Interview with John Wilkins

15 Jul 1998
Wilkins, John, 1925-

John Wilkins born Abergwili, Carmarthenshire, Wales 1925. Refers to Brynmervyn estate, the largest house in the area. Describes school in Wales, Welsh language classes and training as a draughtsman with the Engineering Section of the Post Office at Swansea in 1942. Recalls being in a Reserved Occupation, servicing aerodromes for Coastal Command. After World War II recalls applying and being accepted for position in Southern Rhodesia, arriving Oct 1948. Describes work in Design Office of the Post Office, designing and maintaining records for the northern half of Southern Rhodesia. Describes life in Rhodesia, lifestyle of tobacco farmers and village of dependent workers. Recalls meeting a young nurse on board ship and marriage at St Peter's Anglican church, Carmarthen while on leave. Discusses church and chapel crossing of denomination boundaries.

Describes move to New Zealand, travelling on the M V Ixion from Cape Town to Sydney and then on the M V Wanganella. Talks about work experience with the New Zealand Post Office, then six years in design work with William Cable before joining Chief Design Engineer, Frank Kerslake who went out on his own with involvement with Kawerau and Caxton Paper Mills. Refers to electric power line pylons, substations, Wairakei and steel portal frames.

Backgrounds involvement with the Welsh Society and his increasing interest in developing his Welsh conversation. Mentions Percy and Heulwen Jones, and Marjorie Gee. Describes visit back to Wales and talks of miners' education in the arts, choirs and visits of various male choirs to New Zealand. Refers to Dafydd Iwan. Describes interest in painting, developing his oil painting to a standard exhibit in the Academy of New Zealand and current interest in calligraphy and history.

Access Contact - see oral history librarian

Interviewer(s) - David Hughes

Venue - 69 Moorefield Road

Arrangement: Tape numbers - OHC-011926 ; OHLC-005984

Quantity: 1 C90 cassette(s). 1 printed abstract(s). 1.30 Hours and minutes Duration.

Finding Aids: Abstract Available - abstracting complete OHA-4110.

Additional description

Original recordings not available for playback. Surrogate copies will be provided.

Alternative form available: Listening copy OHLC-005984

Public use may require the written permission of the copyright holder Copyright: Alexander Turnbull Library
Access restrictions
Partly restricted material
Part of
Welsh Society of Wellington Oral History Project
1 C90 cassette(s), 1 printed abstract(s), 1.30 Hours and minutes Duration, Oral histories
There are 2 items in total.
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There are 2 items in this group.
Date: 15 Jul 1998 From: Welsh Society of Wellington Oral History Project Ref: OHC-011926 Description: Interviewer(s) - David Hughes Arrangement: Tape sequence - tape 1 of 1 Quantity: 1 C90 cassette(s). 1.30 Hours and minutes Duration. Finding Aids: Abstrac...
Date: 15 Jul 1998 From: Welsh Society of Wellington Oral History Project Ref: OHA-4110 Description: Interviewer(s) - David Hughes Quantity: 1 printed abstract(s). 1.30 Hours and minutes Duration.