Christmas 2017: The Vine Family Celebrates

The stage has been set. We now move on to assemble as many of the family who are within reach and to organise their contributions to an afternoon on the Big Day, in our Backyard.

Those across the other side of the “Ditch” have not however been forgotten and just yesterday Judy arranged with their local Butcher in Sarina, Queensland, Australia to set aside the customary Ham for David, Pauline and Sarah to be picked up.

Well, what have we to celebrate? The year, 2017 has offered the family much to be thankful for and attributes which create a high level of optimism for our future –  in short, a great year!

A sad note however for a start. Judy’s dearest friend from Schooldays, Roncey France, quietly slipped away this morning (20 December) in Masterton Hospital. Theirs was a friendship of over 70 years marked by their having spoken to each other on the telephone almost daily over the past 30 years or so. Just last evening we spent time reminiscing about the many family holidays and joint experiences we enjoyed over the years, many of them including the Rodda family also. To name a few, Caravanning at Castlepoint, the Beach Races at Castlepoint, Whakapapa on Mount Ruapehu, New Year Races at Tauhurunikau and stays in the Jockeys’ Quarters on the Course with many an hour at the Tin Hut Pub next door, Raft Racing on the Ruamahanga with a giant ice box of Beer set up on a trailer at the Finish, and more, all of it with special memories. May Roncey rest in peace along with her beloved Carey (Frog) who passed several years back.

Our Robyn continues to work her butt off at “The Tote” which has a reputation as a “Local” as we remember them from days gone by. Recently they held a most successful Childrens Day with Father Christmas arriving with Alice from Wonderland on the back of Steve’s Ute. Fun and camaraderie in the Trentham Hood.

Grand Daughter Rebecca has taken a big step and acquired the Totara Lodge Motel business next to The Tote. We are very proud of our 29-year-old Grand Daughter taking on the challenge of a sizeable business at a relatively young age. She now enjoys a business (27 motel units) and live in accommodation all under the one roof. Mya starts school in May but already, she and I think, knows more than the teachers. She is a delight to have visit to give her mother a break and we do sleep well after she leaves for home.

Grandson Dan has a strong grip on life and is making a mark for himself up in Tauranga, having taken on an electrical apprenticeship. The plan is that on completion of the Apprenticeship he will complete his Electronic Engineering Degree. This plan is based on a commonplace regime in Germany which allows an experiential introduction to a trade/profession with an income providing savings to fund the higher level education. His Cricket is not going too bad and I am impressed with his all round ability Keeping, Batting and in his game before last he showed Bowling skills by taking 3 wickets. I have yet to discover the playing abilities of the teams he plays in the Bay of Plenty Premier Competition. There are some questions here! But then, just this morning, Dan forwarded an article from the Bay of Plenty Times which confirmed the side’s elevated status.

Grass Tree Beach Food & Fuel

Our Lad David over in Oz, together with Partner Pauline and her daughter Sarah have had an extremely busy year fitting out and re-establishing the only shop at Grass Tree Beach where they live. – “Grass Tree Beach Food and Fuel”. We applaud Pauline’s drive and initiative in providing employment for herself in what are trying times.

Grand Son Wade “Flys in Flys out” from Gladstone to work on a construction project in Darwin. Our year has been brightened by now having formal access to our 2 Great Grandsons, Alex and Owen. It started with a couple of video calls but has now been raised to Court sanctioned access. The video calls showed that we had two delightful young lads in our family and when my sadness with not being able to visit was deepened. You could not imagine the joy we feel now knowing that our visit to Queensland next year will most certainly include a trip North to connect again with the boys. Wade , Louisa and their Daughter Aleigh-Parker are moving further North to Cairns in January.

James seems to be progressing well with his Concrete Worker’s apprenticeship and recently had 10 days working on a job up at Tauranga. Good experience for him. His boys, Robert and Oliver are regular visitors. We were delighted today to learn that both received awards at the Gymnastics Class; Oliver for Best Trier and his Grade 2 Certificate and Robert got the trophy and medal for Most Improved in Junior Boys Class.

Grand Daughter Grace, now attending St Peters College in Palmerston North has by all accounts completed a most successful academic year. Go Grace!

I must apologise to those of you that may be bored by the content of this Post. My motives in posting online are influenced to a high degree by my deep and absorbing interest in family history. This results in me combining Seasonal Greetings with “the family record” (whakapapa) which may be of interest down the line. The more computer literate of recipients may have observed too that I have edited this as a “Post” as opposed to a “Blog”. This is aimed at broadening outreach to those who may have an interest in our families.

On the latter side of things I have not been able this year because of other interests (The Boss says that I have too many) to dabble too much in the past. Genealogy wise I have given the Crumpler Family most of my available time. The Crumpler connection is on Dad’s side of the family. His Grand Father, Harry Vine married Annie Hannah Crumpler whose ancestors I have traced back to about 1650. Nicholas Crumpler, a half cousin 8 times removed, married Elizabeth (Betty) Bastard in 1722. The Bastard family was big in Blandford Forum, Dorset and just as I had completed a review of that family I discovered in the National Library a huge publication, John Hutchins’ History of Dorset which contains the Pedigree of the Bastard family. So it is back to the Bastards (I mean that kindly) to reconcile Hutchins’ research against my discoveries.

I particularly enjoyed this exchange of photographs initiated by Angela Lumsden, Daughter of Francis Victor Peter Edwards my cousin once removed:

Posts to my website through the year also included:

Well, there it is “for the record” and this brings me to the point of offering you, from us, very Best Wishes for Christmas and may the Year 2018 bring with it Joy and great times for you and family.

Aroha Nui (much love, with deep affection)

Judy and Bob



2 thoughts on “Christmas 2017: The Vine Family Celebrates”

  1. As usual you have made it hard to measure up to a Christmas letter..first I am thinking of Judy coping with the loss of her dearest friend.I have always been amazed at the close relationship Judy has with her group of friends and you Bob have always been so supportive and I know how you also have enjoyed their friendship..
    The years are certainly adding up as we try to cope with new aches and pains but it is great to have a loving partner walking the road beside you..Your immediate family sound as if they are enjoying busy lives.
    Wishing you, Judy and all your family a Christmas of shared happiness and also a New Year bringing you good health and happiness
    Love from
    Renee and Gra

  2. Bob, that was a very interesting read. Thank you for producing it and making it known to us over here across the very largest and deepest “ditch” of them all. Plus you and your relevant kin may know that Cairns is a sister city of Scottsdale, Arizona ( which you of course have some familiarity with).

Replies and comment most welcome