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Extent of Description:
Two single sheets of paper with half a sheet of writing, 29.5 x 1cm.
Attached are two newspaper clippings and magazine article.
Scope & Content:
[Letter, rectangular white paper with handwritten ink.]

[Letter reads]

30 Lemon St

Dear Mrs Wright
Enclosed is an old newspaper clipping that I have had since about 1969, & have recently unearthed, it is possible that you may already have a photo of this old Maori grave, I can't recall having ever seen it & am not sure just where it is located, but if it is near the Greenaway place I feel there could have been two burial places as the one I have in mind, which was near the Askew property, would have been located in the sandhills beyond where the old Askew homestead stoo, this is always where I imagined it to be, as I recall my Uncles Jonathan & William, relating having come across human bones. There was mention of a skull which I used to think rather gruesome, when they were cutting back gorse & lupin & repairing fences etc on the sandhills. Sorry I hadn't mentioned this before in my previous letters. I have just read an article in the Otaki Historial Journal No.10. which jogged my memory.
Also enclosed is a little about Mahara House that I thought you might find interesting. I've been trying to remember something about Mrs Ina Allen, she used to often feature on Radio about the same time as Aunt Daisy & searching through some old magazines have come up with the enclosed item. Sorry it's not all there I've probably cut out a knitting pattern or some such.
As a point of interest, I wrote to cousin Milly (Bray) Dick at the same time as I wrote to you, but so far, no reply, some thing may come yet, if not I'm sorry, maybe she doesn't feel up to answering.
The enclosed clipping of Mahara house is from an article that Kapiti Library had in The Observer, which you probably already have too. I sent them the little re Mahara House too. I wasn't able to identify the people in the photo unfortunately.
Bye for now
Yours Sincerely
Gwen M Fletcher

[Second page by ]

Mahara House Waikanae

Mahara House, Waikanae, was a lovely place with a beautiful garden, which was tended lovingly by the gardner a M Luxford.
My sister Marjorie & I were employed there for a time in the late 1920s when a Mr & Mrs Caulton ran it as a Guest House. They had a daughter, Iris who was a very keen horsewoman & a lover of horses. I remember she was most upset when Phar Lap was poisoned in Australia.
From memory, I think her horse was a bit of a devil & was never eager for her to catch him & saddle him up before going off & ride him along the beach, & on more than one occasion on arriving at the beach she was dislodged from the saddle, while he did his best to have a roll in the sand.
Sometime in the late 1920s or early 1930s the house was burnt to the ground. Mr & Mrs Caulton & Iris were away up north on holiday at the time & it was thought, tho never proved that the fire was caused by an iron being left on in the staff quarters.
It goes without saying that they were all shocked & very upset at their great loss, but Mr Caulton was the most affected, he was broken hearted, not only at the loss of the building, but of the loss of his lifes treasures, which he had no hope of ever replacing. He never really recovered.
The place was always well patonised by Wellingtonians who returned time & time again, two names I recall were the Longuets & Mrs Ina Allan & daughter, & a permanent guest there was a remittance man from England named ? Padden, who used to fish in the Waikanae River before breakfast & often arrived back with a trout, which he requested the chef to cook for his breakfast. The chef was never very pleased about this but always obliged.

I'm not quite certain of the spelling of the name "Longuet" pronounced "Longea". I recall one the "Longuets drowned at Otaki Beach in early 1930s.

Re Frank Greenaway who was in the Airforce during WWII. He used to sometimes fly to Waikanae & circle around above his parents home ' he was a friend of "Cobber" Caine, the Air Ace.

If you know anything different to what I've written I would be grateful if you'd let me know.


[Attached is a newspaper clippings of Mahara House and the grave of Maketu within the macrocarpa tree. Also an article from the NZ Woman from the columnist Ina M. Allan]

[Mrs Ina Marion Allan, director of Allied Services Club at Wellington in 1951. She died in Wellington in 1965 aged 67]

[Ruth Wright Collection]
Click to Enlarge
Letter to Mrs Wright from Gwen FletcherLetter to Mrs Wright from Gwen Fletcher
Letter to Mrs Wright from Gwen FletcherLetter to Mrs Wright from Gwen Fletcher
Letter to Mrs Wright from Gwen FletcherLetter to Mrs Wright from Gwen Fletcher
Newspaper clipping, Mahara HouseNewspaper clipping, Mahara House
Newspaper clipping, Maketu GraveNewspaper clipping, Maketu Grave
Magazine article, Ina M. Allan, columinstMagazine article, Ina M. Allan, columinst