Saturday 24 September 2005

When you mentioned Glenfalloch it triggered memories of the old Savoy Restaurant. It was run by a chap called Barling and his son, Phillip. Barling also owned Glenfalloch and when he died he left it (from memory) to the Dunedin City Council. The first manager the DCC installed as a chap called Kevin Mills who died at a very young age. As for the Savoy Restaurant, it was certainly very popular in the days of gracious living. A piano was played continuously as background music and there was often a violinist as well. Morning and afternoon teas were the feature. These were accompanied by a tiered stand of freshly baked scones, creamed cakes and sandwiches. If you were really brave, you asked a uniformed waitress for another pot of hot water. Happy times.
Moray Place, opposite the Savoy, also has a lot of happy memories. At one side of the Masonic Hall were R.B. Denniston Engineering Supplies and on the other was K. Alexander’s clothing factory. As for Dennistons, they hired John Sieman when he came to live in Dunedin from the U.S.A. His family, wife Maria (nee Hannah), and their two children, Jim and Rosemary. John proved to be a fantastic salesman.
Moira’s father, John Deegan, was foreman at Blue Mountain Sawmill in Tapanui and used to tell us how much they looked forward to a visit from him. John had been a brave soldier in the U.S. Marine Corp. He saw a lot of active fighting throughout the war.

Kareem Alexander, a brother of Nustas Howley, owned the clothing factory in which Julie Joseph and my sister Terese worked and he was a hard task master. Ofcourse, this was at a time when new Zealand had a clothing industry. When the factory folded a chap by the name of Brian Murray turned it into a venue for weddings. That also folded when Brian drank more than the wedding guests. Then Joe and Gordon Lahood and Tom Williams refurbished it as the Manhattan Cabaret. It was a great idea and deserved a better fate. The Cedar Club held a housie evening there every week for many years.
So, you see, Richard, every street in Dunedin has a story to tell.

The U.S. Marine Corp. that was stationed in N.Z. held a reunion in Wellington many years later and afterwards they toured the country with their wives. One American couple stayed at Wains Hotel. I told them my cousin, Maria Hannah was living here with her husband, an exmarine, and wanted to meet them. The gathering subsequently took place in my home in Melville St. What a great evening it was and how I wish I could be there now! The marine had been a policeman in Chicago. His precinct was next to a Catholic Seminary and if he caught any of the future Catholic priests speeding out of the gate, he would put the siren full blast and pull them over. Instead of a ticket he made them say a decade of the Rosary. He made us laugh so much. They were a lovely couple.

They told us about when they came down to Dunedin by train (those were the days when we had a bloody train) and thought it had caught fire as there was a mass evacuation of passengers and so they followed until they landed squashed up against a counter from which tea sold in cups they could cause hernias.

What a great evening we spent together all those years ago. We remember the sunshine and often forget the rain. Just as well.
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