www.williams.gen.nz
 

THE 'HUKARERE AUNTS'

Extract relating to F W Williams Aunt's, taken from P378, Faith and Farming, the legacy of Henry Wiliams and William Williams, copyright Rex Evans, Evagean Publishing 1992
 

Anna Maria Williams
b. 25.02.1839. d. 05.05.1929
b. at Waimate and d. at Hukarere, Napier

    Maria was Lady Superintendent of Hukarere Girls' School which first opened at Hukarere Road, Napier in 1875. She kept the accounts and conducted the correspondence of the school from it's inception and generally supervised the matron and teachers until these duties were taken over by the officers of the Te Aute Trust Board in 1911.

Lydia Catherine (Kate) Williams
b. 07.04.1841, d. 04.02.1931
Kate b. at Kaupapa, Turanga and d. at Awatoto, Hawkes Bay, as a result of the Napier earthquake.

Marianne Williams
b. 22.08.1843, d. 02.09.1932
Marianna b. at Kaupapa, Turanga and d. at Hukarere, Napier. She lived at Hukarere, Napier, and served on the Committee of the Hawkes Bay Children's Home.


    The following is a memoir of these three ladies, written in 1973 by their grandniece, Bettie Williams:

    'I was often taken to visit the Hukarere Aunts, the unmarried sisters of my grandfather, J N Williams. Even then they seemed like something out of another age and dressed much as their mother would have done - always in black and in a simplified version of the style of the 1890's. This was in the second decade of 20th Century. The black was unrelieved except for a little white ruff at the neck and a frilled white lace cap.

    Aunt Marianne, the youngest, wore no cap and a long-sleeved blouse in a fine granny print with her plain black skirt. Aunt Maria would have been in her seventies and, though she lived to be ninety, seemed to us very old. Tiny, fragile and crippled with arthritis, she walked with a stick and spent most of her time on a horse-hair sofa or the cane and mahogany couch now in Waipare Gran's bedroom, not very comfortable for old bones.

    Aunt Kate, two years younger, was the lively one. Tall, thin and vivacious, I believe she had been very beautiful in her youth. She spent her life in good works and taught for some years at the Hukarere Maori Girls' College. We loved her and she took great pains to make our visits fun. Always a party tea round the dining room table - bread and butter with hundreds and thousands and a little cut glass dish of boiled sweets for each child. A cupboard full of dolls and other toys, the home-made bricks' we have at Hapua among them. They were given to Jon by Aunt Marianne.

    The house was dark and very Victorian - horsehair and bamboo, probably much as in their parents' day. Aunt Kate died in 1931 after she was injured in the Cathedral wrecked by the earthquake in February of that year, a few weeks before Jon's birth and two years after the death of Maria. Marianne died the following year. Aunt Kate once stayed with us at Atua, I think after my father died. I remember her in a voluminous apron, lace cap and all, making cherry jam.'