowler and enjoys making soft toys. They had no children themselves but adopted four.

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