More than a feather in her cap

That’s my Mum, Dawn Lloyd, about 1932 in Queenstown (it’s changed a bit there since). She loved animals – she preferred cats to dolls in her pram.

Also her family.

Brothers Dennis and Norman Lloyd with pups


My Mum with the cat


It was a family thing, probably common in those days
Looks like the Remarkables in the background

My Nana and a team of clydesdales

It wasn’t all idyllic – there were risks. Glenys remembers:

As far as I can remember mum was taking a cow to the cow bail to be milked, and the bull got jealous and ran at mum and tossed her like a leaf.

I was standing there just looking, I remember it vividly. She was laying there on the ground and her dress was blowing in the breeze, and the bull was ready to make another charge, when Rona grabbed the chain hanging from his nose, and ran round and round the sycamore tree until the bull was caught around the tree and couldn’t get away.

Ken came out with a 22 rifle and started shooting the bull, I don’t know how it had got away, he chased it down to the Shotover beach firing 25 shots of ammo into it before it died.

Dr Anderson had said afterwards, that if mum had been a slim woman, she would have died from her injuries.

I remember it like it was yesterday, I think the dress was blue!

Rona would have been no more than 10 years old then.

Dr Anderson wrote a very interesting book about medical care in the then remote interior of the South Island – Doctor in the Mountains. When the Lloyds left Arturs Poiunt for Monowai in 1940 he gave a speech at their farewell. There was a report of this in the Lake Wakatip Mail:

Dr Anderson referred to the heroic part of two of the Lloyd children in saving their mother  from the ferocious attack of a bull. Such act was deserving of a Royal Humane Society medal. Mr Lloyd too in his staunchness of heart risked his life a year or two ago in extricating the late Mr Wheeler from a tunnel at Arthurs Point. Coming from England this family was made of good stuff.


Dawn and Rona in Monowai (Fiordland) – the family did the milking for the village

That was quite a different era, not all that long ago.

When I was growing up thirty years later we had calves, milked a cow, always had cats, chooks, dogs and ponies. Like my mother’s family we roamed freely around the countryside. We were poor financially, but in some important ways led rich lives.